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".

2014 UK Passivhaus Conference: in-depth report

The 2014 UK Passivhaus conference, held this year in Stevenage, was, like the previous such events, completely packed. Discussion centred around fine tuning of financing, delivery and performance — and on how to bring the wider construction sector on board the passive house agenda.

Next gen Irish designers & contractors to be steeped in passive house?

I believe the children are our future, as the stomach-churningly saccharine song line goes. If the emerging evidence from recent Irish 2nd level exam papers are anything to go by, the construction studies teachers share that sentiment, and are ensuring that the next generation of Irish designers and contractors will have a detailed understanding of how to design and construct passive houses.

Do Ireland’s energy efficiency regulations penalise energy efficiency?

What’s not to like about building regulations that demand 60% energy savings compared to boom time standards, and mandate the use of renewable energy? Glitches in the guidance documents, that’s what – glitches that unwittingly disincentivise energy efficiency best practice and risk causing building damage and compromising occupant health.