Why housing isn't viable stars

It is simply not possible for developers to build housing in cities like Dublin and sell it for a reasonable price without making a loss, writes architect Mel Reynolds — instead, we need meaningful affordable housing schemes.

A brave new world: Oil and architecture

Innovations in low energy building were spurred in the 20th century by oil crises, but the political impetus for meaningful change receded once the crises ended, explains Dr Marc Ó Riain, bringing an attendant failure to set meaningful building regulations.

Policy for zero, or zero policy?

The penny is starting to drop that profound energy saving efforts in buildings – right up to zero emissions levels – are both necessary and urgent if the UK is to honour its climate change targets. So what’s holding up meaningful action, asks Peter Rickaby?

What is the AECB Silver Standard?

In the current policy vacuum, many questions have been raised about the future of sustainable construction. Despite this uncertainty, there is a steady growth of interest in the AECB Silver Standard, writes architect Mark Siddall.

Cutting-edge technology on display at ISH 2017

ISH, the world’s biggest showcase for bathroom design, heating, air-conditioning and renewable energy technology, took place last week in Frankfurt. Leading energy consultant Mark Shirley of 2eva.ie went along to see what was on offer.

Who needs retrofit standards?

We all do, argues Dr Peter Rickaby, but the goal of mass retrofitting our energy inefficient building stock is hampered by the fact that when it comes to most retrofits, we simply don’t know what we’re trying to achieve.

Let’s move beyond the sustainable city oxymoron

A truly sustainable built environment hinges on a multiplicity of factors, not least including the context within which a building sits. Dr Peter Rickaby argues that a focus on cities may lead us in the wrong direction. 

Are social housing retrofit efforts failed by finance models?

Roughly 50,000 excess winter deaths occur annually between the UK and Ireland, with fuel poverty a primary cause. Yet although concerted social housing retrofit efforts could help tackle climate change while preventing thousands of senseless deaths of vulnerable people, flawed financial modelling is letting us down, argues Peter Rickaby. 

The CIF object to passive house, but do they have a clue what it is?

The head of the Construction Industry Federation has warned against local authorities mandating the passive house standard, while not appearing to understand what passive houses are. Interviewed on RTE 1's Today with Seán O'Rourke yesterday, Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon mistakently claimed that passive houses require rainwater harvesting systems and solar photovoltaic systems "and a lot of different expensive extras".