Dept of Housing set to launch new Part L for non-domestic buildings

At the time of going to press, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government was set to imminently launch a public consultation on a major revision to Part L of the building regulations for buildings other than dwellings.

11-01-2017 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Who needs retrofit standards?

We all do, argues Dr Peter Rickaby, but the goal of mass retrofitting our energy inefficient building stock is hampered by the fact that when it comes to most retrofits, we simply don’t know what we’re trying to achieve.

19-12-2016 Blogs

Isover launches SpecHub, new online hub for technical construction info

Isover Ireland has announced the launch of SpecHub, an innovative new specification and project tracking service. This new service allows registered users access to a host of technical information including CAD and BIM files, access to Isover’s technical team, as well as direct information on Isover Academy training courses and CPDs. 

07-12-2016 Product News

Kingspan launches new lower lambda Kooltherm range

Kingspan Insulation has announced that it has “revolutionised” its rigid insulation technology with the introduction of new low lambda products for floor, wall and soffit applications — delivering premium thermal performance with a minimal construction thickness, with a lambda value of just 0.018 W/mK. 

22-11-2016 Product News

PHAI welcomes four new patron members

The Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) has announced that it has welcomed four new patron members to the group: the Passive House Academy, Cygnum Timber Frame, Medite SmartPly and J & N Windows Ltd.

22-11-2016 Events

Medite Smartply adopts innovative life cycle assessment technology

Coillte Group’s wood panel manufacturing subsidiary, Medite Smartly, has engaged EcoReview Ireland for the provision of an innovative life cycle assessment application.

22-11-2016 Product News

Dublin City Council scheme first in Ireland to get Home Performance Index label

A scheme of social housing in Dublin has become the first to achieve the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC)’s Home Performance Index (HPI) label. The block of apartments at Rathmines Crescent was built by Dublin City Council and designed by its own architects. The label allows housing providers and private developers to highlight the quality and sustainability of their homes to occupants, investors and home buyers. 

14-11-2016 Government

AECB launches advanced online retrofit training course

The AECB (Association for Environment Conscious Building) has invested over five years of extensive research to put together a unique online advanced retrofit training course, which brings together a wealth of knowledge on low energy retrofit and methodology.

14-11-2016 Events

MBC Timber Frame opens new Gloucester factory

MBC Timber Frame has announced the opening of its new manufacturing and design premises at Quedgeley Court, Gloucester. The company told Passive House Plus that it has the capacity to manufacture 50,000 to 60,000 square metres of passive housing per year at the new facility. 

08-11-2016 Product News

Researchers find toxic particles from air pollution in human brain

Leading construction testing and research organisation BSRIA has announced that it is concerned with recent findings that toxic nanoparticles from air pollution have been discovered in human brains in “abundant quantities”.

08-11-2016 Health

It’s in Ireland’s interest to tackle climate change — EPA director general

Ireland has particular vulnerabilities to climate change and has a very strong stake in ensuring that global action on reducing carbon emissions is effective, according to Laura Burke (pictured), director general of the EPA. 

07-11-2016 Climate Change

Integrated passive services installed at Shropshire naked house scheme

Prefab passive house specialists naked house Ltd recently completed the installation of a fully integrated passive house services system at their Marsh Road project in Shropshire. MVHR and solar thermal system are a standard part of the naked house system, with extra optional modules to enhance the building’s potential to save the occupants’ running costs. At Marsh Road, this included a log burner, thermal store and central logic control system. 

02-11-2016 Projects

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From the magazine

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.

Upgrade

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.

Upgrade

Yorkshire passive house pushes cavity wall boundaries

Green Building Store continues to fine tune passive house design and construction techniques with exacting attention to detail, as demonstrated by its latest superinsulated, stone-clad cavity wall house in West Yorkshire.

New build

UK's largest passive building opens to 2,400 students and staff

Completed early this year, the new Centre for Medicine at the University of Leicester is by far the largest single building in the UK to meet the passive house standard — and not surprisingly, its design and construction posed tough new challenges for how to meet the rigorous low energy standard on such a large, complicated building.

New build

Ground-breaking housing scheme captures one developer’s journey to passive

The just-finished second phase of Durkan Residential’s ambitious Silken Park scheme in south-west Dublin bridges the gap between two extremes: while phase one was built to the 2002 building regulations, phase three — which will break ground next year — will comprise 59 passive certified units.

New build

BREEAM excellent building marries sustainability with world-class design

Although Ireland’s energy efficiency requirements for non-residential buildings fall far short of EU requirements, occasionally a progressive client will take matters into their own hands and push the envelope of sustainable design, such as Gas Networks Ireland’s award-winning Finglas offices.

New build

International selection - issue 18

This issue features the world’s smallest certified passive house in France, and the first certified passive house on New Zealand’s South Island.

International

Our passive journey #3: Designing our family’s passive house

In the third instalment of Nessa Duggan’s column on designing and building a passive house for her young family, she describes the process of designing a house to suit the family’s lifestyle.

Feature

International selection - issue 17

This issue’s round up of the best passive house buildings from around the world features a striking timber frame home in Oregon, a public library in the north of Spain, and a tennis academy in Sweden. 

International

West Cork passive house raises design bar

The most celebrated architecture of the 20th century belongs firmly to the oil age, a heady mix of glass and steel and no need to have regard to comfort, given the availability of cheap fossil energy to fuel heating & cooling systems. But in the 21st century our buildings must adapt to and mitigate against climate change. That needn’t mean compromising on design, as one West Cork passive house shows 

New build

Stylish low energy house squeezed into South Dublin garden

Built in the back garden of two architects, this simple-but-elegant brick house in Blackrock faced the twin challenges of an extremely tight site and less-than-ideal orientation, but with rigorous attention to detail it came close to passive house levels - while delivering impressively low actual heating costs. 

New build

Chiswick Eco Lodge stitches into historic London street

For this exciting new dwelling in west London, architect Richard Dudzicki faced the challenge of designing a contemporary light-filled home while not offending the sensibilities of its Edwardian surroundings. He also had to meet the passive house standard, too. 

New build

Welsh school fuses passive & eco material innovation

This new award-winning two-building extension to a primary school in the south of Wales delivers healthy, ultra low energy school buildings – one of which is passive house certified – while pushing the boundaries of timber engineering. 

Upgrade

1950s Cork City house reborn as healthy low-energy home

The deep retrofit of this two-storey 1950s house in Cork City transformed a draughty, poorly-insulated dwelling into a comfortable, low-energy home for one family – coming close to the Enerphit standard in the process. 

Upgrade

Sensitive passive retrofit transforms Victorian North London home

Upgrading a historic home to the passive house standard typically means leaving the façade untouched to preserve the building’s historic appearance, but the team behind this fully passive retrofit in Kensal Green took a totally different approach. 

Upgrade

How Brussels went passive

Ten years ago Brussels had some of the most energy inefficient building stock in Europe — now it boasts a groundbreaking policy that means all new buildings in the region must be passive. How did the city do it? 

Insight

Why Dublin City’s passive house policy must be retained

The attempts to derail Dublin City Council’s proposed ‘passive house or equivalent’ planning requirement are bad news in the increasingly difficult fight to mitigate against and adapt to climate change – they risk being complicit in new buildings in the city breaching European law. 

Insight

Our passive journey #2

In her second column documenting her family’s self-build passive house project, Nessa Duggan details the process of choosing a build system and finding an architect.

Feature

Wicklow step-by-step retrofit reveals new way to go passive

This pioneering deep energy upgrade of a 1960s home in Wicklow will take place in phases over at least five years, with the aim of making it more affordable to go passive by renovating on a step-by-step basis. 

Upgrade