Design Approaches

A Class Apart

Galway Bay Solar Apartments
Kevin O’Flaherty’s
development overlooking Galway Bay combines impressive energy saving techniques with the sorts of features that buyers of high-spec homes have grown to expect, as John Hearne discovers.

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.  

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

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.

Limerick civic precinct

With great attention to energy, materials and water, ABK Architects’ new civic precinct shows that smart green design can show no sign of compromise

Fire Safety and Heritage Buildings

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

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.

Green Gains

In spite of the obvious emergence of technologies and design approaches to reduce the impact of new build, environmental standards remained poor throughout the duration of the housing boom. Now, a unique combination of political will, smart incentives, and a new market of informed and empowered buyers may be about to change that, writes Lenny Antonelli

Ecology of Scale

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.

Box of Tricks

Wicklow bungalow gets low carbon modernist extension
A typical Irish bungalow built in the early 1990s has been transformed with a green-tinted extension built in the spirit of modernism. Jason Walsh visited Enniskerry, County Wicklow to see how the old and the new were integrated