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Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Felim, Cavan




Built in 1935-1945

 - 7 Bay nave (14m high)

 - 2 single storey side aisles (6.7m)

 - 2 bay transepts with single story side chapels

 - Dome at crossing over sanctuary

 - Sacristy to the West


 - Pedimented main portico to the East, with central door flanked by 2 side entrances

 - Advanced side entrace to side aisles and transepts

Cavan Parish Cathedral

Proposed scope of works

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 - Upgraded Heating System

 - Install roof insulation

 - Enhanced drought proofing/air tightness

 - Upgraded electrical system (including fire safety)

 - Upgrade of lighting

 - Ensure and improve accessibility

Principles of Heating a Church/Cathedral

- Ensuring the Cathedral is welcoming and usable

- Focus on people and their activities, it is people who feel comfort or discomfort.

- Heat the people, not the building.

- Space heating at 18C is considered comfortable, realistically unachievable and environmentally unsustainable

- Cathedral door are open 65hrs a week and occupied 22hrs a week.

- Not wasting energy (insulation)

- Draught proofing (accessibility)

- Historic fabric and materials not being harmed.

Cavan Cathedral Farnham St.
Upgraded Heating Syste
Cavan Cathedral Farnham St.

Area of Building versus Area occupied by people

- Total area of the building is 1945m²

- Total area of the main body; nave, aisles, transepts and sanctuary is 1465m²

- Total area of the seating for persons is 529m² (36%)

- Total volume of the main body is 16,000m³

- Total volume occupied by persons is 1,000m³ (6%)

Entrance = 153m²

Side Entrances = 2 x 15m²

Sacristy Area = 225m²

Santuary = 410m²

Cavan Cathedral Farnham St.

Heating Strategy

- Provide a base temperature of circa 12C for fabric protection

- Provide a comfortable environment for the people with temperatures at the lower levels at 18C

- Provide heat to the Altar area, where there are decretive floors and no adjacent walls

- Provide efficiency and cost effectiveness

This will be achieved by heating the people, not the building.

The building will be provided with:

 - Trench heating within the pew seating areas

 - Radiators below the windows and below the high walls to counteract downdraft

 - Radiant heaters to the altar area

The heart of the heating system, the boiler, will be upgraded to the current high efficiency boilers.


 - Perimeter Only

 - Primarily convective type radiators

 - Heat rises from the edges and does

  not heat the people in the centre

 - People at the edges will be heated

Cavan Cathedral Heating Strategy

Heat the People, Not the Building


 - Better distribution of heat at low level

 - Both pews and people will recieve the

  heat first

 - Result is a comfortable environment

   and drastically reduced drafts

Insulation of ceiling space

- Insulation above and between the existing ceiling joists.

- Requires a breathable product sensitive to the historic fabric of the building, with the ability to absorbed and release moisture without compromising the thermal performance.

- Proposed 200mm to maintain a more stable indoor temperature, carried out so as to not compromise the ventilation of the roof structure.

Cavan Parish Stained glass window
Roof Insulation
Cavan Cathedral Roofing

Draught Proofing 

 Draught proofing is one of the most cost effective and least intrusive ways of improving the comfort of occupants and reducing energy used for heating with little or no change to a building's appearance.

- Older buildings are prone to heat loss through cracks and gaps which develop as various building elements move and distort over a long period. This is often the case for windows and doors which can be a major source of heat loss.


-However, less than a quarter of the heat lost through a typical traditional window escapes by conduction through the glass, the rest is by draughts (air infiltration).

Draught Proofing
Cavan Parish Cathedral
Draught Proofing Aims

 - Installation of Draught Lobbies

 - Airtight detailing to the attic space

 - Glazing to the elevated balcony over the entrance porch

 - Door actuation of internal doors

Draught Lobbies

- Allow the front doors to remain open and create a sense of
  openness and welcome.

- Enhanced draught, wind and weather resistance

- Unimpeded view upon entering the Cathedral

- Minimal impact or disruption to the original architecture

- Glass doors to be fitted with ergonomically designed   push/pull handles and open smoothly on hydraulic floor
springs with a hold option function and adjustable closing

- Doors can be automated.

Cavan Parish Background Image

Draught Proofing

- Refurbishment of existing doors to enhance
draught proofing measures.

- Incorporation of push button door
automation for the elderly and the disabled.

Glazing to elevated balcony

- Refurbishment of existing doors to enhance
draught proofing measures.

- Incorporation of push button door
automation for the elderly and the disabled.

Cavan Cathedral Airtight Detailing
Airtight Detailing

 - Due to the decorative nature of the ceiling it is not possible to provide for an airtight barrier between the occupied volume below and the roof void

 - Significant compromises in the ceiling structure were identified as a part of a roof inspection, the airtightness of these penetrations will have to be addressed on a localized basis

Projector screen in a church

AV Projector Screen

- Design, install and commissioning AV Projector Screen

 Can be switched between clear and transluscent - leaving a clear view when the projector is not in use

- The projection screen is hung from main roof 

- 4mx2.6m screen with rear projecting system

- Typical installation cost per unit €7,000


- Development of a lighting scheme using modern LEDs and intelligent lighting controls to create the atmosphere and reverence deserving of this historic house of worship.

Flexible to fulfil a number of purposes: 

- to enable participants in the religious activity or ceremony to see what they are doing

- for the congregation to see what is happening around them and provide sufficient light suitable for reading

- to create a good visual environment

- create an atmosphere which is conducive to worship subtle emphasis of architectural features

- allow the clergy to pre-set specific lighting scenes for specific liturgical occasions

Cavan Cathedral Lighting
Cavan Parish Cathedral

LED Spot and Flood Lights

- LED spot and flood lights to provide a good low energy   solution with a very long life, reducing the need for   maintenance

- The concealment of the equipment has been made easier   by the introduction of very company narrow beam spotlights

Variety of beam angles provide for different purposes:

- Wide beams for washes over surfaces.

- Medium beams for lighting over seating areas.

- Narrow beams for picking out altars or features such as the   Stations of the Cross.

Cavan Parish Lighting Proposal
Lighting Proposal

 - LED upgrade of existing pendants for general lighting

 - LED spot lighting in circular ceiling efature to light the main body of the building

 - LED perimeter lighting to the circular ceiling feature to highlight the ceiling

 - LED wall mounted floodlights to highlight upper windows

 - LED wall mounted spot lighting to highlight the Stations of the Cross