Flaw in NSAI retrofit code raises ventilation concerns

The National Standards Authority of Ireland has appeared to acknowledge a major discrepancy spotted by Passive House Plus in SR 54, its code of practice for the retrofit of homes, that could give rise to inadequate ventilation and poor indoor air quality in some dwellings upgraded to the code.

24-03-2017 Ventilation

Stunning & airtight Forest of Dean home features vast Internorm glazed wall

A unique new home in the Forest of Dean, designed by Loyn & Co Architects and nominated for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize, features the second largest expanse of Internorm’s HS330 large scale glazing system used to date in Europe.

08-02-2017 Projects

Consider decentralised MVHR for passive retrofits & small dwellings — Sustainable Homes Scotland

Leading low energy ventilation supplier Sustainable Homes Scotland has advised anyone carrying out a deep retrofit — or building a small low energy dwelling — to consider the benefits of a new generation of decentralised mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems.

08-02-2017 Ventilation

Meeting passive standard with cavity walls at Valentine’s Day event

Green Building Store is running a training day on 14 February for building professionals, which will offer a practical and technical guide to the cavity wall passive house construction techniques the company has used on its UK projects.

08-02-2017 Events

Airflow adds VAV control to its commercial MVHR range

Leading ventilation manufacturer Airflow Developments has added variable air volume (VAV) dampers to its Duplexvent range of commercial mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) units. The VAV systems constantly monitor the air volume supplied and share this information with the ventilation unit. As such, the systems ensure optimum air quality and comfort by allowing the ventilation to respond effectively to the demands of each area of the building.

08-02-2017 Product News

Partel launches real-time U-value measurement kit

Passive house & low energy building product specialist Partel has announced that it is now offering real-time, physical U-value measurement with the company’s agency for the greenTEG U-value Kit.

01-02-2017 Product News

Indoor air concerns about government’s healthy upgrade scheme

Questions have been raised about ventilation standards under the government’s new Warmth & Wellbeing scheme, which provides free energy efficiency upgrades to people over the age of 55 living in Dublin 12 and 24, who experience energy poverty and are also suffering from respiratory conditions.

26-01-2017 Government

UN advocates passive house in latest carbon emissions report

Report author Prof Diana Ürge-Vorsatz praises “fantastic” Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown passive house policy

25-01-2017 Climate Change

2016 UK Passivhaus Conference gets into detail on delivery

2016’s UK Passivhaus Conference, which took place in London in October, was the biggest yet, with 300 delegates and another 100 visitors to the expo that ran in parallel. Also in attendance were students from half a dozen architecture schools, some of whom had risen before dawn for the chance to attend.

25-01-2017 Events

Cygnum Timber Frame picks up five awards in one week

Leading timber frame manufacturer Cygnum picked up five awards during one week in October, in recognition of some of the high profile passive-certified projects it has completed in recent years.

19-01-2017 Events

Manchester house achieves top class airtightness with Kingspan TEK

A stylish new home in South Manchester has achieved exceptional levels of airtightness through a combination of careful detailing and a high performance structure, provided by the Kingspan TEK building system.

17-01-2017 Projects

It pays to invest in healthy, green offices — WorldGBC

Employers, building owners, designers and developers throughout the world are showing that it pays to invest in greener offices that keep their occupants healthy and happy, a new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) reveals.

13-01-2017 Large Buildings

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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