Can year-round internal air quality be achieved without fans?

At first glance, designing out electrical fans from ventilation strategies may appear attractive, and even sustainable. Simon McGuinness offers some home truths. 

25-10-2016 Blogs

Let’s move beyond the sustainable city oxymoron

A truly sustainable built environment hinges on a multiplicity of factors, not least including the context within which a building sits. Dr Peter Rickaby argues that a focus on cities may lead us in the wrong direction. 

25-10-2016 Blogs

New research reveals high failure rate for ventilation systems

New evidence indicates that decentralised MEV systems – an increasingly popular option, now questions are being raised over the standard “background-plus-intermittent extract” ventilation strategy – can also fail to provide adequate indoor air quality, and may even perform worse than the standard approach in new build homes. 

24-10-2016 Ventilation

Ecological announces new retrofit training programme

Ecological Building Systems has updated its Irish training programme for the autumn and winter season. Along with its award winning airtightness installer training, the company will launch a new course titled Low Energy Retrofits. To coincide with this Ecological will be also hold a Retrofit Insulation Masterclass on the 25 and 27 October.  

20-10-2016 Events

Kingspan’s Stormont solar array meets unique challenges

Home of the Northern Ireland parliament in Belfast, Stormont has recently undergone a major refurbishment, including a completely new plumbing and heating system that provides catering and washing facilities on a daily basis for over 1000 people. The building itself has changed little over the years (it was opened in 1932) and therefore presented an interesting design and installation challenge. 

19-10-2016 Large Buildings

Irish cellulose manufacturer Ecocel wins Green Apple award

Cork based cellulose insulation manufacturer Ecocel has won a bronze Green Apple award, the prestigious international award for the built environment and architectural heritage. The award was presented to Ecocel’s managing director John Egan at a ceremony on 8 August in London.  

18-10-2016 Product News

Aereco launches quality standard for its ventilation systems

Ventilation system manufacturer Aereco has announced the launch of its new Aereco Quality Standard.

17-10-2016 Product News

Prevent overheating with D&M solar shades

Leading passive house design and product supplier Young Design Build has announced that it has become the Irish and UK agent for D&M solar shading, the leading German manufacturer of external shutter technology and blind solutions. Stephen Young of Young Design Build told Passive House Plus that D&M’s systems are designed to prevent overheating in buildings with large expanses of glass. 

28-09-2016 Product News

Energy efficiency described as “first fuel” at Ecological masterclass

Energy efficiency is the “first fuel”, meaning fabric-first approaches to reducing energy use in the building stock are essential, a leading Irish academic and sustainable architect has claimed. 

27-09-2016 Renewable Energy

Choose a one-stop M&E company to guarantee quality — Energywise

Cork-based renewable heating, ventilation and electrical specialists Energywise Ireland has advised anyone undertaking a low energy build or upgrade project of the value of choosing a single M&E design, supply, installation and commissioning company to ensure smooth integration of all building services. 

26-09-2016 Design Approaches

Two new low energy schemes built with Amvic ICF

Amvic Ireland, the Kildare-based manufacturer of insulated concrete formwork (ICF) systems for low energy and airtight buildings, is currently on site with two new ICF developments in the west of Ireland. 

23-09-2016 Design Approaches

Origen launches new Robur gas-fired heat pump for homes

Leading renewables supplier Origen Energy has launched the Robur K18 domestic gasfired heat pump to the Irish market. Robur’s gas-fired heat pumps also picked up the award for Best Energy Efficient Product at this year’s SEAI Energy Show awards.  

22-09-2016 Product News

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From the magazine

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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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? 


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. 


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.


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. 


Compact solid-timber passive house on London infill site

Built from a simple palette of timber and concrete, this diminutive but architecturally unique home managed to meet the passive house standard despite a small and awkward site.  

New build

North Dublin sheltered housing provides passive care

As people get older, their thermal energy need increases: elderly people tend to spend more time at home, and to feel the cold more. As one new sheltered housing scheme demonstrates, passive houses may be the answer. 

New build

Passive ‘barn’ house makes an elegant addition to the Connemara Coast

This new home in Galway is inspired by local buildings but doesn’t look like anything else in the area, and delivers passive performance along with panoramic sea views.

New build

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. 


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? 


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? 


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.


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. 




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