From the Construct Ireland archives


Welcome to the archive of Construct Ireland, the award-winning Irish green building magazine which spawned Passive House Plus. The feature articles in these archives span from 2003 to 2011, including case studies on hundreds of Irish sustainable buildings and dozens of investigative pieces on everything from green design and building methods, to the economic arguments for low energy construction. While these articles appeared in an Irish publication, the vast majority of the content is relevant to our new audience in the UK and further afield. That said, readers from some regions should take care when reading some of the design advice - lots of south facing glazing in New Zealand may not be the wisest choice, for instance. Dip in, and enjoy!

Safe as Houses

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Conventional wisdom dictates that higher construction costs — for instance to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions — would either squeeze developers’ profit margins or increase house prices. Tom Dunne, Head of DIT’s School of Real Estate and Construction Economics, reveals how misguided this view could be...

Acquired taste

Acquired-Taste
The Department of Agriculture’s new Food Safety Centre is a deceptively simple building that combines natural ventilation and lighting with energy efficiency - all on a designed natural landscape that seeks to both boost biodiversity and prevent flooding. Lenny Antonelli visited the County Kildare site to find out more

A2 rated Rathgar scheme goes high end but low energy

Achieving building regulations compliance and a good energy rating is one thing. Delivering a genuinely low energy building is quite another. A new scheme by one of Ireland’s most decorated developers may help show the market a way forward.

Passive Potential

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The Passive House standard, an internationally renowned approach to building that negates the need for conventional heating, has attracted considerable interest in Ireland recently as energy prices continue to rise. Vivienne Brophy, Dr Irena Kondratenko, Patxi Hernandez and Kevin Burke of UCD’s Energy Research Group look at the effect this approach could have on cutting Ireland’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Murky Water

Waste Water
One thing householders don't want to fail is their wastewater treatment system – the pollution, the health hazard, the cost and not least the embarrassment factor are all potentially serious. And yet, one wastewater treatment system provider says that such failures are very likely. As Jason Walsh asks, is he right?

Bio Logic

Protecting occupant health with building biology
Stricter air-tightness standards might be helping to reduce energy use in new build, but is it leading to higher indoor concentrations of chemical and biological toxins? Lenny Antonelli investigates an emerging approach to building that is combining attention to environmental impact with consideration for the potential health effects of modern building materials and practices.

A Breath of Fresh Air

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Prestige commercial buildings can place a heavy toll on the environment, typically relying in Ireland on carbon intensive grid electricity to power air conditioning systems throughout the warmer parts of the year and inefficient electric lighting – often all year around. Completed in November 2004, software company SAP’s Galway offices offer a rare opportunity to find out how a natural ventilated and low energy lighting building is working in practice, as John Hearne reveals.

International selection

International Selection
Solearth partner & Éasca board member Mike Haslam profiles five inspiring English and US projects that share a similarly considered green design approach.

Climate control

Why Copenhagen talks are unlikely to prevent climate change crisis
As fears grow amongst climate scientists that the world may be close to reaching a tipping point leading to runaway global warming, there’s a growing recognition that the forthcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen must deliver dramatic and binding targets to cut carbon. According to Richard Douthwaite, the talks are unlikely to deliver sufficiently meaningful action.

Lost property

Lost property
Richard Douthwaite proposes a new bank-free, debt-free way of financing property purchase and development to get the market working again and clear up the mess left by the bubble.