In the face of an affordability crisis, first time buyers of new homes are being offered a cocktail of incentives to help them get on the property ladder, including the government’s Help to Buy and First Home schemes. Mel Reynolds asks: are these the solution to the affordability crisis?
Advances in building physics in recent years are leading to an ever-increasing understanding among experts of the risks that a litany of pollutants can pose to building occupants. But this has not stopped vulnerable people from living – and dying - in substandard buildings that exacerbate these risks. Urgent action is needed, Toby Cambray explains, to better communicate and decisively tackle the risks buildings can pose to their occupants.
While significant progress continues to be made on reducing the carbon emissions associated with heating and powering buildings, the other part of whole life carbon calculation, embodied carbon, has proved more elusive. But that may be about to change, and quickly, as Stephen Barrett of the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) explains.
The spectre of high rise and reduced spacing between homes may cast a proverbial and literal shadow over new homes, if an anticipated government policy comes to pass. Mel Reynolds asks: could passive house offer a new route to achieving higher density without reaching for the skies?
How flexible can heat pumps be to handle what may be inexactly defined heating demands, asks Toby Cambray?
Mass timber comes into its own in terms of decarbonising tall buildings, which tend to rely on high embodied carbon materials such as steel and reinforced concrete. But regulatory change is needed to enable mass timber to fulfil its potential, as IGBC head of policy and advocacy Marion Jammet explains.
Editor Jeff Colley remembers Paul Doran, one of Ireland's foremost builders, who has tragically passed away.
In the latest missive in his series on the history of low energy design, Dr Marc Ó'Riain looks to some wacky and wonderful experimentation in a project that aimed to transform public perception of Milton Keynes.
To kick start the new year, have a listen to co-founders Jeff Colley and Dan Hyde on what they've learned in the 20 years since our first issue came out.
In the #BuildingLife Ambassador Spotlight Series, Passive House Plus is profiling leaders who have endorsed the Irish Green Building Council’s call to address the environmental impacts of buildings across their lifecycle.