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House at Lough Beg: A New Benchmark in Sustainable Construction and Design

In the heart of Mid-Ulster, nestled within the ancient oak woodlands of Ballyscullion Park, stands House at Lough Beg – an architectural testament to the integration of modern design in a historic landscape. This self-built family home, which has garnered multiple design awards, represents a new era in construction, where sustainable practices meet innovative design.

Architectural Vision

Constructed on the site of a property dating back to the 1840s, House at Lough Beg marries traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics. The use of handmade bricks in shades of grey and a zinc roof ensures the structure complements the surrounding darkened oaks, while embracing the openness of the parkland. The building comprises two rectilinear blocks, thoughtfully arranged to create an enclosed space and a layout sympathetic to its natural setting.

Design Challenges and Solutions

The project, spearheaded by architects McGonigle McGrath LLP, required intricate brickwork details, both externally and internally. Key features include a striking floating corner, a design innovation achieved through the expertise of IG Masonry Support. The internal and external brickwork presented challenges due to the use of oversized, handmade bricks. This necessitated precision-engineered masonry support products, ensuring seamless integration with the building’s existing bond patterns.

Technical Precision

IG Masonry Support’s solution involved a mechanically-fixed brick slip system for the building’s exterior floating corner, utilising lightweight systems and advanced masonry supports. For the interior door openings, the use of Brick Slip Lintels by IG Masonry Support ensured a uniform and aesthetically pleasing finish. The prefabricated nature of these products facilitated a more efficient and cost-effective installation process.

The Self-Builder’s Journey

Hugh Graham, the property owner and self-builder, embarked on a decade-long journey from concept to completion. Without prior construction experience, Graham relied heavily on the guidance and support of IG Masonry Support. The firm’s involvement was crucial in realising the architectural vision, especially in overcoming the challenges posed by the unique brickwork.

Industry Recognition

The House at Lough Beg’s innovative approach to design and construction has earned it three prestigious awards in 2022: the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Award, the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Design Award, and the RSUA Client of the Year award.

Products Used

  • Welded Masonry Support (21m)
  • Brick Slip Feature Bolt-Up B.O.S.S (21m)
  • Brick Slip Soffit Panels (4.3m2); Windposts
  • (17) Internal and External Brick Slip Lintels (29.23m)

The House at Lough Beg is a prime example of how sustainable construction practices can be harmoniously blended with innovative design. It serves as a blueprint for future projects in the construction industry, demonstrating that with the right collaboration, creative vision, and technical expertise, remarkable achievements in building design and sustainability can be accomplished.


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