Energywise Ireland open new renewables showroom

Leading renewable energy experts Energywise Ireland have opened their brand new showroom in Blackpool, Cork City.

05-09-2017 Product News

What is the AECB Silver Standard?

In the current policy vacuum, many questions have been raised about the future of sustainable construction. Despite this uncertainty, there is a steady growth of interest in the AECB Silver Standard, writes architect Mark Siddall.

24-08-2017 Blogs

Save money & energy with smart product choices — Quinn

Quinn Building Products says that a study undertaken by the company’s technical team demonstrates how the developer of a typical A3 rated, semi-detached house can make substantial savings using Quinn products.

22-08-2017 Product News

EVs can be used to power buildings, study finds

Stored energy from electric vehicles (EVs) can be used to power large buildings – creating new possibilities for the future of smart, renewable energy — ground-breaking battery research at the University of Warwick has shown.

21-08-2017 Product News

Irish study group visits Germany on energy efficiency tour

The German-Irish Chamber of Commerce hosted a study group to Germany last month to examine the energy efficiency of buildings there.

13-07-2017 Events

Ecological take double honours at SEAI Energy Show

Ecological Building Systems’ Diasen Diathonite Evolution cork lime thermal plaster was awarded with the best energy efficient product prize at this year’s SEAI Energy Show, held in Dublin on 5 and 6 April.

04-07-2017 Events

Ireland’s first nZEB training centre set for Wexford

A delegation of world leaders in sustainable building and energy visited Wexford early on 10 May to discuss plans to locate Ireland’s first nearly zero energy building (nZEB) training centre near Enniscorthy.

04-07-2017 Events

Kiss House launches “cutting edge” turnkey passive houses

Three leading firms operating in the sustainable building and passive house sectors have joined forces to launch Kiss House, a new concept in architect-designed, turnkey housing. Kiss House is available in two-bed, three-bed and four-bed options, all built to the passive house standard.

28-06-2017 Projects

Blowerproof airtight liquid membrane gets BBA certified

Blowerproof liquid air-tight membrane has been certified by the British Board of Agrément. Blowerproof has been used widely across Europe for many years as a proven and effective method of achieving high levels of airtightness in many different buildings, and on a wide range of substrates.

28-06-2017 Product News

Angela Merkel opens €50m Viessmann innovation centre

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the Viessmann Group’s new technological research and development centre in Allendorf, Germany on 12 April. The €50 million investment by Viessmann, one of the leading international manufacturers of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems, sets a milestone in interdisciplinary development and innovation, the company said.

20-06-2017 Product News

An avoidable tragedy: questions for the public inquiry on Grenfell Tower

On 13 June, in an address about retrofit policy to the joint conference of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, I suggested that the UK retrofit industry is dangerously incompetent, and that is why we need to implement the Each Home Counts industry review. Little did I know that in less than twenty-four hours those words would come back to haunt me in the most horrific way, writes Dr Peter Rickaby.

19-06-2017 Large Buildings

Change habits to tackle climate change, passive house conference hears

Changing habits was a big theme at the 21st International Passive House Conference, which was held in Vienna on 28 and 29 April, with leading climate researcher Helga Kromp-Kolb telling delegates that adopting new habits and sharing resources fairly were both crucial to tackling climate change.

18-06-2017 Events

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From the magazine

The house that costs €70 a year to heat

Designed around an existing timber chalet, this striking contemporary house managed to go passive on a budget for one lucky family of six, all while inadvertently blitzing Ireland’s forthcoming nearly zero energy building standard.

Upgrade

389 sqm home, €200 measured annual heating

This large family home in south Dublin proves that big homes don’t need to be cold and draughty, comfortably beating Ireland’s planned nearly zero energy building standard for 2021 — even though it was finished in 2015.

New build

Grenfell Tower - How did it happen?

Investigations may eventually confirm the specifics of how the fire at the West London tower block spread so catastrophically on the night of 14 June, but the government and construction industry faces much deeper questions about whether a culture of deregulation, cost-cutting and buck-passing turned what should have been a small, inconsequential fire into a national tragedy.

Dispatches

Active learning at Aberdeen passive nursery

A brand new passive-certified nursery at the University of Aberdeen provides the children of staff and students with a bright, warm and healthy space for learning and playing.

New build

A green builder's dream green home

This is what you get when one of Ireland’s most experienced low energy builders creates a home for his own family, with help from one of the country’s foremost ecological architects — a modern and elegant passive house that pays detailed attention to sustainability at every turn.

New build

Ireland’s largest passive house scheme shows way to nZEB

At a time when the industry’s under increasing pressure to deliver cost-effective, robust, low energy homes at breakneck speed, one new west Dublin project is leading the way – while picking off sustainability targets for fun.

New build

Out of control? Are building control systems properly equipped to deliver safe, healthy and well-constructed buildings?

After a litany of dangerous and high profile building failures in Ireland, many in the country’s building industry looked longingly across the Irish Sea and held up the UK as an example of how to do building control properly. But following a series of embarrassing defects with UK construction projects, it’s clear the British system is far from perfect. So is either of these building control systems properly equipped to deliver safe, healthy and well-constructed buildings?

Dispatches

How to prepare to deliver nearly zero energy buildings

In the second instalment of this column, architect and DIT lecturer Simon McGuinness outlines the key priorities for the industry to learn in order to deliver successful ultra low energy buildings in 2017 and beyond.

Help desk

Together in Electric Dreams

The gradual decarbonisation of our electricity grids — as renewable energy is phased in, while coal and peat are phased out — coupled with the proliferation of new buildings with very limited heat demand, has some experts asking if heating our homes and offices directly with electricity is starting to make sense again. So is it time to bring back the dreaded storage heater?

Insight

Brecon Beacons stone cottage gets Enerphit treatment

When it came to upgrading an old stone-walled building to the Enerphit standard — with all the inherent challenges such an upgrade poses for energy, airtightness and moisture — who better to have as your client and defacto site manager than a professor of physics?

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18th century ruin becomes stylish low-energy home

Homeowners Anne and Patrick Jordan’s ambitious upgrade and extension project in County Kildare took the shell of an 18th century farmhouse and transformed it into an elegant family home with a striking-yet-sensitive modern extension — all while embracing a healthy and fabric-first approach to retrofit combined with clever heating system design that has brought them from a G to an A3 rating.

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DIY Cork builder hits passive & NZEB with first self-build

Despite having no construction experience, self-builder Eamonn Fleming decided he could build a new family home more cheaply — and with better attention to detail — if he did it himself. And even though he didn’t set out to build a passive house, he managed to meet the standard while doing almost all of the work in conjunction with his father, while exceeding the targets of Ireland’s nearly zero energy building definition.

New build

Norfolk straw-bale cottage aims for passive

Passive house design is often seen as belonging to the world of hi-tech construction — perhaps unfairly, seeing as it emphasises a good building fabric over bolt-on technologies. Straw-bale construction, meanwhile, is usually regarded as the preserve of only the most committed, do-it-yourself eco-builders. To some these two approaches appear to be chalk and cheese, but in fact they are inherently compatible, and more and more projects are now combining the maths-centred approach of passive house with the extensive use of natural materials. In the first of a series of case studies on passive straw-bale dwellings, Lenny Antonelli spoke to...

New build

Simple and stunning Highlands passive house merges old and new

While embracing traditional farmstead design made it trickier for this new build home in the Scottish Highlands to meet the coveted passive house standard, mixing modern standards of super-insulation with vernacular farmhouse architecture ultimately led to the creation of a very special home for proprietors Jeanette and Jon Fenwick — one that picked up a coveted UK Passivhaus Award in 2016.

New build

International selection - issue 19

This issue feature a passive house cabin in the Rocky Mountains, and a jaw-dropping new passive house in Majorca.

International

New build homes face emerging ventilation crisis

Despite increasing standards of insulation and airtightness, housing developers face few requirements to provide better ventilation and indoor air quality for new home buyers — beyond knocking extra holes in walls. But as reports of condensation and mould affecting new housing developments continue to surface in both the UK and Ireland, and research indicates many new homes may have poor indoor air quality, are developers finally waking up to the need for properly engineered ventilation systems?

Dispatches

How to prevent condensation & mould

In this first instalment of his brand new ‘Help Desk’ feature, architect and passive house designer Simon McGuinness of Dublin Institute of Technology invites questions on all aspects of passive house, retrofit and low energy building.

Help desk

SuperHomes scheme: a blueprint for cost-effective deep retrofit?

For a while now, schemes that aim to encourage the mass uptake of home energy upgrades — essential for cutting carbon emissions from our building stock — have tended to fall into two camps: those that focus on shallow measures like cavity wall insulation and new boilers, and deep retrofit like the Passive House Institute’s Enerphit standard. A new Irish retrofit scheme aims to point the way forward by bridging the gap between these two extremes.

Insight

Solihull upgrade trials revolutionary retrofit approach

An exciting and innovative new deep retrofit project in Solihull has drastically cut the energy consumption of a small block of flats by smoothly and efficiently wrapping the entire structure in both insulation and ventilation ducting, delivering huge energy savings and minimal disturbance to the residents.

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Deep retrofit transforms big, complex South Dublin home

At first glance, this sprawling house in Blackrock would appear to be a nightmare candidate for a deep energy upgrade — large and sprawling, and with a mix of structures built at different times and with different materials. But guided by the passive house standard, the team behind it managed to turn a G-rated energy guzzler into a healthy and very-low energy family home – complete with an A rating.

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