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Marc Ó Riain


Dr. Marc Ó Riain


President Emeritus of the Institute of Designers in Ireland,

Former Director, Irish Design 2015

Editor, Iterations Journal and Practice Review

Correspondant, Passive House Plus Magasine

Director of Design Enterprise Skillsnet

Fellow of the Institute of Designers in Ireland

Registered Designer in Ireland. 




  • PhD, Department of Architecture, University College Cork, 2017
  • MSc Department of Architecture, University College Cork, since 2013 (by transfer)
  • Passive House Designer 2012
  • Bachelor of Design,  University of Limerick & National College of Art and Design, 1994.


Born in Waterford, Marc graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 1994.  Since then he has worked in Ireland's leading practices. He is considered one of Irelands leading Interior Architects having won both Irish Design Grand Prix and World Interiors Award with practice teams. Marc has a PhD in Net Zero Energy building Retrofit. 



  • International A' Design Award 2014 Platinum 
  • International World Architecture Festival (Inside) Highly Commended
  • International Architizer Award Finalist
  • International SBID Award Finalist
  • International Core 77 First runner up Award
  •  IDI Grand Prix and IFI World Interiors Award. 
  • 2012 IDI Sustainability Award Winner-Zero2020 
  • 2012 IDI Interior Architecture Award  High Comm. Zero2020 
  • 2009 IDI Sustainability Award -High Comm. Cork City Partnership Offices 
  • 2009 IDI Accessibility Award -High Comm.Cork City Partnership Offices 
  • 2007 IFI World Interior Design Award -Winner-The Cliffs of Moher 
  • 2007 IDI Grand Prix in Design Award -Winner 
  • 2007 IDI Commercial Interior Architecture Award -Winner-Maternity Hospital 
  • 2007 IDI Exhibition Design Award -Winner-Cork University Maternity Hospital 
  • 2007 IDI Office Design Award -High Commendation-Ernst & Young, Cork 
  • 2005 RIAI Award-Cork University Maternity Hospital
  • 2006 RIAI Southern Area Exhibition-St. John’s Central College. 
  • 2006 RIAI Southern Area Award -Cork University Maternity Hospital 
  • 2005 IDI Interior Design Award -Prayer Room, 
  • 2005 RIAI Southern Area Exhibition Award -Cork Mansion House  Practice
  • 2009 Director RUA Architects
  • 2008 Associate Director, Henry J Lyons Architects
  • 2003 Associate, O’Riordan Staehli Architects
  • 1995 Interior Designer, Access Building Design  


Cost-optimal passive versus active nZEB. How costoptimal calculations for retrofit may change nZEB best practice in Ireland.

Marc Ó'Riain & Jim Harrison, Architectural Science Review, 2016.


Zero 2020, the Low Energy Retrofit and Renovation of a Precast Concrete Building in Ireland Exploring site nZEB Energy Retrofit in Precast Grid Optimized Low Rise ‘60s Buildings.

Marc O Riain, Jim Harrison, Kevin McCarthney, Journal of Engineering and Architecture, 2015.


The forces that shaped the Irish Regional Technical College buildings

Marc O Riain, Iterations Journal and Practice Review, 2015.

Conference Proceedings

Zero2020, the low energy retrofit and renovation of a precast concrete building Exploring site nZEB energy retrofit in Precast grid optimized low rise ‘60s buildings.

O Riain,Singapore March 2014.


P.O’Sullivan, F. Delaney, M. O’Riain, T. Clancy, J. O’Connell and D. Fallon

‘Zero2020-A Low energy Commercial Retrofit’, O Riain, Delaney, O’Sullivan, Clancy.
Better Building Conference, Dublin. April 2013

‘Zero2020-A Low energy Commercial Retrofit’, O Riain, Delaney, O’Sullivan,
“Energy Efficient Retrofit of Buildings” Conference, Dublin. March 2013
‘The Impact of product use within the context of low energy use buildings’,  AIARG, O’Riain, O Driscoll,
De Eyto 2013  

‘Practice what you preach’, O Riain, Delaney, O’Sullivan, 
See the light Conference, 2012 

‘Towards An Integrated Framework for Achieving Net Zero Energy for  Commercial Buildings ’
Hyde, Rajapaksha, O Riain, Silva ASA2012: The 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (formerly ANZAScA) - Building on Knowledge: Theory and Practice. 14th - 16th November 2012





  • President Elect Institute of Designers in Ireland 2015
  • Regional Coordinator for Irish Design 2015
  • Board Member of Year of Design 2015
  • Board Member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland 2012-13
  • Chairman of Design Week Cork 2005-2009
  • President of NCAD Students Union 1993-4