Design Approaches

Deconstruct Ireland

Deconstruct Ireland
The environmental impact of the built environment extends far beyond energy consumption and carbon emissions throughout a building’s intended lifespan. Architect and sustainable design consultant Sinéad Cullen of DW EcoCo & BE Architecture explains why there’s a need to design buildings that can be deconstructed rather than destroyed once they reach their end of life, and looks at the obstacles to be overcome to make this happen.

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

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.

Southern comfort

Timber eco home fuses south facing with south Dublin
Sustainable building at its best is about much more than just energy and carbon emissions, and involves considering location, form, orientation and the use of healthy, environmentally friendly materials. Mike Haslam of trail-blazing ecological architects Solearth describes a family home which scores highly on every front

Eco Lodgings

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Construct Ireland’s Jason Walsh visited the Brooklodge in Macreddin, County Wicklow, to find out about how one hotel has found rising fossil fuel costs the perfect reason to invest in a sustainable future.

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.

Mixed Signals

As it nears completion, John Hearne visits what is anticipated to be one of the lowest energy buildings in Ireland's recent history.

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

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...

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.