Design Approaches

Insulating Ireland

Insulating Ireland
The vast majority of Irish buildings are in need of substantial energy upgrade work. Given the difficult economic conditions and low public awareness of the cost, comfort and health benefits of a well-designed energy renovation, the notion of upgrading most Irish buildings is a considerable challenge. However, as Lenny Antonelli explains, new ideas are emerging that could stimulate energy upgrade work on an unprecedented scale.

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

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

Rest Assured

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Brian Homan, Joint Managing Director of leading consulting engineers Homan O’Brien Associates describes a nursing home currently being built that is adopting a sustainable building approach to deliver healthy, comfortable accommodation at low running costs.

Navan Credit Union

Architect Paul Leech explains why the new Navan Credit Union is arguably Ireland’s most innovative sustainable building to date, and outlines his hopes that the experience gained from this project can help the construction industry to realise sustainable building in Ireland.

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

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.

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 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.

Modern Age

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Creating the right comfort in buildings for elderly people involves ensuring a warm internal environment, which typically results in high energy consumption. John Hearne visited the new Castle Gardens Retirement Village as it approached completion and found a project that combines complimentary low energy technologies, materials and design to deliver high levels of comfort whilst also keeping running costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions low