Nuala McNulty - Tawnylust Lodge



Nuala is from Leitrim, her home place is up the road from Tawnylust and her brother has a farm next to her. She was looking to move back to Leitrim from Dublin and originally wanted to buy somewhere that she could renovate. However, she knew that she wanted an eco-house she realised that to renovate an old house to eco-standards would be hugely expensive.  Her brother gave her a plot of land that she liked looking out over the hills and she began to consider a new build.

She ‘hates shopping’ and so, without a lot of ‘shopping around’ she quickly decided on a kit home from Scan homes. It had the eco-credentials she wanted and a friend had one that she was able to see being lived in.

She is self-employed and so decided to add a self-catering apartment onto her home as a way of generating extra income.
"Nuala McNulty is so passionate about her home county of Leitrim, that she added a guest annex on to her new state-of-the-art wooden house, overlooking the Ballinabehy Ridge’ : quote from her website.


Scan home kit: Wooden house designed to your specifications. The kit is a passive house; this means that it is completely sealed and the air is circulated through vents to draw in fresh air that is then heated in a ‘heat exchanger’ where the heat is taken from the warm stale air before the used air is pumped out.


A hi spec eco home. As a kit form it comes with everything you need for a passive house. (passive house = self-heating).  Scan homes bring the air circulation system and heat exchanger and the triple glazed windows.
You can design your home within the four walls and roof that they provide.

Solar panels from Evergreen Energy


  • Very little heat loss from this sealed house due to high levels of insulation and triple glazing.
  • Solar panels heat all the water needs.
  • EU flower award for the self-catering apartment, which means a very high standard of eco-friendly living.


As someone who loves the outdoors and the nature that surrounds her, her lodge is a place for her to work and live within that landscape. Large windows look out over the countryside and the ever changing weather constantly changes the view.

The timber clad exterior fits into the landscape; the fields come right up to her decking and car parking area making a minimal impact on the landscape.

She was able to design the interior as she wanted although she did have to battle for a few things with scan homes.


Self and Scanhomes


Scan homes put down the base and erect the frame, the rest is left to the owner to find a local builder. She used Paddy Ferguson a local guy recommended by the guys who did the ground works for her.


Scan homes are all timber frames with high levels of insulation in the walls that arrive ready-made.

She got the slate tiles from Quinn tiles.


Heat recovery system for the house itself, which has been satisfactory but last winter it was too cold for her. The heat recovery depends on warmth being generated by appliances and people in order to heat the fresh air coming in. As she is on her own there was not enough heat being generated when it was really cold. She is considering putting in a woodburner which would then render the house not strictly a passive house.

All her water is heated by the solar panels. If that is not enough in the winter she has an immersion heater.






Decking. The fields come up to around the house which makes them her garden and help to fit the timber home into the landscape.

She is putting in a herb garden and fruit trees Spring 2012 for the house and apartment users.


The build itself was very much hard work. She managed the process herself and had to be on site everyday to make sure things were being done as she wanted.

Satisfaction rating:
Noise travels between rooms easily – would like to have changed that if possible.
Now she is living in it she is very happy with the overall performance of her home.

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