This 1980's national school underwent a deep retrofit as part of the 2021 Schools Energy Retrofit Pathfinder programme. Extensive fabric upgrades resulted in a Building Energy Rating (BER) uplift from a C1 to a B1.

Key technical parameters

A teacher teaching a classroom full of children
MeasurePre Works StatusPost Works Status
Energy Consumption 251,315 kWh 138,226 kWh
Carbon Emissions 52 tCO2 23 tCO2
Building Energy Rating C1 B1
Lighting Upgrade Unknown LED with occupancy and daylight controls
Walls U Value 0.37 W/m2k pumped cavity wall 0.16 W/m2k achieved through external wall insulation
Air tightness 7.82 m3/h/m2 <5.0 m3/h/m2
Heat Loss 95 W/m2 53 W/m2
Heating System Type Oil fired boiler Air source heat pump and low temperature distribution system
Heating System Efficiency Unknown SCOP 2.86
Ventilation System Natural Mechanical ventilation and heat recovery
Domestic Hot Water Boiler Dedicated air source heat pump
Solar PV 0kWp 6kWp
EV Charge Point None Installed


  • 45%

    estimated energy savings to be delivered
  • 58%

    reduction in CO2 emissions designed into project
  • 90%

    of space heating demand met by a renewable heat solution
  • Digital display of solar PV generation for staff and students to see
  • 8 week turnaround for retrofit works
  • Positive feedback from teachers and students of improved comfort in teaching and learning environment


Cornafulla National School was selected through the 2021 Public Sector Pathfinder Programme to undergo a deep retrofit. The school was comprehensively assessed to identify suitable upgrade measures. These needed to deliver value to both the school and the programme learnings.


Fabric upgrades included:

  • applying external wall insulation of the 1983 building and pumping the cavity wall of the 2011 extension
  • high level of air tightness upgrades around all windows and doors in the building and the replacement of all external doors in the building

Mechanical and electrical upgrades included the installation of the following:

  • LED lighting system with occupancy and daylight control
  • 6kWp Solar PV system
  • EV charging points
  • Building Energy Management System
  • air source heat pump, new buffer tank, and low temperature radiator distribution system to replace oil boiler
  • MVHR system to improve ventilation and indoor comfort

Estimated savings

These are the estimated annual energy and emissions savings achieved by this project. The figures will be confirmed following a full year of occupancy.

  • 113,089 kWh

    Energy savings estimated per annum
  • 29 tCO2

    Emission savings estimated per annum

About the programme

This energy upgrade was delivered through the Pathfinder programme in collaboration with the Department of Education. This programme is paving the way for a national programme for the energy retrofit of schools built before 2008.

The Schools Energy Retrofit Pathfinder programme is funded by the Department of Education and Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The programme is administered by the Planning and Building Unit in the Department of Education with their delivery partner Limerick Clare ETB. and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Learn about the Pathfinder programme