Design Approaches

Dream factory

Dream Factory
The rapid emergence of sustainable building in Ireland has been heavily influenced by the techniques of early-adopters extending from Scandinavia, to Canada, to Germany and Austria. John Hearne visited a recently completed timber home in Galway which uses Austrian know-how to couple air-tightness, high levels of insulation and healthy materials with a sustainable approach to heating and ventilation

Convergence

Tom Woolley, Professor of Architecture at Queens University Belfast and Editor of the Green Building Handbook, draws attention to the recent event which demonstrated the potential and importance of sustainable building in Ireland.

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...

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.

Good form

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If you are at all worried about keeping construction costs down and lengthening the useable lifespan of your building, it’s critical that energy performance is considered from the earliest stages of planning and design. John Hearne spoke to a number of leading Irish experts in sustainable design about following simple principles of orientation, form and layout to achieve substantial energy improvements for free

Ecology of Scale

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As reported in the previous edition of Construct Ireland, South Dublin County Council is planning the development of an eco-district at Clonburris, on a scale and standard to rival even the best international examples. Fionnuala Lennon, Senior executive planner with South Dublin County Council and project manager of the Clonburris project sheds light on the groundbreaking plans which may prove pivotal in the drive towards a sustainable Ireland.

Navan Credit Union

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Architect Paul Leech explains why the new Navan Credit Union is arguably Ireland’s most innovative sustainable building to date, and outlines his hopes that the experience gained from this project can help the construction industry to realise sustainable building in Ireland.

Apartments for Life

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Jason Walsh spoke to David Smith of O'Mahony Pike Architects about the practice's uniquely-designed show apartments for this year's Myhome.ie Spring House and Garden exhibition.

'E'volution

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Interhabs, a company who build to the highly energy efficient Canadian Super E programme, have recently entered the Irish house building market.
Jeff Colley speaks to Ronan Long , General Manager of Interhabs Ireland, about the reasons why he believes Interhabs will bring energy efficient, comfortable, healthy homes to people across Ireland

A Lesson in Energy Efficiency

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The Department of Education has made its commitment to energy efficiency and CO2 reduction clear in developing and bringing into practice targets for primary school design that aim for less than half of the accepted good practice in the field. Project coordinator John Dolan, Senior Engineer with the Department of Education explains how this approach works within normal Departmental budgetary limits to create school buildings that show the way ahead for building designers.