High energy prices and growing public eco awareness is leading to a situation where people are giving existing homes energy upgrades on an unprecedented scale. Two recently renovated houses in Dublin are at the extremes of how even the most difficult existing dwellings can be made greener, as Jason Walsh reveals.
Bank of America Tower, to be located at One Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan is a US$1 billion project that has been designed to be one of the most highly efficient and ecologically friendly tall buildings in the world. The building, currently under construction, is expected to be complete in 2008.
Jason Walsh got in touch with Cook + Fox Architects in New York, designers of the Bank of America Tower to see how the practice plans to square the circle of designing an environmentally sound high-rise building.
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
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.
Walter P. Toolan and Sons, a firm of solicitors in Ballinamore, County Leitrim has redeveloped its office with the intention of creating a healthy, environmentally sound building. Jason Walsh visited the office to find out more.
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.
Designing a low-energy public building with passive ventilation and lighting in mind is one thing – making it fit seamlessly into a rural wetland environment is quite another. Lenny Antonelli visited the award-winning Ballybay Wetlands Centre in County Monaghan - a closed-panel timber frame structure designed to sit softly on the surrounding landscape.
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.
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.