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The Only Way Is Up

Running out of space? Add another floor to your house


PastedImage-12392 One of Duffy's projections shows how a three bedroom home can become a five-bedroom one or two units.

AN AGE-OLD question for families concerns what to do when your house gets a little cramped for those who live in it.

The typical responses are either put up with it or find somewhere bigger.

However, a radical idea from an Irish architect says we could do something else: put another floor on the house.

Tom Duffy of Green Design Build sent his proposal to the Oireachtas Housing Committee last month and says that the plan could work on 300,000 homes. It would create 600,000 extra bedrooms and help families at the risk of flooding.

“[O]ver 300,000 post-1945 homes in Dublin alone would be suitable for the addition of an extra storey with the potential for creating 600,000 extra bedrooms,” the submission says.

“Homes built since 1945 in every town and city in Ireland would have adequate foundations and structure.

Making the provision of additional storeys open for consideration by local authorities would result in a sustainable increase in construction activity providing jobs, apprenticeships and upgrading homes where they are most needed, creating a true circle of benefit within the construction economy.
In addition, homes which are subject to the threat of flooding can be extended vertically with the additional floor allowing the old ground floor to be reserved for storage/garage use only.

Duffy’s proposal says that the plan could be financed by individual families through bank and credit union loans, taking development “out of the hands of developers and placing it within the control of families and communities”.

He adds that the idea would add more in value to a home that its build cost and could be used to retrofit energy inefficient houses.

He has presented the plan to the Department of the Environment, Dublin City Council and RIAI.

Read: Coveney to miss 100-day housing plan deadline as ‘people are not focused on work in August’

Read: Dublin City Council says fulltime Airbnb rentals need planning permission

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