April 7 saw the opening of the five-day meeting in Germany, between government representatives and scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to finalise the third report in a four part series, assessing the options for mitigating climate change and the underlying technical, economic and institutional requirements. Last month saw the release of the second report from the IPCC, in Yokohama, Japan on 31 March.
In the new issue of Passive House Plus, architect David Hughes argues that instead of investing tens of billions of euro upgrading its electricity infrastructure and building wind farms, Ireland should instead invest the money in the energy retrofit of its building stock.
That’s the question I want to ask today. I’m talking mostly about the situation in Ireland, because it’s the one I’m more familiar with things over here — particularly with regards to building regulations. But the same might apply to the UK.
Check out this video below of Passive House Institute founder Prof Wolfgang Feist speaking at last year's See The Light conference in Dublin, which was organised by the Passive House Association of Ireland.
As the UK inches towards zero carbon and nearly zero energy building targets, the construction industry must pay increasing attention to the impacts of regulatory changes on design and construction, argues Passive House Academy founder Tomás O’Leary. But will homes designed using the UK’s national methodology come close to passive house levels of comfort?
The Irish Department of Environment has confirmed to Passive House Plus that its proposed independent committee on climate change will be an expert rather than stakeholder group.
The International Passive House Days, during which passive buildings around the world open their doors to the public, took place this year from November 8-10. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the event.
In Yellowknife — the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories — January temperatures average -27C. So warm, low energy housing isn't just about cutting carbon, it's about staying alive.
The Irish Independent reported earlier in the week that the Irish construction sector is set for a stimulus package in next week's budget, including a cut to the 13.5% rate of Vat.
At the time of writing RIBA’s Stirling Prize winning project is just hours away from being announced. But how sustainable will the winner be?
Ed Miliband has said that the UK will build 200,000 homes per year if Labour gets into government, while promising to make the UK a “world-leading green economy." If such assertions are mutually exclusive, then they must be treated as hollow rhetoric, indistinguishable from David Cameron’s husky hugging stunt and unfulfilled pledge to lead the “greenest government ever.”
Check out this video from X-Floc UK on the installation of one of their insulation blowing machines at the factory of timber-frame company Oakwrights.
The Passive House Institute has published a new study that looks at designing passive buildings for tropical climates. The study concludes that the key design criteria for such buildings include,"a very airtight building envelope, 10 to 15 cm of insulation, solar control glazing, fixed external shades for the windows and ventilation with both heat and energy recovery".
Tall buildings tend to be among the worst offenders in terms of energy and environmental profligacy – but one new Viennese project shows that high rise doesn’t have to mean high environmental impact.
Following on from my post on a two-week trip to Germany to study low energy building under the Phase Programme, I sent some questions to Torsten Windmueller, a timber engineer at Kompetenz Zentrum Holzbau & Ausbau, a centre of excellence for timber frame construction, to gauge his thoughts on the differences between building standards in Germany and Ireland.
Gloucestershire based Seymour-Smith architects are about to apply for planning permission for a bold new dwelling in the Buckinghamshire countryside that the firm says will go beyond the passive house standard in terms of energy efficiency. The project has already won the support of a Design Review Panel, which independently review the design of signficiant building projects.