Design Approaches

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...

Squaring the Circle

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Atop a hill in New Ross, County Wexford, is a beacon for sustainability in large-scale developments, which draws extensively from across the palette of sustainable building options to achieve a building that is notable not just aesthetically, but also in health, energy and environmental impact terms. Jason Walsh visited the new Solar Croi spa, part of the Brandon House Hotel, Health Club and Spa, to find out more.

Super E

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Marie Stamp, Senior Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Embassy, Dublin, discusses the merits of Super E home build.

Born again bungalow

Born Again Bungalow
Few words in the vocabulary of Ireland’s built environment come with more baggage than ‘bungalow’. For many people, it embodies a total disregard for good architecture and the environment, in part due to its association with isolated one-off housing. John Hearne visited a house in Mayo that mixes considered design with a host of modern technologies to breathe new life into the form.

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.

Down wetlands centre

Down Wetlands Centre
Eco architects Solearth expand their highly impressive portfolio with deep green design at Castle Espie Wetlands and Wildfowl centre

Municipal Bond

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If the Irish construction industry is truly to rapidly embrace the concept of sustainability, leadership from the public sector will be paramount in setting the right example. John Hearne spoke to the design team of the Opus and RIBA award-winning Cork Civic Offices, a development which keeps carbon emissions and fossil energy consumption to a minimum, and once more puts the public sector at the forefront of innovative sustainable design

Sound Advice - Acoustic solutions

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When designing and building high density apartment and housing developments, the attention, so often lacking, to acoustic performance, can have a critical impact on the quality of life of the buildings’ inhabitants, as leading acoustic consultant Jim Dunne, Managing Director of Integrated Acoustic Solutions explains

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

Lofty Ideas

Duncan Stewart on Attic Conversions
Converting attic space can provide a relatively low cost means of increasing useable space, relative to the more arduous options of extending, or moving to a larger building. Duncan Stewart speaks to Construct Ireland about how best to approach Attic Conversions.