Design Approaches

Zero waste

Zero waste extension
Upgrading and extending a semi-detached house on a tight site in Limerick required ingenuity from architect Patti O’Neill.

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

All systems go

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Some buildings, by their nature, tend to have larger energy requirements. Occupied around the clock, with occupants who feel the cold, nursing homes are a case in point. John Hearne visited a north Dublin building where a range of different sustainable technologies operate in tandem to deliver the residents’ heating and hot water requirements

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.

In Transit

Transition movement inspires dramatic carbon cuts in house refurb
The Transition Towns movement has recently come to the fore as a model for sustainable development, with communities around the world signing up to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience in a world where climate change and energy security are emerging as real threats. Leading eco designer Joseph Little of Joseph Little Architects describes how the recent refurbishment and extension of a Dublin house addresses many of the movement’s concerns.  

Mixing It Up

Designing out carbon made easy
As Building Regulations tighten on carbon emissions, energy reduction and mandatory renewable energy targets, the task for designers becomes harder and harder. Bobby Gilbert of Bobby Gilbert and Associates explains how a new design tool is making sustainable design easier.

Modern Art

KILLINEY HOMES CONNECT MODERNISM WITH SUSTAINABILITY
Killiney is an area known for both its natural beauty and the desirability of the existing built environment. Jason Walsh visited two new houses in the exclusive south County Dublin village which show it as being at the forefront of the drive to create a lasting beauty.

Extending credit

PROTECTED COTTAGE GETS ULTRA-GREEN EXTENSION
Award winning green architects Solearth have been at the vanguard of sustainable design in Ireland for over a decade. Solearth’s Brian O’Brien describes a highly ecological extension designed by the practice in west Dublin.

Hempcrete retreat

Hempcrete
No matter how energy efficient a building method is, constructing a house from scratch will always cause some damage to the environment - but what if a building material could absorb more carbon than it causes to be released over its life cycle? Lenny Antonelli visits a hempcrete house in Co. Down that seeks to trial this innovative method of building

Fire Safety and Heritage Buildings

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Leading conservation architect Paul Arnold highlights the need for a sensitive approach when fire proofing heritage buildings, to ensure that, wherever possible, the best practicable fire safety is achieved along with, rather than at the expense of, preserving the building’s fabric