HOUSE OF THE WEEK Four-bed with annex for €375k

August 2nd, 2021 7:05 AM

By Emma Connolly

Daily energy costs for the eco house are just €1.40. It was built, mainly by hand, with love and a great deal of attention.

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Carbon-neutral Honeycomb House boasts super sweet eco-credentials

When Tony and Helen Grubert moved from affluent Leigh-on-Sea near Essex to a sprawling 148-acre estate near Bantry in 2000 it may have seemed like an unusual move to many.

But fast forward 21 years, and it’s achingly clear that the couple were pioneers in what’s now a large global community of people who strive to live sustainably. 

Tony explained how they had spent years looking for land to set up their centre, the Unicorn Eco Foundation, to teach ecological sciences and sustainable building.  

‘We looked all over the English speaking world, and found the perfect spot in Derryduff,’ he said. 

The couple, with their two sons, renovated a farmhouse on the estate where they still live. 

And as a practical demonstration of what they were teaching to students who came from all over the world, they built Honeycomb House and Honeypot Annex, which  is for sale with an asking price of €375,000. 

The property is a 2,400 sq ft carbon neutral home on two acres. 

‘We started building in 2005 and finished in 2008. Outside of hiring a digger for the foundations, we built everything ourselves. It was built with a great deal of care and love, all the windows are handmade and the staircase, wrapped around a tree, is a work of art,’ Tony said. 

Technologies used in the build were well ahead of the time, including geo thermal heating, using the bog to the rear of the house and a biodigester reed bed waste disposal.

Recycled newspaper was used for insulation and Tony says a thermal sensor routinely shows temperatures of 10 degrees outside, and a stable 22 degrees inside. 

‘It’s a very cheap home to run – energy costs are just €1.40 a day,’ he said. ‘We’re in our 60s now and feel we’ve banged the sustainable drum for long enough – people know all of this now. It’s time for us to hang up our drums!’

He says the property would be an ideal opportunity for multi-generational living with its granny annex, which has its own entrance, but can be accessed by an internal passage way. 

‘We’d like the new owner to be someone who is proud to live in such an ecologically sound house and who would look after it. 

‘It’s an organic structure and it needs love,’ he said, adding that there has been plenty of interest from both at home and abroad. 

Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill is managing the sale of the property. For more contact or call  023 883 3995.


Photo: Niamh Whitty/

Photo: Niamh Whitty/

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