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!

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

From recession to renewables

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The notion that curbing CO2 emissions would damage economic growth has been used as an excuse from developed countries such as the USA not to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, as Richard Douthwaite reveals, the people of Austrian town Güssing are discovering firsthand that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Steep decline

Brian Cowen
The worl­d has learned the hard way that our political leaders lacked the judgement and resolve to identify and address the problems which led to the recession. Richard Douthwaite argues that a similarly flawed judgement is evident in the assumption that the economy will recover, and advises on how to prepare for a future of global economic contraction.

Papered Over

Richard Douthwaite reveals that oil and gas peak are barely mentioned in the Government's recent energy Green Paper.
Richard Douthwaite reveals that oil and gas peak are barely mentioned in the Government's recent energy Green Paper.

Heating need not cost the Earth

If the issue of sustainability is to truly be on the agenda in terms of construction and development, it is nowhere more evident than in how we approach insulation. Recognition of the economic and environmental benefits of properly insulating our buildings is being called for by experts on environmentally conscious construction, such as RTE TV presenter Duncan Stewart

Retrofit: Top tips

Top Tips
As the en masse energy upgrading of Irish homes and other buildings takes-off on an unprecedented scale, there are real dangers that even conscientious clients, professionals and contractors will make decisions that fail to save energy and create unhealthy buildings. Pioneering green architect Joseph Little, draws from the research and experience of his architectural practice & Building Life Consultancy to offer advice that should be heeded before any energy upgrade.

Harp attack

Harp Attack
The HARP database allows Building Energy Rating assessors to enter real performance data for heating appliances when calculating Building Energy Ratings rather than low default scores - but few renewable appliances are listed, and the industry appears confused and deterred by the application process. Lenny Antonelli investigates.

Caveat Emptor

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Construct Ireland Journalist Frank Coles investigates the impact posed by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

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.