2020 feels pivotal for passive house - Barry McCarron, PHAI

2020 feels pivotal for passive house - Barry McCarron, PHAI

Passive house veteran Barry McCarron has just taken over as chairperson of the Passive House Association of Ireland for a three-year term. But he believes the unique convergence of national and international events makes 2020 particularly critical for delivering a sustainable built environment.

General

Exclusive: WHO to issue ventilation guidance on airborne spread of Covid-19

Exclusive: WHO to issue ventilation guidance on airborne spread of Covid-19

The World Health Organisation is set to imminently publish revised guidance on ventilation as part of its Covid-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance in healthcare settings, Passive House Plus has learned.

coronavirus

News

Passive House Plus sees digital spike during Covid-19 crisis

Passive House Plus sees digital spike during Covid-19 crisis

The digital edition of Passive House Plus has seen a significant increase in readership during the Covid-19 crisis, in addition to the magazine’s marketleading print circulation.

General

Circular economy plans come into focus

Circular economy plans come into focus

The European Commission has adopted the EU’s new circular economy action plan, a major part of the European Green deal. The action plan aims to make the EU economy produce more durable, longerlasting, repairable consumer products, and maximise the use of recycled material.

General

EPA announces €600,000 circular economy innovation fund

EPA announces €600,000 circular economy innovation fund

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a €600,000 funding opportunity for Irish innovators to develop and demonstrate business-ready solutions for the circular economy.

coronavirus

Programme for government aims for 500,000 retrofits

Programme for government aims for 500,000 retrofits

The proposed programme for government agreed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party contains a commitment to upgrade at least 500,000 homes to a B2 energy rating by 2030, among a series of commitments on the built environment.

Government

Daikin Ireland launches new CPD webinars

Daikin Ireland launches new CPD webinars

Daikin Ireland is running a new regular series of online CPD webinars to enable remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest dates for June webinars have just been announced.

Events

Saint Gobain launches online technical academy

Saint Gobain launches online technical academy

Saint-Gobain Technical Academy has announced the launch of its new online academy, which the company says will “continue its commitment to equipping building professionals with key knowledge about the sustainable building agenda as well as the vital skills needed to deliver it”.

Events

SEAI Energy Awards 2020 open for entries

SEAI Energy Awards 2020 open for entries

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has launched its annual SEAI Energy Awards and is calling on climate action champions to showcase their achievements. Now in their 17th year, the SEAI Energy Awards recognise and reward excellence in sustainable energy in business, community, research, buildings, renewables and public sector.

Events

Evidence of COVID-19 infections in poorly ventilated spaces

Evidence of COVID-19 infections in poorly ventilated spaces

The airborne transmission of COVID-19 may be a risk in enclosed spaces with air recirculation or poor fresh air ventilation, with one study concluding that airborne transmission may have occurred in 48.3% of people in a poorly ventilated office and 34.3% of passengers on an air conditioned bus.

coronavirus

An Post to enter retrofit market

An Post to enter retrofit market

An Post has announced the launch of a new "green hub" providing end-to-end project management and money-saving advice for all levels of home retrofitting, along with a low-cost loan rate. The state-owned company said that this one-stop-shop approach will cover loan-only or full retrofit services, from initial home assessments to completed works, along with SEAI grant application and payment process.

Government

Passive House Plus free to read due to Covid-19 crisis

Passive House Plus free to read due to Covid-19 crisis

To ensure anyone who wants to read Passive House Plus can do so easily during this challenging and disrupted time, we’re making the new issue of the magazine completely free to read, both digitally and in print. This edition is essential reading for anyone interested in how to design and spec out low energy, sustainable buildings.

General

Green concrete breakthrough with waste wood & recycled concrete

Green concrete breakthrough with waste wood & recycled concrete

Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo have developed a new procedure for recycling concrete with the addition of discarded wood.

Product News

RIBA launches enerphit guide

RIBA launches enerphit guide

RIBA has published a new in-depth guide to the Enerphit Standard, the Passive House Institute’s benchmark for retrofit projects.

General

Marketplace news

New government must support home working - Lidan designs

New government must support home working - Lidan designs

Roscommon-based modular offsite building manufacturer Lidan Designs has called on the next government to introduce effective financial incentives for companies to provide home office facilities to their employees.

07-07-2020 Marketplace

Ecological launch new website and online training

Ecological launch new website and online training

Ecological Building Systems have announced the launch of a new website, aiming to support professionals and homeowners alike to achieve better results from their next project.

07-07-2020 Marketplace

Xtratherm secures EPD for Thin-R boards

Xtratherm secures EPD for Thin-R boards

Leading insulation manufacturer Xtratherm has become the latest company to receive an environmental product declaration (EPD) under the Irish EPD programme. Xtratherm’s EPD is for its Thin-R range of PIR insulation boards, and the declaration covers Thin-R boards ranging in thickness from 25 mm to 150 mm.

06-07-2020 Marketplace

Partel fire-rated membrane contributes to new hospital extensions

Partel fire-rated membrane contributes to new hospital extensions

Leading low energy building product supplier Partel is currently involved in the construction of two rapid build hospital extensions in Limerick. On both projects, the company has supplied an external breather membrane that meets the building regulations in regard to the spread of fire.

06-07-2020 Marketplace

Blogs

Environmental activism - tracing the roots of today's climate activism

Environmental activism - tracing the roots of today's climate activism

While the green wave visible at ballot boxes and street marches in 2019 reflects an apparent escalation in public consciousness on the need for urgent, decisive environmental action, the roots of today’s environmental consciousness stretch back over half a century, explains Dr Marc Ó Riain.

Blogs

How humanity can save itself from itself

How humanity can save itself from itself

We are in the grip of a global emergency. The science is clear, and thousands of lives have already been lost. The public are demanding firm and bold leadership, but a laissez-faire attitude on the part of western governments has delayed and watered down our response, with calamitous consequences.

Blogs

Are you sexist? Creating a building site culture where we can all thrive

Are you sexist? Creating a building site culture where we can all thrive

What forms does sexism take in the construction industry, asks builder Em Appleton, and what can we do about it?

Blogs

Culture shock & knowledge transfer

Culture shock & knowledge transfer

What are the consequences for the built environment, and the climate, of the lack of communication between research and industry, asks Dr Peter Rickaby – and what can be done about it?

Blogs

The first oil crisis

The first oil crisis

In the latest instalment of his series on the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain reports on the seismic impact caused by the 1973 oil crisis.

Blogs

Higher costs, less benefits - Why the enhanced social housing leasing model is a bad deal

Higher costs, less benefits - Why the enhanced social housing leasing model is a bad deal

The outgoing Fine Gael government devised an off balance sheet scheme to deliver social housing, but will it deliver value for money? Mel Reynolds crunches the numbers and finds the scheme may almost double the cost compared to a direct build – with no asset left once the lease ends.

Blogs

Is it too late for sustainability?

Is it too late for sustainability?

Despite the urgency with which radical action is required to transform our built environment, Dr Peter Rickaby says he has never been more optimistic about the possibility of change.

Blogs

The schism in solar energy

The schism in solar energy

In his latest column on the evolution of solar energy, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at how the design approaches of architects and engineers diverged in the middle of the century.

Blogs

Is the O’Devaney Gardens deal social vandalism?

Is the O’Devaney Gardens deal social vandalism?

The redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin City has grabbed headlines. Commentary has focused on the low levels of social housing proposed, high prices for private homes, and developer profit. But what is the cost to the state, asks Mel Reynolds, and is this sustainable?

Blogs

Managing moisture: why we must learn the four Cs

Managing moisture: why we must learn the four Cs

Moisture problems are the Achilles heel of many new builds and retrofits, explains Dr Peter Rickaby – problems that can be exacerbated with poorly-conceived energy efficiency efforts, and which may become more prevalent due to climate breakdown.

Blogs

Reflections on sustainable Nordic architecture

Reflections on sustainable Nordic architecture

It’s no coincidence that Nordic countries are some of the most advanced in the world when it comes to low energy design. In this article, three assistant professors of architecture based in Denmark and Finland discuss areas where we can learn from our Nordic neighbours — and where we might return the favour.

Blogs

Rebuilding Ireland mishap significantly inflating HAP figures

Rebuilding Ireland mishap significantly inflating HAP figures

Mark Twain popularised the saying “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”. Mel Reynolds explains why Department of Housing statistics on HAP may be grossly inflating the state’s impact on tackling the housing crisis.

Blogs

The PH+ guides

Timber frame & mass timber: the Passive House Plus guide to structural timber construction

Timber frame & mass timber: the Passive House Plus guide to structural timber construction

Fuelled by the need to build quickly and to increasingly tight sustainability standards, the market for timber frame and mass timber construction is growing rapidly. This detailed guide covers many of the main established and emerging techniques, and looks at key issues to address if you’re considering a timber-based build.

05-07-2019 Guides

The PH+ guide to external insulation

The PH+ guide to external insulation

In the first in a new series of technical articles on some of the key technologies in sustainable building, John Hearne makes the case for wrapping buildings in an external insulation layer, and describes some of the main issues to watch out for.

07-02-2018 Guides

The PH+ guide to airtightness

The PH+ guide to airtightness

Once poorly understood by the mainstream building industry, airtightness is now increasingly seen as one of the most crucial objectives on any building project. Not only is it vital for energy efficiency, it’s also key for thermal comfort and for protecting a building’s structure from dampness and mould. In this comprehensive guide to airtightness, we look at why it’s so important, how exactly it’s measured, and most importantly, how to achieve it on site.

04-02-2019 Guides

The PH+ guide to heat recovery ventilation

The PH+ guide to heat recovery ventilation

Heat recovery ventilation is an invaluable way to maintain indoor air quality in low energy buildings and minimise the loss of precious heat, but there are several issues to address to ensure optimal performance. Ventilation expert Ian Mawditt, a technical advisor on Part F of England’s building regulations, has decades of experience in field investigations of indoor air quality and ventilation effectiveness. His guide, which focuses on centralised or ducted whole house heat recovery systems, is essential reading to anyone considering such a system.

10-06-2019 Guides

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