Life in an air-heated passive house - Five years on

Homeowner Brendan Murphy started self-building his Cork passive house way back in 2010, long before the standard was trendy, and even chose to completely forgo a water-based heating system. So what did he learn from the experience — and how has the house been performing since?

New build

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.

Feature

Marketplace

VictorianSASH windows revitalise historic Portsmouth home

A Victorian terraced home in Portsmouth is the latest retrofit project to feature VictorianSASH triple glazed timber windows from Eksalta, which resemble traditional sash windows while delivering modern high-performance standards of insulation and airtightness.

30-01-2018 Product News

Viessmann boilers keeping visitors warm at revamped Postal Museum

Viessmann boilers have been specified for the revamped Postal Museum, which has recently opened its doors to visitors after a major £26m redevelopment supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

30-01-2018 Product News

Brady Energy Consultants now offering passive house guidance

Brady Energy Consultants, the leading Mayo-based providers of energy consulting services, have announced that senior energy consultant Cathal Brady has become a certified passive house consultant, and that the company will add thermal modelling to its range of services in 2018.

26-01-2018 Product News

Ecological announce ‘Ecobuild 2 nZEB’ course

Building on the success of its award-winning Passive EcoWall concept and range of low energy training courses, Ecological Building Systems has announced the launch of its new ‘Ecobuild 2 nZEB’ one day course. This workshop will provide step-by-step instructions on building a new home with ecological materials, and using passive house principles, to meet nearly zero energy building (nZEB) standards and ensure a healthy home for life.

26-01-2018 Product News

ECON Polyurethanes launch new, greener spray-foam insulation

ECON Polyurethanes have recently launched the new BASF Elastospray LWP (low warming potential) spray-foam insulation system to the UK and Irish markets. According to BASF, Elastospray LWP “combines maximum insulation performance with the best possible environmental protection”.

25-01-2018 Product News

Keystone launches advanced new Hi-therm+ lintel

Keystone has announced the launch of a new advanced version of its award winning Hi-therm lintel. Hi-therm has won multiple awards for innovation, and Keystone said that its design has now been upgraded to offer “even greater practicality to builders and to extend its benefits to a wider range of projects”.

25-01-2018 Product News

Passive House Systems gets first ever NSAI Agrement cert for solar PV

Leading Cork-based sustainable building product supplier Passive House Systems has just been awarded the first ever NSAI Agrément certificate for a solar PV system.

24-01-2018 Product News

Ancon to launch new products at Ecobuild 2018

Ancon will be launching its latest fixing innovations at Ecobuild between 6 and 8 March at the London ExCel centre, at stand number C62.

24-01-2018 Product News

News and blogs

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?

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

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’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%

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

Move comes as failure to tackle carbon emissions sharply criticised

Government

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solar PV fastest growing fuel in 2016

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 and forecast.

Renewable Energy

Quinn announced as sponsors of World nZEB Forum

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.

Events

Smet picks up small business award

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.

Events

England, Scotland & Wales will fail to meet ‘nZEB’

London encouraged to adopt its own building energy standard.

Blogs

How to make Irish housing genuinely affordable...

The private speculative sector can’t build affordable housing, but there are other ways of achieving this, writes architect Mel Reynolds.

Blogs

Leicester cathedral to get passive extension

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.

Conservation

New homes data reveals extent of Irish low energy revolution

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.

Renewable Energy

Government ‘Help to hoard' scheme - why we’re not building homes

With Ireland’s housing crisis continuing to escalate, government policies may be further exacerbating the problem, argues Mel Reynolds.

Blogs

What is the AECB Silver Standard?

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.

Blogs

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