Sustainable Building Technology

Alive and well

Alive-And-Well
Designing sustainable buildings doesn’t always mean hi-tech solutions. From green roofs to living walls to constructed wetlands, sometimes it’s just a matter of embracing natural solutions. Lenny Antonelli investigates the emerging technologies and designs that use nature to improve the performance of buildings.

Hollow victory

Hollow Victory
Much of the housing built around Dublin over the last forty years has been built of single-leaf nine-inch hollow block construction – which are both notoriously energy inefficient and extremely difficult to insulate effectively without causing damp problems. Lenny Antonelli visited a hollow block house which has been ecologically renovated to protect occupant health whilst shooting to the top of the energy rating scale.

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

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.

BEMS - Building Energy Management Systems

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Commercial, industrial and institutional buildings use a great deal of energy to ensure the comfort of the occupants and the efficient operation of their businesses. Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) enable building owners to use this energy efficiently, as Sustainable Energy Ireland’s Chris Hughes explains

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.

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.

Vorsprung durch Oeko-technik

German eco house combines breathability and stunning airtightness
Germany has a reputation for high quality craftsmanship, an attention to detail and a positive attitude to sustainable and healthy housing. Jason Walsh visited a new German-built house in County Dublin to see if the expertise can be exported.

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.

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.