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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Move comes as failure to tackle carbon emissions sharply criticised
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.
The Environmental and Sustainable Construction Association (Éasca) is merging with the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB), the two organisations have announced.
A major new £36m secondary school in Sutton, designed by passive architecture specialists Architype, has successfully received planning permission.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New solar PV capacity grew by 50% last year, with China accounting
for almost half of the global expansion, according to the
International Energy Agency’s latest renewables market analysis
Specialist low energy building product manufacturers Quinn Building Products have been announced as the main sponsors of the World nZEB Forum, which combines pre-forum workshops on 15 November and a conference on 16 November.
Smet Building Products, which supplies a wide range of products for low energy and fabric-first construction, picked up the award for best small business at the Greater Newry Business Awards, organised by Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade, on 28 September at the town’s Canal Hotel.
London encouraged to adopt its own building energy standard.
The private speculative sector can’t build affordable housing, but there are other ways of achieving this, writes architect Mel Reynolds.
Architecture practice vHH has announce that it is planning to adopt the passive house standard on a three-storey extension to the Grade 11 listed Leicester Cathedral, which is due to start on site in July 2019.
Ireland’s new build housing market is undergoing a radical transformation in energy performance specifications, analysis by Passive House Plus has revealed — with oil heating all but vanishing from use, leaving gas boilers and heat pumps to dominate the heating market.
With Ireland’s housing crisis continuing to escalate, government policies may be further exacerbating the problem, argues Mel Reynolds.
In the current policy vacuum, many questions have been raised about the future of sustainable construction. Despite this uncertainty, there is a steady growth of interest in the AECB Silver Standard, writes architect Mark Siddall.