1970s Devon home becomes certified passive B&B

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in a passive house, a B&B in Devon could be just the ticket. The winner of the private housing award at the 2013 UK Passivhaus Awards, this upgraded 1970s home proves that even existing buildings can be made passive.

Media HQ shows ultra low energy vision

While Ireland’s minimum energy performance regulations for dwellings have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, standards for non-domestic buildings have remained untouched. Which makes forward-thinking media production company TVM’s new ultra low energy HQ all the more impressive.  

Vernacular passive

A building doesn’t have to be designed as a cube to meet the passive house standard, but it helps. This as yet uncertified passive house in Carlow shows that, climate permitting, less compact designs can be made passive – by pushing the envelope.

Pioneering passive office surpasses expectations

When it comes to actual energy usage, modern buildings rarely perform as expected, with many notionally low energy buildings falling disappointingly short. As discussion continues about how to solve the performance gap, one pioneering Welsh passive building has a different kind of performance gap – it’s using 40% less energy than anticipated.

Internation selection - From Vienna to New Mexico

Virtually any building, anywhere can achieve certified passive house status, as these four transatlantic buildings show – including a Viennese skyscraper, an upgrade to an NYC home predating the Empire State Building, a German museum housing valuable works of art and a net zero energy home in New Mexico. 

The cost of building passive

Perhaps the most common argument against making passive house mainstream is that it costs too much to build. But as building regulations tighten and an increasingly competitive passive house sector emerges, does that argument hold water?

Victorian passive upgrade

Turning an old Victorian home into a passive house is a painstaking job that would frighten many building professionals. But the team behind this innovative retrofit didn't just end up with a certified passive house, they got one of the lowest energy dwellings in the UK.

Affordable housing project delivers certified passive results

Although preconceived notions about the existence of a passive house aesthetic still abound, trailblazing projects like the Ditchingham affordable housing scheme in Norfolk show that vernacular architecture & build methods can go hand-in-hand with passive performance.

West Midlands school achieves 90 percent energy saving

Building a passive house school is a big achievement, but the team behind Oakmeadow Primary School in Wolverhampton have done something even more formidable — they built one when they weren't even asked to, and they did it for a conventional budget.

3 generations, 2 semi-ds, 1 passive house

Built on a tricky site in the seaside town of Salthill, Co Galway, Ireland’s first semi-detached passive house development is designed to meet the needs of three generations from the same family.

International selection - From Austria to Frank Lloyd Wright

Picking from some of the best current sustainable design the world has to offer, we profile a floating passive house currently moored in the Netherlands, a ground-breaking timber hybrid tower in Austria, a multi unit passive scheme in Malmö, and an Enerphit upgrade to a brutalist Connecticut home originally designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s colleagues.

The passive house in a warming world

 The coming decades are expected to bring higher average temperatures, more extreme weather events – and possibly more cold snaps. But how are passive house buildings geared to adapt to a changing climate?

Monkstown semi-D sets deep retrofit example

A house in south Dublin recently became the first Irish building to become EnerPHit certified. Architect Joseph Little describes the challenges of meeting the Passive House Institute’s standard for upgrading existing building.

Sustainability centre with a passive message

One of the UK’s first nondomestic buildings to gain passive house certification, the Simmonds Mills designed Green Base centre is an embodiment of the environmental ethos it seeks to promote. 

Wicklow house comes close to passive

With a target as exacting as the passive house standard, circumstances can conspire against meeting every criteria. Architect Sam Mays describes a Co Wicklow home that hit every passive target except one when the builder went bust. 

Ireland’s most energy efficient building?

A new house in Wexford is the first in the country to achieve an A1 Building Energy Rating and certified passive house status – arguably making it the most energy efficient building yet built in Ireland. So why did a regulatory flaw risk rendering it non-compliant? 

International Selection - What we can learn from igloos

Nothing drives innovation like adversity. Facing up to the prospect of scarce energy and other resources, we can take inspiration equally from the Inuit and the most avant-garde of passive house designers, as Sofie Pelsmakers reveals in her choice of six uniquely inspiring buildings from around the world.