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!

Rise of the passive house

It could be a reflex response to the shockingly poor construction standards that came to define Ireland’s boom years, but the world’s leading low energy building standard is starting to thrive in Ireland. As the several case studies following this article reveal, a groundswell of Irish clients, designers, contractors and manufacturers are starting to recognise the opportunities available in becoming early adopters of a standard destined for exponential global growth.

Solvent green

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The market for new residential build may have bottomed out, but compared to the rest of the construction industry the sustainable building sector appears buoyant. Changing market conditions, various government incentives and updated building regulations are all helping greener building companies - but with few houses likely to be built this year and capital restricted, challenges still lie ahead. Lenny Antonelli reports

Passive aggressive

The emergence of the passive house in Ireland
Imagine moving into a house without a heating system – what would you do? Contact the developer and demand they put one in immediately? Call a solicitor and sue the builder? Or sit back and enjoy living in a house, designed to meet your expectations of comfort without any recourse to a space heating system. Jason Walsh met the people behind Ireland’s drive toward the passive house.

Pre Form Precision

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The desire for better insulated, more environmentally friendly homes is driving ever more Irish self-builders to investigate alternatives to traditional block building. Jason Walsh visited a contemporary style factory-built timber frame house built in County Waterford in 2005.

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

Dream factory

Dream Factory
The rapid emergence of sustainable building in Ireland has been heavily influenced by the techniques of early-adopters extending from Scandinavia, to Canada, to Germany and Austria. John Hearne visited a recently completed timber home in Galway which uses Austrian know-how to couple air-tightness, high levels of insulation and healthy materials with a sustainable approach to heating and ventilation

SuDS

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Sustainable Urban Drainage System by Padraig Doyle, Brian Hennelly and Don McEntee.

Solar enhanced ventilation

Solar enhanced ventilation
Designed and patented by Irish firm NuTech Renewables, solar enhanced ventilation aims to bring big energy and cost savings to the retrofit market by combining solar and ventilation technologies. NuTech’s Bill Quigley explains how it works.

Pipe lines

District Heating
In a comparatively short time, district heating and cooling have emerged as an ideal sustainable solution for mixed use, residential, commercial and industrial developments. Far from being a new technology, district heating systems have been commonplace across Europe since the 1960s. Noel Walshe BE of district heating specialists Noel Walshe ltd explains what is required to deliver the most effective solution.

Planning for the Future

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A marked lack of adequate central government action to promote sustainable house building in Ireland has been recently counteracted by planning authorities such as Fingal County Council taking action into their own hands, and setting standards geared to protect their constituents in an oil and gas scarce future. However, as sustainable building consultant Will Woodrow discovered from surveying planning authorities around the country, local government willingness is not always met with a full grasp of the issues needed to make sustainable housing happen.