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Lidan Designs – Innovating for Sustainability

“Lidan was started to create sustainable skilled jobs in the West of Ireland through the design and manufacture of sustainable buildings in an innovative way” – Dan O’Brien, Director, Lidan Designs.

The interest in contemporary wooden buildings is soaring worldwide and Lidan Designs is leading the charge in creating innovative, energy-efficient modern structures in a move towards a more sustainable society.

Winners of the ‘Future Focus’ award at this year’s National Enterprise Awards, the Roscommon-based company has a clear vision having recognised the potential of wood as the ideal construction material for the future and specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of premium wood products and structures. Maximising the use of this sustainable and natural material, Lidan is leveraging cutting-edge design to create these structures with craftsmanship at the core and each of their products is handcrafted individually by a team of experienced carpenters and joiners. They are currently in the process of building a bespoke factory to meet the increased demand for their product.

Former Accenture Corporate Strategy Consultant Dan O’Brien co-founded the company with Liam Casey to offer timber home offices with NZEB standards, a BER A-rating and that can deliver passive house levels of airtightness. The company has availed of the Innovation voucher scheme from Enterprise Ireland to further innovate and grow.

In demand for more and more projects in the public sector, their clients now include the OPW, Department of Education and many others. One of their showcase achievements is a highly-sustainable ecological Nearly Zero Energy rapid build dwelling for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, which apart from being one of the first dwellings fully finished off-site in Ireland, it is also possibly the lowest embodied carbon dwelling in Ireland. The two bedroomed house at Fernhill near Stepaside, Dublin was fully designed, built and finished by Lidan off-site and took just a few weeks to complete from design to handover. A fully fitted kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, plumbing, electrics and energy systems were all done off-site. This work allowed the company to showcase the potential of sustainable house building in Ireland.

As lifestyles and global work patterns have changed, there has been a huge demand from private sector clients for additional space whether it’s for home offices, gyms or studios. The buildings created by Lidan have been growing in both size and complexity and public sector clients are also now recognising the potential of the use of wood from a design, efficiency and construction point of view – from larger offices to schools and community centres. The affordable and social housing crisis has also spurred on the need for well-regulated rapid build and modular housing systems.

“There is a huge demand now from housing to schools to bigger public amenity buildings. We aim for growth but sustainable growth at a sustainable pace in expanding, hiring people and increasing our product set”, explains Dan O’Brien.

The Innovation voucher scheme from Enterprise Ireland allowed the company to become agile. They partnered with Sligo Institute of Technology to use the scheme to examine the energy profile for their current range of modular buildings, assessed renewable energy and water and waste sustainability options. The voucher also helped them to increase their 3D modelling capabilities – enabling them to create renders of finished products for clients.

“I’d strongly recommend that companies look at the Enterprise Ireland Innovation voucher scheme for their innovation projects. We’re now looking at further expansion and examining the export market. It has been very helpful to us in terms of solving problems and allowed us to bring in outsourced expertise as needed and it was a great way of starting connections with the talent available at third level.” says Dan O’Brien.

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