Theory - content

Leaving Certificate Construction Studies explores the principles and practices of designing and constructing homes in the Irish context. The subject places a strong emphasis on international best practice in relation to the conservation of energy and the selection of sustainable materials when designing and building homes. Students learn about the context in which homes are built, the structure and fabric of buildings as well as the need to ensure homes are comfortable and energy efficient. A more detailed sense of the content can be gained by reading Construction Technology: Designing Sustainable Homes.

Topics include:

  • sustainability, energy and water resources
  • urban, rural and universal design
  • built heritage
  • health & safety in construction
  • construction materials
  • envelope design concepts
  • site assessment & foundations
  • floors, walls, roofs, windows & doors
  • energy standards
  • passive design
  • light, heat, electrical & sound energy
  • airtightness & ventilation
  • water supply & drainage



The theory paper (download here) is offered at ordinary and higher levels:

Higher level (300 marks):

There are eleven questions on the paper - candidates must answer question one and any four other questions. Looking at the papers from 2003 onwards, we see that:

  • Q.1. is a compulsory architectural drawing question
  • Q.5 has always been the ‘U-values/ heat & thermal insulation’ question
  • Q.7 is the second architectural drawing question
  • Q.10 is actually two questions - the candidate can decide which to attempt.


Ordinary level (200 marks):

There are nine questions on the paper - candidates must answer question one and any three other questions.