From derelict shop to tiny low energy home

From derelict shop to tiny low energy home

In 2014, one couple decided to give up life in a van and convert an old newsagents in Shrewsbury into a very small low energy home, using the principles of the passive house standard as their guide. So how did it work out, and what is life really like in such a small home?

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The prebiotic passive house

The prebiotic passive house

As understanding grows of the importance to human health of good bacteria in our environment, and new hospitals in the US start to undergo ‘prebiotic’ treatment, Dr Peter Rickaby asks how long it will be before microbiology becomes a core part of building design.

Blogs

Marketplace

Quality EWI installation crucial for success of deep retrofit — MBC Project

Quality EWI installation crucial for success of deep retrofit — MBC Project

MBC Project has warned that poor quality installation risks undermining confidence in the growing external wall insulation (EWI) industry — seen as crucial for bringing Ireland’s housing stock up to modern standards of energy efficiency. Dublinbased MBC Project supplies KABE Therm external insulation systems, which include EPS and mineral wool boards.

30-04-2018 Product News

G-rated Meath bungalow aims for A rating — without renewables

G-rated Meath bungalow aims for A rating — without renewables

Energy consultant Cillian Donoghue of BERCerts.ie is currently undertaking a retrofit project that will transform a neglected G-rated bungalow in Co Meath into an A-rated dwelling, using a fabric-first approach and without the use of renewable energy.

30-04-2018 Product News

Daikin pick up five honours at the iF Design Awards

Daikin pick up five honours at the iF Design Awards

This year’s prestigious iF Design Awards saw Daikin Europe’s design skills recognised as the company scooped five awards for their residential heat pump and commercial control solutions at a ceremony in Munich on 9 March.

30-04-2018 Product News

Quinn Building Products launches free CPD on single leaf masonry

Quinn Building Products launches free CPD on single leaf masonry

Quinn Building Products has announced a new free CPD (continuous professional development) offering for those in Irish construction, entitled ‘Single Leaf Masonry - A Modern Method of Construction?’ A series of open house regional seminars are scheduled throughout Ireland, and available to book via the Quinn Building Products website.

30-04-2018 Product News

Brink launches new MVHR unit with range of features

Brink launches new MVHR unit with range of features

Leading mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) manufacturer Brink Climate Systems has launched a new high efficiency MVHR unit, the Flair 325. According to the Dutch company, the new range comes with some exciting new technologies to boost efficiency, ensure correct ventilation rates and enable easy operation.

23-04-2018 Product News

Ecocem rebrand with new logo and slogan

Ecocem rebrand with new logo and slogan

Ecocem, Europe’s largest independent specialist producer of key low carbon building material GGBS (ground granulated blast-furnace slag) cement, has announced a re-brand with the launch of a new logo and tagline.

23-04-2018 Product News

Ecological launch range of new airtightness products

Ecological launch range of new airtightness products

Ecological Building Systems have announced the launch of the new pro clima products Tescon Sprimer, Aerosana Viscon and Roflex Solido to the Irish and UK Markets. These new airtightness solutions “expand pro clima’s market leading range of high quality sealing systems for inside and out”.

20-04-2018 Product News

Fresh-r wins passive house component award

Fresh-r wins passive house component award

The Dutch company Fresh-r has won the passive house components award at the 22nd annual Passive House Exhibition in Munich, for its decentralised residential ventilation system. Fresh-r worked together with the Scottish firm Collective Architecture on its submission for the award, which was presented at this year’s international Passive House Conference.

20-04-2018 Product News

News and blogs

Dublin to host conference on rapid-build nZEB construction

Dublin to host conference on rapid-build nZEB construction

A new one-day conference set to be held in Dublin next month will look at the twin challenges of solving Ireland's housing crisis with rapid-build construction, while at the same time meeting new standards for nearly zero energy buildings (nZEBs).

Events

1948: The Dover Sun House

1948: The Dover Sun House

In his second column on visionary eco-buildings of the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at the Dover Sun House, which used a pioneering salt solution to capture and store solar energy

Blogs

Is building life cycle assessment about to become easy?

Is building life cycle assessment about to become easy?

Establishing a building’s overall sustainability ultimately means quantifying the impacts of the materials used to construct it. Up till now, that’s been a laborious, time-consuming process. That might be about to change, explains Irish Green Building Council CEO Pat Barry.

Blogs

Planning granted for major passive scheme in South Wales

Planning granted for major passive scheme in South Wales

An innovative scheme to develop the site of the former Caerphilly Magistrates Court in South Wales into 38 new social homes built to passive house standard has been granted planning permission by Caerphilly Council.

Projects

Green finance must be longterm & sustainable — Ecology

Green finance must be longterm & sustainable — Ecology

Leading green lender Ecology Building Society has welcomed the publication of the Green Finance Taskforce’s report to the UK government on boosting green finance, but warned that any measures to stimulate green lending must be long-term and sustainable.

Government

Concerns raised about ventilation in proposed Part F & L change

Concerns raised about ventilation in proposed Part F & L change

Concerns have been raised that proposed changes to Irish building regulations — designed to bring Ireland in line with EU requirements that new homes be ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ (nZEBs) from the end of 2020 — could encourage sub-standard approaches to ventilation and airtightness.

Government

Green Room 2018 to focus on nZEB and corporate sustainability on 2 May

Green Room 2018 to focus on nZEB and corporate sustainability on 2 May

The Irish Green Building Council's annual Green Room event takes place this year on 2 May in the Alex Hotel, Dublin, and this year’s conference focuses on the imminent arrival of nearly zero energy building standards, and on the role of 'corporate action in our transition to a low carbon built environment’.

Events

Disastrous Preston retrofit scheme remains unresolved

Disastrous Preston retrofit scheme remains unresolved

A disastrous failed external insulation contract run under a government energy saving scheme has affected up to 390 homes in Preston with water penetration, mould and damp.

Health

Why housing isn't viable

Why housing isn't viable

It is simply not possible for developers to build housing in cities like Dublin and sell it for a reasonable price without making a loss, writes architect Mel Reynolds — instead, we need meaningful affordable housing schemes.

Blogs

A brave new world: Oil and architecture

A brave new world: Oil and architecture

Innovations in low energy building were spurred in the 20th century by oil crises, but the political impetus for meaningful change receded once the crises ended, explains Dr Marc Ó Riain, bringing an attendant failure to set meaningful building regulations.

Blogs

Policy for zero, or zero policy?

Policy for zero, or zero policy?

The penny is starting to drop that profound energy saving efforts in buildings – right up to zero emissions levels – are both necessary and urgent if the UK is to honour its climate change targets. So what’s holding up meaningful action, asks Peter Rickaby?

Blogs

Chair of post-Grenfell fire review “shocked” by construction culture

Chair of post-Grenfell fire review “shocked” by construction culture

The engineer tasked by the UK Government with examining building fire safety regulation in England following the Grenfell fire has said she is shocked by construction practices. The industry urgently needs to change its culture, and “clearly identifiable” individuals must take responsibility for what is built, she concludes.

Government

Northern Ireland to get world's first educational ‘passive house premium’ building

Northern Ireland to get world's first educational ‘passive house premium’ building

Northern Ireland’s South West College has announced that its new Erne Campus in Enniskillen will include the first educational building in the world built to the new passive house premium standard. The campus will be constructed on the site of the former Erne Hospital.

Projects

Going A1-rated & certified passive lifts build costs by 0.1%

Going A1-rated & certified passive lifts build costs by 0.1%

The extra cost of building to certified passive house levels – while also scoring an A1 BER – is as low as 0.1%, research at Ulster University has shown.

Design Approaches

Government announces suite of retrofit grants

Government announces suite of retrofit grants

Move comes as failure to tackle carbon emissions sharply criticised

Government

Healthy building focused event comes to London on Valentine’s Day

Healthy building focused event comes to London on Valentine’s Day

Buildings can be conceived and delivered in new ways that enhance the mental and physical health of occupants. That’s the message the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) will be sharing with delegates at the ASBP’s Healthy Buildings Conference and Expo 2018 on 14 February.

Events

UK & Irish green building associations set to merge

UK & Irish green building associations set to merge

The Environmental and Sustainable Construction Association (Éasca) is merging with the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB), the two organisations have announced.

Events

New passive secondary school in Sutton gets green light

New passive secondary school in Sutton gets green light

A major new £36m secondary school in Sutton, designed by passive architecture specialists Architype, has successfully received planning permission.

Projects

Smart buildings & cities the focus of Light + Building 2018

Smart buildings & cities the focus of Light + Building 2018

Light + Building, the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology, takes place this year from 18 to 23 March in the Messe Frankfurt exhibition centre, Germany. More than 2,600 will present their latest innovations at the fair, and over 200,000 visitors are expected to attend — with almost half expected to come from outside Germany.

Events

Analysis: 12,000+ homes built in 2017 – as energy standards marginally fall

Analysis: 12,000+ homes built in 2017 – as energy standards marginally fall

In excess of 12,000 homes may have been built in Ireland last year, new analysis by Passive House Plus has revealed – with a marginal decline in energy performance evident as housing activity increases.

Government

Why construction contracts must change in light of Grenfell

Why construction contracts must change in light of Grenfell

Design-and-build contracts have become increasingly common in construction, a trend that must be reversed in light of the Grenfell Tower fire if we are to deliver safe and high quality buildings, says quantity surveyor Michael McCarthy.

Blogs

Secrecy of fire tests undermines public safety, Grenfell Enquiry hears

Secrecy of fire tests undermines public safety, Grenfell Enquiry hears

The commercial secrecy surrounding the fire-testing of construction materials undermines fire protection by potentially obscuring serious concerns, a major alliance of fire bodies has told the public enquiry into the Grenfell disaster.

Government

Garway community centre set to meet passive house standard

Garway community centre set to meet passive house standard

The rural Herefordshire village of Garway is busy planning for a sustainable future with construction of a new community centre to the passive house standard.

Projects

UN deputy leader addresses North American passive house conference

UN deputy leader addresses North American passive house conference

The North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) welcomed representatives of the United Nations to address the opening plenary gathering of the NAPHN17 conference in Oakland, California, on 6 October.

Events

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