Design Approaches

Heaven sent

Heaven Sent
When it comes to redeveloping old buildings, green designers face two choices: replace existing structures with modern, energy efficient buildings or refurbish and avoid the embodied energy and waste of demolition and new construction. Lenny Antonelli visited a redeveloped convent in Booterstown, County Dublin that combines the best of both approaches.

Interior Motives

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In line with a growing consumer demand, the availability of green products is constantly increasing, leading to a situation where product quality need not be compromised in a search for a more eco friendly interior, as Jill Phillips of zero4zero7 interior design explains.

Bio Logic

Protecting occupant health with building biology
Stricter air-tightness standards might be helping to reduce energy use in new build, but is it leading to higher indoor concentrations of chemical and biological toxins? Lenny Antonelli investigates an emerging approach to building that is combining attention to environmental impact with consideration for the potential health effects of modern building materials and practices.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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...