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!

Papered Over

Richard Douthwaite reveals that oil and gas peak are barely mentioned in the Government's recent energy Green Paper.
Richard Douthwaite reveals that oil and gas peak are barely mentioned in the Government's recent energy Green Paper.

Ghost estates

Ghost Estates
Due to the ill-considered productivity of the house building industry towards the tail end of the economic boom, Ireland is now saddled with hundreds of thousands of vacant homes in various states of completion. Structural engineer Sadhbh Ní Hógáin, currently writing her thesis for a masters architectural degree in advanced environmental and energy studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology, looks at the options Ireland has to address the problem.

Zero carbon

Insulation-wrapped concrete home heads for zero carbon
Energy efficiency is about more than just U-values – the building envelope must be airtight and virtually cold bridge free. Construct Ireland visited a single-leaf concrete house nearing completion in Moate which combines an excellent envelope with wind, solar and a range of green measures, with the aim of reducing energy and carbon figures to zero in the home’s BER score.

Intl. green buildings II

International Green Buildings
In the second installment of a new feature on international green buildings, Lenny Antonelli takes a look at four innovative, sustainable and striking buildings from around the world.

Winning Combination

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A new development in the historic town of Thomastown, County Kilkenny brings the cutting edge of green innovation into a setting known for its medieval heritage. John Hearne visited the site, where a commitment to the environment is evident in sustainable design combined with everything from airtight detailing to technologies such as factory insulated timber frame, low energy windows, solar thermal, photovoltaic and heat recovery ventilation

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.

Carrigaline passive house

Carrigaline passive house
A striking new house in County Cork proves that meeting the passive house standard needn’t mean sacrificing good design

Cutting oil dependecy

Cutting oil dependency
Economic analysts are starting to warn of the threat rising oil prices pose to Ireland’s recovery prospects. Richard Douthwaite argues that energy efficiency and renewables investments must be central to government plans, and explains how more than 100% of the cost of energy investments may come back to the exchequer.

Out of the Woods

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Many of the opportunities that trees offer for sustainable building are harnessed by a housing development in Ballymahon, Co. Longford which combines timber frame construction with recycled newspaper insulation and wood pellet heating. Adding in solar panels and attention to detail for airtightness, these low energy, low carbon homes reveal a developer who sees a bright future in going green. John Hearne visited the site to find out more.

Passive attack

CARLOW HOUSES SHOW HOW TO BEAT THE PASSIVE STANDARD
Lenny Antonelli visits a new residential development in rural Carlow that boasts only the second and third certified passive houses in Ireland, and encouragingly, finds that meeting and exceeding the coveted passive standard wasn’t as difficult as expected.