Field of dreams

Field of dreams

Designed in a traditional farmhouse cluster on a greenfield site amid the hedgerows of rural Cork, this new passive home by the River Sullane pays deep attention not only to energy efficiency but also to natural light, elegant design and preserving the ecology of its sensitive setting.

New build

Tanzanian children's eco village aims to inspire low carbon example

Tanzanian children's eco village aims to inspire low carbon example

In 2016, three British sustainable building experts were asked to design a new school, housing and other facilities for an eco village in Tanzania that caters to the country’s orphans. They aimed to take the principles of passive house design and apply them in a low-cost, lowtech manner to demonstrate that sustainable, comfortable and affordable buildings could be accessible to the people of rural Tanzania. This is the story of the project so far.

Feature

Marketplace news

State-of-the-art heating test lab opens at GMIT

State-of-the-art heating test lab opens at GMIT

An international standard ‘E-Thermal’ environmental test facility designed to assist Irish SMEs in developing new sustainable heating products has formally been opened at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.

08-07-2019 Marketplace

Wicklow firm makes big noise in soundproofing

Wicklow firm makes big noise in soundproofing

An innovative Wicklow company is embracing the circular economy by manufacturing soundproofing boards from recycled materials.

08-07-2019 Marketplace

Daikin heat pumps chosen for major Dublin scheme

Daikin heat pumps chosen for major Dublin scheme

A luxury new development in an exclusive Dublin location will achieve nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards with help from Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pumps and a highly energy efficient building fabric.

03-07-2019 Marketplace

Beam Vacuum & Ventilation awarded three new ISO certs

Beam Vacuum & Ventilation awarded three new ISO certs

Beam Vacuum & Ventilation has announced that they have successfully achieved certification against the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety), while also meeting the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) for contractors’ criteria.

03-07-2019 Marketplace

Sola Energy Solutions set for 50 deep retrofits this year

Sola Energy Solutions set for 50 deep retrofits this year

A 1960s cottage in Tipperary is one of the first projects to be deep retrofitted this year by Sola Energy Solutions under Tipperary Energy Agency’s popular SuperHomes scheme, which aims to make it easy for homeowners to undertake a deep energy upgrade by managing the entire retrofit process.

03-07-2019 Marketplace

Ecological brings Lime Green plasters to Ireland

Ecological brings Lime Green plasters to Ireland

Ecological Building Systems has announced a new partnership with Lime Green UK, the UK’s leading innovator in the field of lime-based plasters, renders and mortars.

03-07-2019 Marketplace

SMET screed boosts heating at Cork passive house

SMET screed boosts heating at Cork passive house

A liquid screed installed three years ago at a passive house in Cork City has been performing superbly, according to its architect, enabling the A1 rated home to be heated quickly and evenly via underfloor heating when required.

03-07-2019 Marketplace

ICF makes it easier to achieve NZEB – Amvic

ICF makes it easier to achieve NZEB – Amvic

The inherent properties of the Amvic ICF system make it easier for developers to meet energy efficiency, airtightness, noise and other regulations, according to the company’s Pat Martin.

03-07-2019 Marketplace

News and blogs

Mapping the efficiency of Europe’s buildings

Mapping the efficiency of Europe’s buildings

A new free-to-use online tool aims to map the energy performance of Europe’s buildings, with the goal of helping to stimulate large-scale deep retrofit, writes project manager Michael Hanratty.

Blogs

100 Irish households sought for indoor air quality study

100 Irish households sought for indoor air quality study

Researchers from the School of Physics at NUI Galway are seeking to recruit 100 households to measure indoor environmental air quality within Irish homes that have been built to be highly energy efficient, by deploying remote sensors within the homes.

Health

Marc O'Riain: The golden age of solar water heating

Marc O'Riain: The golden age of solar water heating

Renewable energy technologies are often regarded as new and innovative, but in some instances their roots predate the oil age and go back to the start of the industrial revolution. Dr Marc Ó’Riain finds important insights in past failures of early solar thermal systems.

Blogs

Housing ‘race to the bottom’ bad for climate & quality — energy expert

Housing ‘race to the bottom’ bad for climate & quality — energy expert

The pressure to build large volumes of additional housing in response to the housing crisis is driven by false logic and risks undermining both the quality of new homes and UK carbon targets, according to Richard Tibenham, lecturer in building physics at the University of Lincoln and director of Greenlite Energy Assessors.

Climate Change

Is procurement stifling natural building materials?

Is procurement stifling natural building materials?

Is the very nature of the way that construction products are bought and sold limiting the wider proliferation of natural and sustainable materials?

Blogs

Cuckoos & magpies: state house-buying hits record

Cuckoos & magpies: state house-buying hits record

Recent headlines suggest first time buyers are being pushed out of the housing market by ‘non-household’ buyers, so-called ‘cuckoo’ funds. Official figures suggest that private companies are not the only competition in the new homes market – there may be a ‘magpie’ out there also.

Blogs

Blind & shutter group calls for Part B changes

Blind & shutter group calls for Part B changes

The British Blind & Shutter Association (BBSA) has challenged what it described as the defacto banning of shading on tall glass buildings in Part B of the building regulations, and is seeking a judicial review on several points, principally that the regulation is misconceived as it focusses on combustibility rather than flammability

Government

Passive houses open to show summer performance

Passive houses open to show summer performance

From 28 – 30 June 2019, the mid-year International Passive House Open Days, organised by iPHA and its affiliates, will take place in the UK.

Events

Passive homes may have lower radon levels — study

Passive homes may have lower radon levels — study

Initial findings into radon levels in 75 certified passive house buildings in Ireland and the UK shows that there is a 60% reduction when compared against the Irish national average.

Health

Ireland's climate action plan: just business as usual?

Ireland's climate action plan: just business as usual?

The government's new climate action plan does not show the level of committment needed to really reduce Ireland's carbon emissions, says Irish Green Building Council CEO Pat Barry. 

Blogs

Bicester centre is UK’s first nondomestic passive house ‘plus’

Bicester centre is UK’s first nondomestic passive house ‘plus’

Creating 125 modern workspaces, a new £4m cornerstone development is the latest addition to North West Bicester’s pioneering.

Projects

The Jodrell Bank grand challenge

The Jodrell Bank grand challenge

During a speech last year Theresa May challenged the construction industry to halve the energy use of new buildings, and to halve the cost of retrofit. But we already know how to meet these challenges, writes Peter Rickaby, and much more difficult tasks lie ahead.

Blogs

Double talk: a brief history of insulated glazing

Double talk: a brief history of insulated glazing

In his latest column on the history of low energy building in the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain charts the surprisingly fascinating history of double glazing.

Blogs

New study to examine NZEB performance

New study to examine NZEB performance

A new research project at UCD will aim to uncover key early lessons from the design and operation of nearly zero energy buildings (NZEBs) in Ireland. The NZEB standard will become mandatory in Ireland for dwellings from November.

General

Stunning Cork passive house heads list of Isover award winners

Stunning Cork passive house heads list of Isover award winners

Simply Architecture, and their new build residential project ‘The Fairways’ in Cork, has been named the winner of the 2019 Overall ISOVER Award, as well as being named Designer of the Year 2019, at the third ISOVER Awards.

Events

'Achieving NZEB' event in Cork this Thursday

'Achieving NZEB' event in Cork this Thursday

Achieving NZEB, a one-day event that aims to make it easy for the building industry to understand how to achieve nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards, will take place this Thursday, 30 May in Youghal, County Cork.

Events

Phase one complete at UK’s largest passive scheme

Phase one complete at UK’s largest passive scheme

The first phase of Agar Grove, the UK’s largest passive house development, has now been completed for the London Borough of Camden. Hawkins\Brown acted as lead architect on the project, while Architype acted as passive house delivery architect for the first phase of the scheme, which provides 38 homes that are all socially rented to existing estate tenants.

Projects

New housing should be to passive house standard — Climate Change Committee

New housing should be to passive house standard — Climate Change Committee

The UK’s official climate change advisor has called on the government to tighten energy efficiency standards for new housing to bring them down, or close to, passive house standard.

Climate Change

Imperial War Museums archive breaks airtightness record

Imperial War Museums archive breaks airtightness record

A state-of-the-art archive building in Cambridgeshire, which has been built to house Imperial War Museums’ (IWM) rich paper collection, has registered the best airtightness test result ever recorded in the UK – and perhaps, the world.

Design Approaches

Isover launch 2019 Isover Awards

Isover launch 2019 Isover Awards

Isover has announced the launch of the 2019 Isover Awards. Following on from their previous incarnation, the Isover Energy Efficiency Awards, the new Isover Awards will be open to both contractors and architects/specification professionals, and seek to celebrate excellence in energy efficient building and design.

Events

Internet of Things dominates ISH 2019

Internet of Things dominates ISH 2019

Today is the last day of ISH, the bi-annual exhibition for the combined topic of water and energy, which is on at the exhibition grounds in Frankfurt. Titled as ISH, it is the world’s leading trade fair for a range of associated topics, materials and services.

Blogs

Snøhetta architect to speak at Green Room 2019

Snøhetta architect to speak at Green Room 2019

The Green Room, the Irish Green Building Council’s annual non-residential sustainable building gathering, takes place this year on 10 April in the Davenport Hotel, Dublin.

Events

Reaching for the first rung

Reaching for the first rung

Why is it so difficult to get on the property ladder now compared to 20 years ago? After all, interest rates are lower and house prices are still below where they were in 2007. Architect Mel Reynolds runs through the figures.

Blogs

New research raises spray foam health questions

New research raises spray foam health questions

New studies are seeking to answer questions about how spray foam insulation, and materials containing formaldehyde, affect indoor air quality —and some of the early results are worrying.

Blogs

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