From the Construct Ireland archives


Welcome to the archive of Construct Ireland, the award-winning Irish green building magazine which spawned Passive House Plus. The feature articles in these archives span from 2003 to 2011, including case studies on hundreds of Irish sustainable buildings and dozens of investigative pieces on everything from green design and building methods, to the economic arguments for low energy construction. While these articles appeared in an Irish publication, the vast majority of the content is relevant to our new audience in the UK and further afield. That said, readers from some regions should take care when reading some of the design advice - lots of south facing glazing in New Zealand may not be the wisest choice, for instance. Dip in, and enjoy!

Radon in groundwater

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Aine Mc Elhinney discovers that the threat radon poses to private water supply needs addressing to help prevent lung cancer deaths

Stillorgan green upgrade

Stillorgan Camphill upgrade
Four years ago the construction industry was focused on building big and fast — but at the same time, a small team was carefully and ecologically retrofitting a terraced Dublin house on a tight budget according to passive house principles.

International Selection

International Selection
Since establishing UCD’s Energy Research Group in 1975, the career of Professor J Owen Lewis has taken in the role of principal at the UCD College of Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, a Bord na Móna R&D directorship and expert roles advising EU research, national energy policy and building regulations. Appointed CEO of SEAI last year, Professor Lewis has been a champion of sustainable building since before the term existed. His selection combines a proto-green Alvar Aalto design, the reimagined Reichstag and an unusual academic building with two new cutting edge sustainable buildings.

Running out of gas

Why Ireland is unprepared for the impact of gas peak
As we all know, Ireland is currently paying the price for the inability of its political and corporate leaders to take seriously the warning signs of an economy where property investment and borrowing generally got out of control. Looking at policy and commercial investment plans for energy supply and distribution, Richard Douthwaite asks, are the decision makers showing an alarmingly similar attitude to evident gas supply threats?

Critical mass

Critical Mass
Thermal mass can significantly influence a building’s space heating requirement – in some cases the effect is to increase it, and in others to reduce it. Leading energy consultant Ciaran King of Emerald Energy explains how this occurs, and by describing an assessment of the topic, provides some rules of thumb regarding when thermal mass may be beneficial, and when it may be detrimental.

Laughing Stock

Patrick Daly  highlights that the energy refurbishment of our existing housing stock must become a priority
Patrick Daly  highlights that the energy refurbishment of our existing housing stock must become a priority. Daly has undertaken a retrospective DEAP case study assessment of an example house and its BER ratings, with staggering results.

Heritage and Development

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When the two worlds of heritage and development collide opinions frequently become polarised and fraught with difficulty. There are few more vexed issues, as Tim Carey, Heritage Officer with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council reveals

Eamon Ryan's eco upgrade

During his tenure as energy minister Eamon Ryan instigated plans to energy upgrade Ireland’s draughty, damp housing stock. Ryan and his wife, writer Victoria White, show Construct Ireland how their own home has been given the green treatment, and architect Mike Haslam of Solearth describes the project.

Modernist mountain house does passive with style

In the hands of the right architect, meeting the passive house standard needn’t involve compromising on design. Construct Ireland visited a recently certified passive house which shows that a seamless low energy architecture is possible

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