Sustainable Building Technology

A place in the sun

Swords housing project with solar heat recovery system & timber frame
The mainstreaming of sustainable building technologies is manifesting itself in a growing number of developers seeking to find the greener option. Jason Walsh describes a recent project where airtight timber frame construction meets high-tech solar thermal in a North Dublin House of Tomorrow funded scheme which is delivering low carbon results

Out of the ordinary

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It has long been anticipated that the cost of sustainable building will come down as it enters the mass market, benefiting from economies of scale and greater industry confidence in low impact techniques and technologies as they become more familiar. Jay Stuart, managing director of integrated sustainable design consultants Delap and Waller EcoCo reveals a Kildare housing project which is likely to rapidly accelerate this process, and convince even the most conservative elements of the industry that low energy, low carbon building can be achieved at little or no additional cost

Lime hemp

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Lime-hemp is developing as a bio composite construction material with serious ecological and energy advantages. Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design at DIT Bolton St. asks if this is the environmental material of the future and explores its mainstreaming potential.

All weather house

A sustainable building must address more than energy, carbon or materials, argues Irish born architect Stephen Roe of up-and-coming London architects Roewu – it must respond to its environment. Not only does Roe’s design for the All Weather House achieve that, it boasts green materials, renewable heating and generous insulation too.

DEAP impact

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At the start of July a key event in the Irish construction industry passed almost entirely unnoticed, with the requirement that the brand new Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) calculation software be used for all planning applications for new homes with immediate effect. The new tool will be used to calculate Building Energy Ratings (BER) under the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design in the School of Architecture at DIT Bolton St. reveals his view on DEAP and its impact on the industry.

DEAP heat

DEAP Heating
The Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) is now the national methodology for creation of Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificates for new dwellings in Ireland, and is an important desk top tool for predicting the performance of projects at outline design stage.

Slanted and enchanted

Although not a particularly sustainable building in many regards, there is much environmental merit in the Dominic Stevens designed Mimetic House, a 1300 Sq. ft structure built for e120,000  near Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. The house’s builder Conor McManus of GreenTek Construction, specialists in building highly ecological, low energy, airtight homes and extensions, describes the sustainable aspects of the house.

Renewed efforts

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In the future, the high cost and scarcity of fossil energy may force a shift towards retaining and modernising old buildings, thereby avoiding the use of huge amounts of energy to manufacture building materials. John Hearne visited the Belvedere Orphanage, a group of 19th century dwellings whose low energy refurbishment may offer a template for development in the future, by using wood pellet district heating and a host of energy saving measures whilst nonetheless paying great attention to preserving the buildings’ heritage value.

Sustainable Cement

The cement industry is well known as being amongst the worst culprits for emitting CO2, a seemingly unavoidable side effect of its production. However, as Peter Seymour, Business Development Manager with Ecocem Ireland Ltd explains, there is a strong, eco-friendly competitive alternative to Portland cement that is being specified in a variety of high profile construction projects in Ireland.

Into the limelight

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Hugh Dorrian, member of the Main Committee of the recently launched Building Limes Forum Ireland reveals lime is regaining ground as a key material not only in conservation projects, but in new build.