Design Approaches

Acquired taste

Acquired-Taste
The Department of Agriculture’s new Food Safety Centre is a deceptively simple building that combines natural ventilation and lighting with energy efficiency - all on a designed natural landscape that seeks to both boost biodiversity and prevent flooding. Lenny Antonelli visited the County Kildare site to find out more

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.

Access All Areas

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A little foresight at the design stage can go a long way in determining a building’s success. If a building’s design fails to take into consideration the needs of any potential occupants and users, the risk of the need for corrective work, often at considerable cost, is greatly increased.
Construct Ireland’s Architecture Correspondent Lauren Kapusta reports

Hempcrete retreat

Hempcrete
No matter how energy efficient a building method is, constructing a house from scratch will always cause some damage to the environment - but what if a building material could absorb more carbon than it causes to be released over its life cycle? Lenny Antonelli visits a hempcrete house in Co. Down that seeks to trial this innovative method of building

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.  

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

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

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

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.

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.

Marketplace + companies featured in this article

Tipperary Energy Agency

'Tipperary Energy Agency has been successfully supporting Tipperary to reduce its energy demand for 20 years.