Passive house taking off in the South Pacific, conference hears

Passive house indeed works everywhere was the core message at the second annual South Pacific Passive House Conference, writes Andrew Michler. The conference was held in Melbourne on 12-13 February. While just a handful of passive houses have been completed in Australia so far, a sizable contingent from New Zealand came to the conference armed with multiple examples of how even warm climate buildings benefit from the energy savings, comfort and critically the health of a passive house. With a major spike in asthma from damp and mouldy homes, the principles such as airtightness, controlled air exchange, and thermal bridge...

21-07-2016 Events

Urban Front integrates passive pet flap in Oxford passive house

Buckinghamshire-based passive house door manufacturer Urban Front can now integrate airtight, insulated, thermally broken Petwalk pet flaps into their door systems, as one of the company’s latest door projects shows. 

18-07-2016 Product News

Government, industry and NGOs meet to develop Irish retrofit strategy

A cross sectoral group of organisations from government, local authorities, industry and charities met on 25 May to develop an ambitious strategy to improve the quality of the Irish existing housing stock 

13-07-2016 Government

Xtratherm launch thermal bridging solutions for passive masonry construction

As part of the CavityTherm built-in full fill insulation system, Xtratherm have developed CavityTherm Flex, a continuous wall insulation system delivering “ultimate thermal performance” with the addition of a flexible 25mm fibre to accept uneven surfaces 

06-07-2016 Product News

Lunos low energy ventilation units pick up awards

Innovative ventilation supplier Lunos has picked up awards for its decentralised heat recovery ventilation and demand-controlled ventilation systems. 

04-07-2016 Product News

Cellulose insulation improves airtightness by 30% — PYC Systems

In October 2015, PYC Systems carried out the first of several air tests at the Hilltop project in Richard’s Castle on the Hertfordshire— Shropshire border, Architype’s first small scale residential passive house project. The first blower door test result was 0.59 air changes per hour (ACH), prior to insulating the envelope, which everyone was keen to improve on as it only marginally passed the passive house standard and was prior to fitting services, which are known to increase the risk of air leaks. 

02-07-2016 Product News

UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings launched at UCL

An initiative aiming to increase knowledge and understanding of the issues moisture can cause in buildings old and new, was launched in London on 26 May. The UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB), backed by University College London and other academic institutions plus the BRE, plans an ambitious programme of research, public engagement, policy work and training to improve moisture safety.

02-07-2016 Health

Solar Electric Ireland wins ‘Product of the Show’ at Energy Awards

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) annual two-day business-to-business event, the Energy Show 2016, was a huge success with visitors up a quarter on last year. 

02-07-2016 Product News

Daikin hosts social housing sustainable heating forum

On 20 April the Irish arm of the world’s largest heat pump manufacturer, Daikin, hosted a social housing forum at the Mullingar Park Hotel in Westmeath. Attendees primarily included architects, consultants, and representatives of housing bodies and local authority housing departments from all over the country. 

01-07-2016 Events

New online green building video platform launches

Green Building TV, a new community platform that uses video to communicate ideas, products and services between buyers and sellers — all relating to the sustainable construction sector — is set to go live in mid June. 

01-07-2016 Renewable Energy

Ancon adds new wall tie to Teplo low energy range

Fixing specialist Ancon has launched a brand new ultra-low thermal conductivity wall tie 

01-07-2016 Product News

Dublin City Council officials defy councillors on passive house vote

Unelected officials in Dublin City Council have rejected the decision by city councillors to make the passive house standard or equivalent energy performance standards a mandatory planning condition for all new buildings in the city. The council also included a statement to protect the route of the controversial Eastern Bypass, in spite of councillors voting against it. 

21-06-2016 Planning

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From the magazine

How to stimulate deep retrofit

There was a time when governments thought that simply offering grants for cavity wall insulation and heating system upgrades would be enough to stimulate mass upgrade of our building stock. But ‘shallow’ measures such as these may not be sufficient to drastically cut carbon emissions and make a real difference to occupant comfort and health, and convincing homeowners to upgrade their homes to a much higher standard will require a clever mix of psychology and smart financing 

Insight

Delivering passive house at scale

Dublin is on the verge of taking a giant leap forward for construction, with two major authorities in the region set to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings. Can Ireland’s mainstream building sector rise to this challenge, and what can it learn from experience of big passive house projects across the water in the UK? 

Insight

Low energy Waterford retrofit with a classic look & feel

Builder Conor Walsh undertook an ambitious partial rebuild, partial retrofit to this 1960s bungalow, delivering deep energy savings and turning it into a modern family home 

Upgrade

Bristol deep retrofit proves worth with monitoring

This unique energy retrofit in Bristol walked a fine line between ambition and pragmatism to deliver a healthy, comfortable and ultra-low energy home 

Upgrade

Farmhouse-inspired home goes passive on a shoestring

This remarkably low cost build in rural Co Meath adds to the evidence that it’s possible to meet the passive house standard on a tight budget – with a number of additional green technologies thrown in for good measure 

New build

Cork City passive house with world beating airtightness

This stylish new passive house in Cork City managed to achieve one of the best airtightness results Passive House Plus has ever witnessed using an innovative new Irish-manufactured airtight timber board

New build

Isle of Wight development goes passive against the odds

This new development of 28 units brings affordable passive housing to the Isle of Wight, bolstering the island’s bold eco ambitions while embracing a traditional seaside aesthetic.

New build

Stunning Somerset passive house embraces wood and light

This inspiring rural passive house, designed by architect Graham Bizley and his wife Emily, is first and foremost a striking piece of contemporary architecture that enhances its scenic location 

New build

International selection - issue 14

This issue’s collection of inspiring international passive houses includes a striking Black Forest family home, the world’s fi rst ‘passive house premium’ building, a deeply ecological Canadian house, and a New York tower that’s set to be the world’s tallest passive house.

International

PHPP 9 & designPH

The latest versions of PHPP and designPH are intended to make passive house design both easier and more accurate than ever before — and to plan for a future powered by renewable energy. Jan Steiger of the Passive House Institute explains the latest features of both software packages.

Insight

Energiesprong

The Energiesprong initiative is planning to deliver drastic energy upgrades to over 100,000 homes in the Netherlands using a wildly ambitious approach to retrofitting the country’s building stock. Now the organisation has moved to the UK, where it is hoping to undertake its first projects next year.

Insight

Overheating - a growing threat that mustn't be ignored

As the climates gets warmer, overheating in buildings is likely to get worse — particularly given the modern architectural preference for huge expanses of unshaded glass. But what really causes overheating, is it really worse in low energy buildings, how do passive houses fare, and what can be done to prevent it?

Insight

Material impacts

For decades now, European countries have been regulating the amount of energy new buildings can consume for heating and electricity. But as these standards get ever tighter, is time to start controlling the embodied energy and wider environmental impact of building materials — and what’s the best way to do it?

Insight

The UK's greenest ever retrofit - 6 years on

This pioneering upgrade project, completed in 2009, turned a Victorian redbrick in Birmingham into one of the UK’s greenest homes. Along with a much wider ecological agenda, the house employed fabric first principlesof insulation and airtightness, and met passive house design targets at a time when the standard was still in its infancy in the UK.

Upgrade

Cork bungalow upgrade phased over 12 years

It’s taken Mick Kiernan more than 10 years to upgrade his Cork bungalow, and it’s still not finished. But along the way he discovered the passive house standard and let its principles guide his way towards a warm, airtight and healthy home. 

Upgrade

East London passive school promotes active learning

The head teachers of an East London school put their interest in sustainable building into practice by adding a new passive house extension — and the results already seem to be paying off for pupils.Words: Ekaterina Tikhoniouk

New build

Devon one off pushes limits of passive

Huge expanses of unshaded glass are usually a taboo for passive house designers, but with his clients insistent on maximising their wide-angle coastal panorama, this project’s architect found clever ways to integrate the passive house approach with wrapping the house’s ground floor in glass.

New build

New coastal ICF home goes passive at low costs

This house on the coast of County Waterford is built from an insulated concrete formwork shell that delivers an inherently warm and airtight construction, and easily exceeds passive house targets.

New build

Longford self-build goes certified passive on a budget

Three years ago quantity surveyor Ross Cremin set out from scratch with the goal of self-building a passive house on a site in rural County Longford. Here he tells the story of his project and offers advice for others thinking of building their own passive house.

New build

International selection - issue 13

This issue’s selection includes a Chinese apartment block, Finnish social housing, an ambitious New York retrofit, and a German passive house district

International

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