Higher costs, less benefits - Why the enhanced social housing leasing model is a bad deal

Higher costs, less benefits - Why the enhanced social housing leasing model is a bad deal

The outgoing Fine Gael government devised an off balance sheet scheme to deliver social housing, but will it deliver value for money? Mel Reynolds crunches the numbers and finds the scheme may almost double the cost compared to a direct build – with no asset left once the lease ends.

Blogs

Strong and stable - East Sussex home with a striking farmyard inspired design

Strong and stable - East Sussex home with a striking farmyard inspired design

While this striking new larch-clad home in rural East Sussex ultimately received the backing of the local planners, there was just one catch: it had to meet the passive house standard before its owners could move in.

New build

News

SuperHomes Ireland seeks deep retrofit grant applicants

SuperHomes Ireland seeks deep retrofit grant applicants

Applications are now open for 2020 for SuperHomes, the ‘one-stop shop’ scheme for home retrofit projects.

Projects

Minister: NZEB co-benefits go far beyond climate action

Minister: NZEB co-benefits go far beyond climate action

The health, comfort and monetary benefits of building to the nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standard offers an opportunity to help convince Irish people of the benefits of climate action, housing minister Eoghan Murphy has said.

NZEBs

Sola open new NZEB showroom

Sola open new NZEB showroom

Leading Tipperary-based low energy retrofit contract Sola Energy Solutions have opened a new NZEB showroom designed to showcase the full suite of low energy retrofit & new build options offered by the company.

NZEBs

Xtratherm launch new Part L NZEB briefing note

Xtratherm launch new Part L NZEB briefing note

Xtratherm has launched a new technical briefing note designed to clearly explain how to comply with the latest version of Part L of the building regulations for dwellings.

NZEBs

Ireland’s emissions continue to exceed carbon budget — EPA

Ireland’s emissions continue to exceed carbon budget — EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency's latest figures show that Ireland exceeded its carbon emissions budget in 2018 for the third year running.

General

AIB launches new ‘green mortgage’ for low energy homes

AIB launches new ‘green mortgage’ for low energy homes

The market for ‘green mortgages’ continues to grow with the announcement by AIB that it is introducing lower interest financing for energy efficient properties.

General

SuperHomes Ireland seeks deep retrofit grant applicants

SuperHomes Ireland seeks deep retrofit grant applicants

Applications are now open for 2020 for SuperHomes, the ‘one-stop shop’ scheme for home retrofit projects in Ireland.

Projects

New digital construction platform launches

New digital construction platform launches

BIMcert’s innovative training platform for the construction industry is now open. The new platform is live with temporary free training for all.

Events

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Blogs

Is it too late for sustainability?

Is it too late for sustainability?

Despite the urgency with which radical action is required to transform our built environment, Dr Peter Rickaby says he has never been more optimistic about the possibility of change.

Blogs

The schism in solar energy

The schism in solar energy

In his latest column on the evolution of solar energy, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at how the design approaches of architects and engineers diverged in the middle of the century.

Blogs

Is the O’Devaney Gardens deal social vandalism?

Is the O’Devaney Gardens deal social vandalism?

The redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin City has grabbed headlines. Commentary has focused on the low levels of social housing proposed, high prices for private homes, and developer profit. But what is the cost to the state, asks Mel Reynolds, and is this sustainable?

Blogs

Managing moisture: why we must learn the four Cs

Managing moisture: why we must learn the four Cs

Moisture problems are the Achilles heel of many new builds and retrofits, explains Dr Peter Rickaby – problems that can be exacerbated with poorly-conceived energy efficiency efforts, and which may become more prevalent due to climate breakdown.

Blogs

Reflections on sustainable Nordic architecture

Reflections on sustainable Nordic architecture

It’s no coincidence that Nordic countries are some of the most advanced in the world when it comes to low energy design. In this article, three assistant professors of architecture based in Denmark and Finland discuss areas where we can learn from our Nordic neighbours — and where we might return the favour.

Blogs

Rebuilding Ireland mishap significantly inflating HAP figures

Rebuilding Ireland mishap significantly inflating HAP figures

Mark Twain popularised the saying “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”. Mel Reynolds explains why Department of Housing statistics on HAP may be grossly inflating the state’s impact on tackling the housing crisis.

Blogs

Editor's letter: Issue 30

Editor's letter: Issue 30

Our editor Jeff Colley's editor's letter from issue 30 received some particularly lovely praise, with architect Steve Mardall reaching out to say: "Was moved to write to commend you on your editor’s letter in this issue 30. You’ve perfectly captured the essence of the totality of where we are as a planet and a race. And captured well that subtle consensus of denial and ‘othering’ it, that is a compelling force to fall in line with if one is not to be labelled as a righteous crank. Your words articulate some of my own not formally articulated thoughts, and offer me clarity...

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

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

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

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

Marketplace news

Passive Sills get BBA cert

Passive Sills get BBA cert

Passive Sills, the Cork-based manufacturer of insulated windowsills, has announced that it has achieved British Board of Agrément (BBA) certification.

18-12-2019 Marketplace

Heat pump upgrade warms Donegal B&B

Heat pump upgrade warms Donegal B&B

A family Bed & Breakfast in Glenties, Co Donegal built during the last boom has lowered its energy bills and improved comfort thanks to a suite of upgrade measures that included a new Daikin air source heat pump.

18-12-2019 Marketplace

Moisture monitoring key as energy standards rise

Moisture monitoring key as energy standards rise

Tramex, the Irish manufacturer of moisture meters for the building design and construction industries, has emphasised the critical importance of testing and monitoring moisture conditions within buildings as airtightness and insulation standards continue to increase.

12-12-2019 Marketplace

Blowerproof used to seal Sandycove passive house

Blowerproof used to seal Sandycove passive house

A new Dublin passive house is aiming to achieve the required standard of airtightness using using an innovative new application of Blowerproof liquid airtight membrane. Blowerproof liquid airtight membrane is a BBA certified product with Class C fire rating, which has been used widely on passive house projects across Europe for the last 10 years.

23-10-2019 Marketplace

A1 Dublin & Kildare homes move towards zero energy

A1 Dublin & Kildare homes move towards zero energy

Towards Zero Energy Ltd has just completed eight months monitoring of five dwellings in the Dublin region that it upgraded to A1 BERs last year under SEAI’s Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme. The dwellings were typical suburban 1950s to 1970s two-storey, semi-detached/terraced houses and all were three or four bedrooms in size.

14-10-2019 Marketplace

Ecological announce thermal modelling service

Ecological announce thermal modelling service

Ecological Building Systems have announced the addition of a new thermal modelling service to their existing array of technical services. Ecological technical team member Joe Fitzgerald recently successfully completed the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) approved thermal modellers examination in Dublin Technological University. Fitzgerald is now listed on the NSAI thermal modellers register.

25-09-2019 Marketplace

VentHeat launch compact heat pump & MVHR systems to Ireland

VentHeat launch compact heat pump & MVHR systems to Ireland

VentHeat, a new Irish company specialising in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for passive house and low energy buildings, has launched the Pichler PKOM4 compact heat pump system to the Irish market. The system combines heating, cooling, ventilation and domestic hot water in one passive house certified unit with a footprint of less than 0.75 m2.

25-09-2019 Marketplace

WWHR an easy & costeffective route to Part L compliance — Showersave

WWHR an easy & costeffective route to Part L compliance — Showersave

Antrim-based company Showersave say that the imminent inclusion of wastewater heat recovery in the new DEAP 4.2.0 software, set to be launched on 16 September, will provide developers, designers and builders with a simple and cost-effective new way to help ensure Part L compliance and achieve better building energy ratings.

25-09-2019 Marketplace

The PH+ guides

The PH+ guide to external insulation

The PH+ guide to external insulation

In the first in a new series of technical articles on some of the key technologies in sustainable building, John Hearne makes the case for wrapping buildings in an external insulation layer, and describes some of the main issues to watch out for.

07-02-2018 Guides

The PH+ guide to heat recovery ventilation

The PH+ guide to heat recovery ventilation

Heat recovery ventilation is an invaluable way to maintain indoor air quality in low energy buildings and minimise the loss of precious heat, but there are several issues to address to ensure optimal performance. Ventilation expert Ian Mawditt, a technical advisor on Part F of England’s building regulations, has decades of experience in field investigations of indoor air quality and ventilation effectiveness. His guide, which focuses on centralised or ducted whole house heat recovery systems, is essential reading to anyone considering such a system.

10-06-2019 Guides

The PH+ guide to air source heat pumps

The PH+ guide to air source heat pumps

As electricity supply from renewable sources continues to grow, and electricity grids gradually decarbonise as dirtier fossil fuels are phased out, heating homes with electrical technologies like heat pumps starts to make more sense. And in the mild, temperate climate of Britain and Ireland, air source heat pumps are particularly suitable — especially as new build standards of energy efficiency continue to tighten, meaning new homes need less and less energy to achieve comfortable indoor temperatures. But how do air source heat pumps work, what types are there, and how much do they cost to run? Our in-depth guide attempts...

08-05-2018 Guides

The PH+ guide to thermal breaks

The PH+ guide to thermal breaks

Building physics take no prisoners. Anyone designing, constructing or upgrading the thermal envelope of a building to modern energy performance levels is duty bound to understand and minimise thermal bridging, or suffer the consequences. One-man thermal bridging encyclopaedia Andrew Lundberg of Passivate, who teaches thermal bridging analysis at Dublin Institute of Technology, gives some practical advice on why and how to tackle thermal bridging head on, and describes some of the leading innovations in thermally broken components.

19-04-2018 Guides

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