Isabel Barros Architects - Blog

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New Planning Exemptions for Solar Installations

Substantial increases to the existing planning exemption thresholds for solar panels are now available.

Two new sets of regulations entitled the Planning and Development Act (Exempted Development) (No.3) Regulations 2022 and the Planning and Development (Solar Safeguarding Zone) Regulations 2022 which have immediate effect have been published on the 7th October 2022 .

Additionally two new classes of exempted development have been introduced.

For clarity, works that benefit from Planning Exemptions do not require Planning Permission.

What are the main changes?

In a nutshell,

  • the 12sqm/ 50% roof limit which applied to houses has been removed nationwide. There is no rooftop limit on houses, regardless of whether the house is located within or outside of a Solar Safeguarding Zone (SSZ). Houses are now able to erect unlimited rooftop solar panels subject to certain conditions.
  • The 50sqm/ 50% roof limit which applied to other specified classes of development has been removed for solar developments that are located outside of an SSZ. Such developments, located outside of an SSZ, are able to erect unlimited rooftop solar panels subject to certain conditions.

The Planning and Development (Solar Safeguarding Zone) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 492 of 2022) support the Planning and Development Act (Exempted Development) (No.3) Regulations 2022 and set out 43 Solar Safeguarding Zones (SSZs) within which a rooftop limit on solar panels continues to apply. The SSZs are applicable to all classes of development other than houses.

Wexford Town Solar Safeguarding Zone

Conditions and Limitations

The Planning and Development Act (Exempted Development) (No.3) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 493 of 2022) set out the main amendments to the existing solar planning exemptions contained in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (the Principal Regulations). These regulations set out the updated conditions and limitations which apply to the various pre-existing classes of development (e.g. houses, industrial, light industrial, business premises and agricultural).

The exemptions are aimed at increasing Ireland’s generation of solar energy and combating climate change.

Isabel to Speak at Portugal Home Week

Isabel will be speaking at this year’s Portugal Home Week. The international event will take place on the 21st and 22nd of June 2022 at the Alfândega do Porto – Congress Center.

The second edition of the event, held by the Portuguese Association of Furniture and Related Industries (APIMA) with the support of AICEP Portugal Global, will welcome professionals from over 40 countries to debate the future of the industries and show the world the latest innovations of the Portuguese House Row.

On June 22nd, Isabel will be speaking on the panel ” The Sustainable Design Market” at the Home Summit of Portugal Home Week. Isabel will be joined by Paulo Estrada, CEO of Sofalca, Pete Kercher, Ambassador of EIDD – Design for All Europe, and Nuno Sá Leal, Chair of Sustainable Design at University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro.

This year’s event will have two key spaces, Home Show and Home Summit, as well as a privileged forum for discussion on the future of the sector, where some of the main players in the world market will be present.

In addition, Pritzker-awarded architect Siza Vieira, Ingrid Abramovitch, Executive Editor of Elle Decor New York, and Mario Ortega, CEO of BIMObject LAM, Portugal and Spain, are also some of the confirmed speakers.

To find out more and attend the event visit: Portugal Home Week

The Pritzker Award Winner 2022

Diébédo Francis Kéré, the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate

This year we congratulate Diébédo Francis Kéré on becoming the first African Architect to win the prestigious Pritzker Award.

Born in Burkina Faso in 1965, one of the world’s least educated countries, lacking in fresh clean drinking water, electricity and infrastructure, Diébédo Francis Kéré was the oldest son of the village chief and the first in his community to attend school. In 1985 Kéré received a vocational carpentry scholarship which took him to Berlin, Germany. And in 1995 he was awarded another scholarship to Technische Universität where he received an advanced degree in Architecture, graduating in 2004. Kéré founded Kéré Architects in 2005. Although based in Berlin, Kéré’s work took him worldwide completing projects in the United Kingdom, the United States and many areas around Africa and of course including his home country of Burkina Faso.

Gando Primary School, 2001, Burkina Faso

While studying in Berlin, Kéré started raising money to Build the Gando Primary School, in his home town, Burkina Faso. This was his first major project and held personal importance to him. Inspired by the terrible conditions he endured as a kid in class, Kéré used his newfound architectural knowledge to create much better learning conditions for the next generation. Built with the help of the local villagers, the School was completed in 2001, awarding Kéré with the Aga Khan Award for architecture in 2004.

Lycée Schorge Secondary School, 2017, Burkina Faso

Another example of Kéré passion for improving Burkina Faso schooling facilities is the Lycée Schorge Secondary School, 2017. Built just outside of Koudougou, Burkina Faso. Arranged in the shape of a C by 9 connected modules around a central courtyard holding classrooms, an administration office and a dental clinic. Constructed using locally sourced materials like the Laterite stone which is cut easily when removed from the earth and left in the sun to harden. The secondary facade is constructed of locally sourced Eucalyptus wood and wraps the 9 modules. This area between the main building and the Eucalyptus creates a nice cool ventilated area for students to relax between classes.

The Xylem Pavilion, 2019, Montana, USA

Something a little different designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré is the Xylem Pavilion. Built in 2019 for the Tippet Rise Art Centre, Montana, USA. The Pavilion, which is caved sinuously to blend in with its surroundings provides a comfortable place for people to come, converse, relax or simply sit in silence with nature. Entirely constructed of locally sourced sustainable pinewood felled during natural pruning. The process is used to protect the forest from parasitic bugs. Kéré stated on social media that no healthy trees were felled or damaged during the construction of the Xylem Pavilion.

National Park of Mali, 2010, Bamako

To mark the 50th Anniversary of Mali’s independence, Kéré took on the task of refurbishing the reopening of the National Park of Mali, Bamako, located on a reserve of protected rainforest. Included in the monumental task were points of entry to the park, youth and sports centre, a restaurant, public toilets and Kiosks. Externally cladding with natural stone from the region and generous large overhanging roofs provide cool areas inside and outside.

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a well-deserved winner of this year’s Pritzker Award not only for his unique sustainable designs but also for his humanitarian work in Burkina Faso and around the world. Isabel Barros Architects would like to congratulate Diébédo Francis Kéré and wish him a long and happy career.

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