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!

Radon in groundwater

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Aine Mc Elhinney discovers that the threat radon poses to private water supply needs addressing to help prevent lung cancer deaths

Nervous Energy

Will Ireland miss existing house energy rating deadline?
Fears are growing amongst energy rating trainers that Ireland is running out of time to ensure building energy ratings are in place for existing homes at point of sale or rental from January. Jeff Colley spoke to SEI and to leading figures involved in energy rating training to find out more and shed some light on how homes will be assessed.

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.

Air-tight case

How & why to achieve excellence in air-tightness
Air-tightness is a key factor in any low energy build, but is often overlooked in comparison to energy sources and insulation. Lenny Antonelli examines how air-tightness is achieved in buildings, from design stage down to the final sealing

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.

From recession to renewables

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The notion that curbing CO2 emissions would damage economic growth has been used as an excuse from developed countries such as the USA not to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, as Richard Douthwaite reveals, the people of Austrian town Güssing are discovering firsthand that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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.

Energy Labels

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As Construct Ireland goes to press, the construction industry awaits Ministers Dick Roche and Noel Dempsey to sign off the long overdue timetable for implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, a piece of legislation set to make energy performance a key factor in property sales. But can Ireland train up enough auditors to label buildings by January 2006?

Lime hemp

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Lime-hemp is developing as a bio composite construction material with serious ecological and energy advantages. Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design at DIT Bolton St. asks if this is the environmental material of the future and explores its mainstreaming potential.

Rosslare passive scheme

Rosslare passive house scheme
A new development at Grange Lough, Rosslare, reveals that passive houses can be made Irish – both in terms of what they’re built with, and how they look.