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.

Green Rooms

Wesport Woods Hotel
Hotels typically take a heavy toll on the environment, with large amounts of energy used for heating, hot water, lighting, air conditioning and laundry, and huge amounts of waste being landfilled each year. John Hearne visited the Westport Woods Hotel and discovered a highly successful approach to reducing environmental impact that is also yielding substantial dividends in terms of cost savings and positive publicity

Train drivers building gets sustainability on track

Built on stilts, entirely encased in recycled newspaper insulation on all sides, and designed to be easily taken apart so that its constituent elements can be reused once it reaches its end of life, Portlaoise Locomotive Drivers Building could hardly be more green. But it is – it’s a certified passive house. Iarnród Éireann senior architect David Hughes explains how such a sustainable exemplar came to be.

'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

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

Limerick civic precinct

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

Force of Habit

Limerick convent keeps faith in green design
Two years ago Construct Ireland ran a case study on Mater Orchard, a Mercy Sisters convent building that successfully balanced cutting edge technologies with pragmatic green design. Such was the success of that building, its architects were commissioned by Mercy Sisters in Limerick to repeat the feat. John Hearne visited the freshly completed building to find out how they fared

Early Developer

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In September, Sustainable Energy Ireland launched a major energy efficient housing development in Tuam, Co Galway. Houses in the development are over 70% more energy efficient than houses built to standard Building Regulations requirements. Construct Ireland’s John Hearne describes.

Green Gains

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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

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.