Awaab Ishak’s death shows that building physics are a life and death matter

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.

Mainstreaming retrofit – a massive missed opportunity

The scale of the retrofit challenge facing the UK and Ireland will require an army of tradespeople to upgrade homes – leading many to the conclusion that a new retrofit industry needs to be built from scratch. But is a more realistic answer staring us in the face – a thriving existing industry of trusted local tradespeople, asks Dr Catrin Maby OBE.

Whole life carbon of buildings: a pathway emerges

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.

Quantity and quality - can it be done?

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?

Mass timber consultation: have your say by 21 April to change the rules

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.

Paul Doran remembered

Editor Jeff Colley remembers Paul Doran, one of Ireland's foremost builders, who has tragically passed away.

The world energy crisis 2022

The energy crises of the 1970s did not prompt a major shift in Europe from foreign oil and gas towards energy efficiency and renewables. Will we learn this time around, wonders Dr Marc O Riain

Lifting retrofit out of its silo

There has been a sleuth of recent reports on how to retrofit Britain’s existing homes, but we must think deeper than the practical matter of reducing energy and carbon, to how we create beautiful places to live, writes Peter Rickaby.