Insulating our homes is critical and must be our first priority, but how do we get the rest of the way to zero carbon? Dr Peter Rickaby investigates the options…
We won’t be able to reduce the embodied carbon of construction fast enough just by switching to lower carbon materials, says Pat Barry of the Irish Green Building Council, so we urgently need smart design that allows us to build with less, and to create a genuine circular economy for building materials.
Does the energy rating of homes actually reflect their real-world performance? Dr Shane Colclough, vice chair of the Passive House Association of Ireland, outlines the growing importance of post-occupancy analysis.
Under its new housing plan, the government wants the state to acquire more land for housebuilding. But why has it failed to use the vast land banks it already owns? Mel Reynolds runs the rule over the figures.
In 2017 the government promised it would deliver 50,000 homes over the next five years as part of its Rebuilding Ireland programme. But figures from the first four years show it has fallen well short, writes Mel Reynolds.
A chance purchase on eBay leads buildings physics expert Toby Cambray to admire the aesthetics and mechanics of old scientific instruments.
The concept of building back better and greener, popular early in the pandemic, is now in danger of being abandoned in the rush to return to ‘normal’ — but we always have the power to shape what normal is, writes Dr Peter Rickaby.
With increasing attention turning to cutting carbon emissions from existing homes to meet carbon reduction targets, Duncan Smith, housing asset and energy strategy manager at Renfrewshire County Council in Scotland, argues that approaches which improve comfort and dramatically reduce energy bills must be front and centre.
It’s time to make the passive house standard a requirement of local development plans across Ireland, says Mel Reynolds.
Toby Cambray writes on the many lessons that the inimitable biscuit cake can teach us about how building materials deal with moisture.
Duncan Smith reflects on the social and architectural significance of Glasgow's tenement flats, and their potential place in a zero carbon future, as the city prepares to host COP 26.
The Green Homes Grant scheme failed because politicians failed to heed more than a decade of lessons about how to do retrofit well, writes Dr Peter Rickaby, and now there will be an even bigger hill to climb.