Hi!
You are welcome to the infographic signage landing page on the Ecovillage website.

We hope this unique approach to signage will enhance your experience and deepen your understanding of some of the less obvious environmental features and hidden infrastructure within Cloughjordan Ecovillage.

There are 13 infographics covering five broad themes – Biodiversity; Houses; Green Infrastructure; Lifestyle and Technical Infrastructure.

The list below is ordered by sign location within the ecovillage, starting from the pedestrian entrance to the Ecovillage from Coach House Square, off Main Street and ending at Apple Walk in the allotments.

90% of our energy-efficient homes are rated B1 or above
Theme: Houses
Location: Ecovillage Pedestrian Entrance at Coach House Square
Additional Info: B1 is an example of a Building Energy Rating and is an indication of the energy performance of a home. A BER is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance like your fridge. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and will tend to have the lowest energy bills. All houses on site are built from natural materials, are highly energy efficient and are warm and comfortable to live in. Learn more about what you can do to improve the BER of your home at: http://www.seai.ie/

2 gha is our Ecological Footprint, lowest recorded in Ireland
Theme: Lifestyle
Location: Ecovillage Pedestrian Entrance at Coach House Square
Additional info: Cloughjordan Ecovillage has an ecological footprint of 2 global hectares (gHa), the lowest of any community recorded in Ireland. The results, based on the first complete survey of ecovillage residents carried out in April and May 2014, were presented in November 2014 by Dr Vincent Carragher of the Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA). More details on our website here.

4 km of fibre optic cable provides high-speed broadband to every site
Theme: Technical Infrastructure
Location: Ecovillage Pedestrian Entrance at Coach House Square
Additional info: The Coach House holds server equipment for VINE (Village Internet Network Engineering) – a local business serving the communications needs of Ecovillage members – phone and Internet.

95% of our primary-age children cycle to school most days
Theme: Lifestyle
Location: Market Square
Additional info: to be updated

32 species of wild bird spotted in ecovillage in last twelve months
Theme: Biodiversity
Location: On road bridge over stream
Additional info: We compiled a list of wild birds spotted during the past year. List includes:
Blackbird; Blue tit; Buzzard; Chaffinch; Chiffchaff; Coal tit; Goldfinch; Great tit; Greenfinch; Heron; House martin; House sparrow; Jackdaw; Kestrel; Kingfisher; Lesser redpoll; Linnet; Little egret; Long tailed tit; Magpie; Meadow pipit; Mistle thrush; Pheasant; Pied wagtail; Redwing; Robin; Rook; Snipe; Song thrush; Starling; Stonechat; Swallow; Wood pigeon; Woodcock; Wren. How many birds did you spot today?

3 unique houses are made of cob, a mix of sub soil and straw
Theme: Houses
Location: On bend in the road near apartment building
Additional Info: From this vantage point you can see all three cob buildings. Facing you is an iconic round cob house; the cob house behind and to the right was constructed using hand-applied & non-mechanical clay/straw mix; looking behind you to the left you can see part of the yellow wall of the third cob house, which was inspired by the excavated underground cities in Cappadocia, Turkey. EcoLearn occasionally offers

28% of households have rain-water harvesting systems
Theme: Houses
Location: On sign post at T-junction
Additional Info: Now that mains water is no longer free at the point of use, we’ll all have to rethink how we use it. Meters are in, domestic water consumption will be measured and wasteful householders will pay dearly. Irish water supplies are under stress due to increasing individual consumption and population growth, plus changes to rainfall patterns caused by climate change. In Ireland the average person uses about 150 litres per day, but domestic water usage could be reduced by 50-70% with modest rainwater storage capacity. So why do we make so little use of it?

In response to many queries about how best to make savings on water use as well, EcoLearn occasionally offers a day long course in which members of Cloughjordan Ecovillage regularly share their first hand-experiences of water metering and rainwater harvesting and demonstrate some of the systems installed here. This gives an opportunity for householders to figure out if the investment in a Rainwater Harvesting system is worth it. Emails learning@thevillage for details of the next course.

17,000 native broad-leaved trees planted in our woodland
Theme: Green Infrastructure
Location: On walk/cycle path en route to WeCreate Workspace
Additional info: In 2011 we planted more than 17,000 native trees – alder, ash, oak, sweet chestnut, birch, wild cherry and rowan. This new woodland will provide much-needed habitats for invertebrates, animals, birds, fungi, mosses and other flora. It’s our gift to the natural world and a legacy for future generations. We are seeking support to nurture this community woodland through its infancy and to protect it in perpetuity. Click on the link to become a Woodland Guardian, it’s the perfect green gift.

1st Fab Lab in Ireland is located in the WeCreate Workspace
Theme: Technical Infrastructure
Location: On WeCreate Workspace outside wall
Additional info: WeCreate is a unique technology and creative workspace located in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage in County Tipperary. WeCreate provides a range of digital fabrication equipment based on the MIT Fab Lab model which are designed to let people make almost anything. This equipment combined with workshop space is available to rent to Makers, developers, artists and many others, giving the opportunity to create what they wish. WeCreate is allied to the worldwide network of Fab Labs.

Click here for more info on WeCreate’s Fab Lab, Summer 2015 Tech Camps, Autumn 2015 Laser Cutting workshop, January 2016 3D Printing workshop, Corporate Away Days, School Tours and Room Hire.

2 500 kW wood-fired boilers provide every home with heat in winter
Theme: Technical Infrastructure
Location: Outside district heating system boiler room door
Additional Info: The District Heating energy barn contains two 500-kilowatt wood-chip boilers, backed up by Ireland’s largest array of solar panels. In winter, the boilers provide most of the heat we need for hot water and space heating, with back up from the solar panels [when commissioned] when the sun shines.

Due to an installation problem the solar panels are not commissioned at the moment but it is hoped that they will be soon. At present this is not a serious problem as the system is designed for the complete compliment of 130 housing units and less than half that number have so far been built.

The fuel for the boilers is waste wood from a sawmill that makes fencing etc. near Ballinasloe, about an hour from here. It is roughly chopped up into small chunks of around 3 to 10cm in size. The source is Irish-grown softwood, mostly spruce, with a maximum of 30% moisture. It is stored in the red barn and is automatically fed into the boiler by means of a screw conveyor.

In summer and when they are commissioned, the ground-mounted solar array will provide most of the heat we need, which is almost wholly for hot water at that time of year. So the boilers will only cut in if we get several days without sun.

There are 500 sq m of solar panels. We’d need 6 sq m per house if they were installed on individual house roofs but we only need 4 sq m each in this shared installation. That’s because unused capacity is pooled – for example, when someone is on holiday. Central installation also saves on piping and wiring, plus specialist labour costs for installation.

2.5 km of well-insulated piping delivers heat to every site
Theme: Technical Infrastructure
Location: Beside road junction for WeCreate
Additional info: The boilers and [eventually] the solar panels both feed heat into a huge buffer tank in the energy barn, giving us a reserve of 17,000 litres of hot water. Hot water is pumped from there to all 130 sites, through piping which is so well insulated that the water only loses about 3oC over the whole 2.5 km length of the circuit. Each house has its own spur from the main, so the supply temperature is more-or-less the same for everyone.

Within each house, the hot water from the main flows through a heat meter and a heat exchanger, which heats the water in a very well insulated 700-litre storage tank. This tank provides all the space heating and hot water needed, so homeowners don’t need their own boilers, stoves, immersion heaters or electric showers. (A few do have stoves, for reasons of their own, but they very rarely seem to light them!)

50,000 is estimated no. of bees per hive during summer months
Theme: Biodiversity
Location: On ‘Bee’ signpost in the allotments
Additional info: Bees are a vital component in ecological networks and provide significant benefits to people through crop pollination and maintaining the character of the landscape. Pollinators are an essential component of agriculture and the diversity of animal and plant life. Many of our agricultural and horticultural crops rely on visits by insects pollinators, such as honey bees, to produce fruits and seeds. They also contribute to the diversity of wild plant species, habitats and wildlife, as well as its resilience and natural beauty.

Cloughjordan Community Beekeepers have established an apiary on SPIL land for the benefits of residents in the ecovillage & the wider community, & the environment of Cloughjordan.
Their goals are: to increase the honey bee population; to develop beekeeping skills locally; to develop, participate in & support school & adult education programmes on bees & bee-friendly environments; to produce honey & honey by-products; to potentially develop livelihoods in honey productions; to explore the possibility of establishing a herb & perennial flower garden for bee food with potential for developing livelihoods from cut flowers, herbs. For more information or to get involved, email Tara Kirk .

65 varieties of native Irish apple trees planted in Apple Tree Walk
Theme: Green Infrastructure
Location: At entrance to Apple Walk in the allotments
Additional info: Our Land Use Group planted a nursery of 65 varieties of old native Irish apple trees from Seed Savers in Co. Clare in spring 2007. Walk along this trail between two rows of these beautiful trees – particularly stunning in late spring when the apple blossom is out and between August-November when the fruit crop is ripening. There is a mix of dessert and cooking apples and we keep a spreadsheet of yields for each variety. In 2014 we recorded very good yields from: Irish peach; eight square / kill apple; Cavan newington; Ecklinville seedling; scarlet crofton; golden spire; Mrs Perry’s self rooter and Cavan wine. The yield is different each year.