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!

Passivhaus or passive solar house?

Passivhaus Or Passive Solar House
Few concepts in sustainable design have caught on like the passive house. Since the construction of the first passive house in Germany in 1990, an estimated 15 to 20,000 houses have been built to what is arguably the world’s leading low energy building standard. Drawing from his experience in sustainable building since the early 1980s, Bill Quigley of NuTech Renewables posits an alternative approach.

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

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.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

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As the January 2006 deadline for implementation of the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings draws ever nearer, the Irish Government has spelt out its plans to delay the across the board introduction of building energy ratings until 2009. But how does this compare to other EU Member States?

Hollow victory

Hollow Victory
Much of the housing built around Dublin over the last forty years has been built of single-leaf nine-inch hollow block construction – which are both notoriously energy inefficient and extremely difficult to insulate effectively without causing damp problems. Lenny Antonelli visited a hollow block house which has been ecologically renovated to protect occupant health whilst shooting to the top of the energy rating scale.

Renewed efforts

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In the future, the high cost and scarcity of fossil energy may force a shift towards retaining and modernising old buildings, thereby avoiding the use of huge amounts of energy to manufacture building materials. John Hearne visited the Belvedere Orphanage, a group of 19th century dwellings whose low energy refurbishment may offer a template for development in the future, by using wood pellet district heating and a host of energy saving measures whilst nonetheless paying great attention to preserving the buildings’ heritage value.

Venting opinions

Why ventilation requirements of buildings regulations must be overhauled
Whilst great strides are being made in upgrading energy performance requirements under Part L of the Building Regulations, the issue of ventilation has remained largely ignored by legislators for years, leaving designers with antiquated standards to work to. At its worst, efforts to air-tighten and increase the insulation of homes is being undermined by the absurd practice of knocking holes in walls. John Hearne looks into what changes need to be made to modernise Part F.

Greening public procurement

Greening public procurement
Ireland has been waiting for a green procurement plan in the public sector for two years. Jason Walsh looks at what the plan should include and why it is needed, now more than ever, and with sustainable building at its core.

Sustainable Housing

Can sustainability and social housing be married in one development? Construct Ireland investigates a ground breaking social housing project in West Cork.

State of the Art

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Inside the Lewis Glucksman Eco Gallery, with John Burgess of Arup Consulting