Passive house taking off in the South Pacific, conference hears

Passive house indeed works everywhere was the core message at the second annual South Pacific Passive House Conference, writes Andrew Michler. The conference was held in Melbourne on 12-13 February. While just a handful of passive houses have been completed in Australia so far, a sizable contingent from New Zealand came to the conference armed with multiple examples of how even warm climate buildings benefit from the energy savings, comfort and critically the health of a passive house. With a major spike in asthma from damp and mouldy homes, the principles such as airtightness, controlled air exchange, and thermal bridge...

21-07-2016 Events

Urban Front integrates passive pet flap in Oxford passive house

Buckinghamshire-based passive house door manufacturer Urban Front can now integrate airtight, insulated, thermally broken Petwalk pet flaps into their door systems, as one of the company’s latest door projects shows. 

18-07-2016 Product News

Architype progress 80 unit passive house project in Hertfordshire

Outline planning permission for an extra care residential scheme has been granted in rural Herefordshire, following submission of a highly sustainable passive house design by Architype architects to provide up to 80 highend apartments in Whitestone. 

14-07-2016 Projects

Government, industry and NGOs meet to develop Irish retrofit strategy

A cross sectoral group of organisations from government, local authorities, industry and charities met on 25 May to develop an ambitious strategy to improve the quality of the Irish existing housing stock 

13-07-2016 Government

SEAI announces 250,000 euro grants for large energy upgrades

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has launched the EXEED (Excellence in Energy Efficient Design) certified programme, a new management framework which complements the Irish Energy Efficient Design Standard IS399. Up to €250,000 per applicant has been made available in 2016 for businesses or organisations undertaking a building retrofit, facility or process upgrade which follows the EXEED principles to maximise energy efficiency. 

08-07-2016 Government

Xtratherm launch thermal bridging solutions for passive masonry construction

As part of the CavityTherm built-in full fill insulation system, Xtratherm have developed CavityTherm Flex, a continuous wall insulation system delivering “ultimate thermal performance” with the addition of a flexible 25mm fibre to accept uneven surfaces 

06-07-2016 Product News

Lunos low energy ventilation units pick up awards

Innovative ventilation supplier Lunos has picked up awards for its decentralised heat recovery ventilation and demand-controlled ventilation systems. 

04-07-2016 Product News

2016 Passivhaus Awards features best in British passive design

The shortlist of projects for this year’s 2016 UK Passivhaus Awards has been announced. There are just two categories this year, urban and rural, with Rehau being the main sponsor. 

03-07-2016 Events

Cellulose insulation improves airtightness by 30% — PYC Systems

In October 2015, PYC Systems carried out the first of several air tests at the Hilltop project in Richard’s Castle on the Hertfordshire— Shropshire border, Architype’s first small scale residential passive house project. The first blower door test result was 0.59 air changes per hour (ACH), prior to insulating the envelope, which everyone was keen to improve on as it only marginally passed the passive house standard and was prior to fitting services, which are known to increase the risk of air leaks. 

02-07-2016 Product News

UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings launched at UCL

An initiative aiming to increase knowledge and understanding of the issues moisture can cause in buildings old and new, was launched in London on 26 May. The UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB), backed by University College London and other academic institutions plus the BRE, plans an ambitious programme of research, public engagement, policy work and training to improve moisture safety.

02-07-2016 Health

Solar Electric Ireland wins ‘Product of the Show’ at Energy Awards

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) annual two-day business-to-business event, the Energy Show 2016, was a huge success with visitors up a quarter on last year. 

02-07-2016 Product News

Daikin hosts social housing sustainable heating forum

On 20 April the Irish arm of the world’s largest heat pump manufacturer, Daikin, hosted a social housing forum at the Mullingar Park Hotel in Westmeath. Attendees primarily included architects, consultants, and representatives of housing bodies and local authority housing departments from all over the country. 

01-07-2016 Events

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From the magazine

One family's passive journey

One young Irish family has taken the decision to build their new home in Co Louth to the passive house standard. In the first of a series of columns, Nessa Duggan explains the thinking behind the decision to go passive. 

Feature

Affordable scheme keeps up Hastoe passive momentum

The latest in a long line of affordable passive house schemes from trailblazing housing association Hastoe, this new development at Outwell, Norfolk features 15 brand new passive homes. 

New build

Passive house or equivalent - The meaning behind a ground-breaking policy

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s passive house policy also leaves the door open for alternative approaches, provided their equivalence can be demonstrated. But what does this mean? 

Insight

District heating and passive house - are they compatible?

Thanks to fabric-first energy performance approaches such as passive house, heating demand is collapsing. So how does district heating stack up in buildings which need such little heat? 

Insight

1960s ‘icebox’ transformed into warm and bright eco home

A deep retrofit of this 1960s block-built home turned it into a modern ultra low-energy home that emphasises wood, light and natural materials.

Upgrade

Fermanagh schoolhouse reborn as passive family home

The abandoned husk of a 1960s school building sounds a very long way from a comfortable, ultra low energy family home. Thanks to a remarkable upgrade effort – influenced by reading Passive House Plus – one Fermanagh family are reaping the rewards of one such transformation. 

Upgrade

Hastoe Scheme adds to passive affordable housing trend

With a number of trailblazing housing associations and councils building social and affordable housing schemes repeatedly to passive standards, the notion that the world’s leading low energy building standard is the preserve of the well-off doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, as Hastoe’s latest Essex passive house scheme demonstrates. 

New build

Simple-yet-stylish West Berkshire passive house that bore a business

This new timber frame home in the south of England met the passive house standard despite a less-than-optimum orientation, launched a brand new design-and-build venture between its architect and project manager, and embraced a subtle-yet-elegant design that maintains a simple passive house form while drawing inspiration from the local vernacular. 

New build

Kildare passive house uses unique oak frame construction

This brand new light-filled passive house set in the countryside of north Kildare was inspired by local farm buildings, and features a striking and exposed oak-framed structure.

New build

Affordable passive scheme that beggars belief

It may sound too good to be true, but a new scheme of semi-Ds in Co Wexford proves that passive houses can be remarkably affordable to buy – and that’s with net zero heating and hot water costs, and the soundproofing levels of a cinema.  

New build

International selection - issue 15

The Living Building Challenge is arguably the world’s toughest environmental building certification program. In order to achieve the award, buildings must meet rigorous standards in seven different performance categories, also known as ‘petals’: place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity and beauty. Our selection includes three American buildings that have been certified to one of these standards. 

International

How to stimulate deep retrofit

There was a time when governments thought that simply offering grants for cavity wall insulation and heating system upgrades would be enough to stimulate mass upgrade of our building stock. But ‘shallow’ measures such as these may not be sufficient to drastically cut carbon emissions and make a real difference to occupant comfort and health, and convincing homeowners to upgrade their homes to a much higher standard will require a clever mix of psychology and smart financing 

Insight

Delivering passive house at scale

Dublin is on the verge of taking a giant leap forward for construction, with two major authorities in the region set to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings. Can Ireland’s mainstream building sector rise to this challenge, and what can it learn from experience of big passive house projects across the water in the UK? 

Insight

Low energy Waterford retrofit with a classic look & feel

Builder Conor Walsh undertook an ambitious partial rebuild, partial retrofit to this 1960s bungalow, delivering deep energy savings and turning it into a modern family home 

Upgrade

Bristol deep retrofit proves worth with monitoring

This unique energy retrofit in Bristol walked a fine line between ambition and pragmatism to deliver a healthy, comfortable and ultra-low energy home 

Upgrade

Farmhouse-inspired home goes passive on a shoestring

This remarkably low cost build in rural Co Meath adds to the evidence that it’s possible to meet the passive house standard on a tight budget – with a number of additional green technologies thrown in for good measure 

New build

Cork City passive house with world beating airtightness

This stylish new passive house in Cork City managed to achieve one of the best airtightness results Passive House Plus has ever witnessed using an innovative new Irish-manufactured airtight timber board

New build

Isle of Wight development goes passive against the odds

This new development of 28 units brings affordable passive housing to the Isle of Wight, bolstering the island’s bold eco ambitions while embracing a traditional seaside aesthetic.

New build

Stunning Somerset passive house embraces wood and light

This inspiring rural passive house, designed by architect Graham Bizley and his wife Emily, is first and foremost a striking piece of contemporary architecture that enhances its scenic location 

New build

International selection - issue 14

This issue’s collection of inspiring international passive houses includes a striking Black Forest family home, the world’s first ‘passive house premium’ building, a deeply ecological Canadian house, and a New York tower that’s set to be the world’s tallest passive house.

International

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