Archive for July, 2012

July 23rd, 2012

Go ahead for eco visitor cottages and novel sewage system in Tipperary

North Tipperary County Council have just sent notice of grant of Planning Permission for a development of green visitor accommodation and services at Coumnageeha Eco Farm.  The development will include the renovation and extension of the existing old stone cottage, two new activity rooms, a new four bedroom cottage and a sauna, showers and laundry for 6 eco-dome tents.  The construction will pioneer a number of new technologies -

1: A draw-down whole-roof solar panel system, feeding space heat and hot water to all buildings

2: In-wall heating for the old stone cottage using low grade heat from the solar panels to minimise the need for high levels of insulation

3: In-wall heating for the service building which will be constructed from hemp-lime that will meet passive house standards with only 300mm thickness

4: Super insulated timber frame construction and robust heat recovery units for the new cottage that protects the structure from interstitial condensation.

The sewage system will demonstrate the first officially-sanctioned use of a Swedish designed vortex separator in Ireland.  This system separates solids from the waste water so that they can be composted safely in a two alternating chambers, while the liquid wastes go to a settling tank and vertical reed bed and polishing area.  The composted product  is a good fertilizer and soil conditioner for use on the orchard trees and hedgerows in the farm.

July 7th, 2012

Submission to the Department for Agriculture about Food Harvest 2020

Tipperary Farmland

Food Harvest 2020 Submission to the Irish Department of Agriculture, Forestry and the Marine

EOS Future Design

July 6th 2012

Proposal to Mitigate the Environmental Impact of the increase in Livestock Numbers resulting from Food Harvest 2020 by the Co-Digestion of Slurry with Food Waste.


If the increase in dairy production of 50% called for in Food Harvest 2020 is to have no net environmental impact the rollout of at least 1,000 rural Anaerobic Digesters is necessary to treat the extra slurry and other farm wastes generated to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions and polluting run-off to waterbodies. In order for such farm- based digesters to be economically viable at current levels of government support it is necessary that they receive gate fees to co-digest food waste. Co-digestion of farm waste with food waste increases the energy content of the process and captures nutrients in the resulting digestate which reduces the need for artificial fertilisers. Developing large centralized scale Anaerobic Digesters (ADs) solely for food waste provides none of these environmental benefits. Without this integrated approach the impact of Harvest 2020 will be extremely damaging for the environment.

There are two alternative methods that could help fund farm based ADs to close the nutrient cycle and mitigate the environmental impacts of increased animal numbers that does not place a burden on the exchequer: A Quota system imposed on waste collectors through their Waste Collection Permit obliging them to divert a minimum amount of waste to rural ADs which co-digest with farm waste; or an Environmental Levy imposed on waste disposal and biowaste treatment technologies other than co-digestion with slurry. The levy would be collected by the waste facilities other than ADs co-digesting with slurry. The revenue could be used by Local Authorities to further mitigate the environmental impact of Harvest 2020.

Link to download the full report DAFM Submission AD, FH_2020