Fabric first retrofit rejuvenates Dublin social housing

Built in the 1970s, Rochestown House was a cramped, cold and damp social housing block in Sallynoggin, Co Dublin that has now been completely transformed, thanks to a deep energy retrofit inspired by passive house principles.

Essex house nears passive against the odds

When Mike Jacob of Trunk Low Energy Building started planning to build this unique Essex home, it seemed likely to run way over budget, and still fail to meet the passive house standard. But rethinking key details and making tough compromises got the house within touching distance of passive, while slashing costs.

Hereford archive chooses passive preservation

Safeguarding historic documents and other artefacts requires stable building conditions. Until now this was usually achieved with the expensive and energy-hogging use of heating and cooling equipment, but a new
approach by Herefordshire Council used the passive house approach to conserve energy, money — and the county’s precious historical archives.

Smart Dublin passive house shows tiny heating bills

Building this stylish south Dublin passive house, which recently picked up a Made in Germany energy efficiency award, demanded a steep learning curve, not least when it came to airtightness — but despite the struggles, it ultimately gave its owners their dream low energy home.
Words: Des Crabbe, architectural technologist, OA Studios

EU president sets passive precedent

Motivated by the experience of building and living in a passive house, one of Ireland’s leading political figures has become a public advocate for the standard. Passive House Plus visited the house to find out why.

Ireland's first passive house pharmacy

Late last summer, work finished on architect Paul McNally’s latest super low energy project: a three-storey building in Tipperary that has just become Ireland’s first certified passive house pharmacy.

International selection - issue 10

This issue’s international selection of passive and low energy building includes two homes built for retirement —one in Austria, one in New Mexico — a striking house in a Romanian forest, and an out-of-this-world passive-certified dome in tropical south-west China.

Will building boom see low energy failures?

Low energy building isn’t complicated, but it’s easy to get wrong. Since Irish house builders downed tools en masse when the last boom ended, energy efficiency standards for new homes have seen unprecedented rises of 40% in 2008 and 60% in 2011, shooting far ahead of the UK. But with signs of a new boom emerging, can the industry get to grips with this brave new world of insulation, airtightness and thermal bridging and deliver healthy low-energy homes — or are damp and mould set to become the norm in new build?

The new proposed passive house classes explained

The Passive House Institute’s announcement of new classes of passive house certification – including renewable energy generation – at this year’s International Passive House Conference caused something of a stir. Dr Benjamin Krick, the institute’s head of component certification sheds some light on the new classes and explains the rationale behind proposals which may set up passive house for a fabric first approach to near – and sub – zero energy building.

How to rescue a 1970s bungalow

A passive retrofit in Co Meath offers a template that could be applied across much of the Irish housing stock: a long, dark, 1970s bungalow was transformed into a bright modern home that’s now warm and comfortable.

Sleek and striking passive house graces eco village

The eco-village at Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary is no stranger to low energy buildings, and with this passive house, architect Paul McNally set out to prove that energy efficiency and good architecture go hand-in-hand.

Ledbury passive house embraces warmth, wood & light

For Ruth Busbridge and her builder Mike Whitfield, aiming for the passive house standard was just one part of an environmentally conscious approach that put natural, healthy materials to the fore.

International selection - issue 9

This issue’s selection features ultra low energy buildings from Mexico, Germany, New Zealand and Italy, and illustrates how widely the energy efficiency specification can vary in different climate zones.

Airtightness - the sleeping giant of energy efficiency

A building’s airtightness test result isn’t just an indicator of its energy efficiency – it’s an unambiguous indicator of build quality. With a little care in design and on site, airtightness targets that may seem impossibly tough are anything but, argues leading architect and certified passive house designer Simon McGuinness.

Passive retrofit emerges from ashes of 80s bungalow

If you’ve ever wanted to take a passive house for a road test, one holiday letting on the coast of west Cork may be too good an opportunity to turn down. The aptly named Sea Spray – an as yet uncertified Enerphit upgraded bungalow – is a bona fide triumph in the face of adversity.

Stunning Meath home defies passive house stereotypes

A simple building form, few junctions and minimal surface area are some of the cornerstones of passive house design — but as this spectacular certified passive house in Co Meath proves, rules are made to be broken.

Passive office cuts bills by £25k and absenteeism by 13 percent

Anyone who thinks the passive house standard isn’t relevant to non-domestic buildings is missing a trick. One certified passive office in Leicester reveals the significant benefits companies can yield in terms of saving energy, increasing productivity and improving the bottom line.