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Articles - passivehouseplus.ie

On the money

On the money
Every eurozone government has debt problems and is cutting its spending, Richard Douthwaite says. Defaults and a prolonged depression are inevitable unless countries inject money into their economies in an unconventional way. A prosperous low-carbon economy would be the result

Ghost estates

Ghost Estates
Due to the ill-considered productivity of the house building industry towards the tail end of the economic boom, Ireland is now saddled with hundreds of thousands of vacant homes in various states of completion. Structural engineer Sadhbh Ní Hógáin, currently writing her thesis for a masters architectural degree in advanced environmental and energy studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology, looks at the options Ireland has to address the problem.

Social Capital

Social Capital
Local authorities upgraded hundreds of houses last year under a €20m government scheme, and the Department of Environment has doubled funding for 2010. With local energy agencies playing a key role on the ground, the programme offers vital lessons for keeping quality high in energy retrofit schemes. Words: Lenny Antonelli

Ireland's most airtight house?

Ireland's most airtight house?
An experienced timber framer with an eye for detail, Tim O'Donovan set about building a low energy stick-built home in the Cork countryside and achieved a staggering level of airtightness
Words: Lenny Antonelli

Graham Group's green HQ

Graham Group
Completed in December 2009, Graham Group’s new headquarters reveal the construction and asset management company’s commitment to green building. The project’s sustainability adviser, Chris Croly of BDP describes an innovative design that pushes the boundaries of natural ventilation and takes a thoughtful approach to materials and buildings services to ensure a minimal environmental impact.

All weather house

A sustainable building must address more than energy, carbon or materials, argues Irish born architect Stephen Roe of up-and-coming London architects Roewu – it must respond to its environment. Not only does Roe’s design for the All Weather House achieve that, it boasts green materials, renewable heating and generous insulation too.

International Selection

International Selection
Since establishing UCD’s Energy Research Group in 1975, the career of Professor J Owen Lewis has taken in the role of principal at the UCD College of Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, a Bord na Móna R&D directorship and expert roles advising EU research, national energy policy and building regulations. Appointed CEO of SEAI last year, Professor Lewis has been a champion of sustainable building since before the term existed. His selection combines a proto-green Alvar Aalto design, the reimagined Reichstag and an unusual academic building with two new cutting edge sustainable buildings.

Opinion

0502-Opinion-SMALL.jpg
Semi-state business Bord Gáis have placed green innovation at the centre of their business strategy. As CEO John Mullins reveals, pay as you save and renewable energy will shape the company’s future.

The natural step

 The Natural Step
A framework for strategic sustainability is essential if we’re serious about greening the Irish built environment.
According to green architect Pat Barry, we should look no further than The Natural Step.

Local custom

Local custom
With money leaving local economies across Ireland to service debt and significant drops in local authority revenues, towns such as Dundalk, Ennis and Kilkenny are investigating the possibility of bringing in electronic currencies to keep money circulating locally, as Richard Douthwaite reveals.

Greenov

Greenov
Why the Greenov project may be the key to success for Irish SMEs in energy upgrade market

Slane barn retrofit

Slane Barn
Renovated agricultural barn marries its traditional look with modern green features

Zero carbon

Zero Carbon
Nottingham passive house enters Solar Decathlon

Athenry passive house

Athenry
Staggeringly airtight ecological home in Athenry set to meet the Passive House Institute standard

Dundalk green housing

Dundalk Green Housing
Sustainable Dundalk housing project designed to prolong the independence of older residents

International Selections

International Selection
With 36 years experience in ecological architecture, Paul Leech of Gaia Ecotecture possesses a formidable knowledge of international green design. Fresh from picking up the best ecological building 2010 Lama award for the pioneering Navan Credit Union  – and a favourable review in Prof George Baird’s Sustainable Buildings in Practice: What the Users Think - a global survey of green buildings - Leech describes a handful of inspirational green exemplar projects from around the world.

Opinion

Opinion
If you’re not assessing the environmental performance of your suppliers and their products, it’s rapidly becoming a case of “caveat emptor”. Many of the world’s biggest companies are now buying green, and the Irish government is about to follow suit. Ignore the issue and you put your company at a competitive disadvantage, argues Brian O’Kennedy, managing director of Clearstream Solutions

Default setting

Why Ireland may default on debts, & what to do next
Why Ireland may default on debts, & what to do next

Antiseptic

Why Ireland’s failing treatment systems & septic tanks must be tackled
Why Ireland’s failing treatment systems & septic tanks must be tackled

Hemp lime

extension and renovation to Sligo estate house
Sligo estate house adds hemp lime extension & renovation with vertical bore-hole heat pump

Coastal cottage reborn

Coastal cottage reborn as zero energy home
Any building, no matter how cold and draughty, no matter how remote, can be improved to world-class energy performance, as an upgraded and extended Donegal cottage dating back to the 1800s proves.

Passive mixed development

Passive mixed development, Foxrock
Foxrock passive development built with externally insulated poroton & aircrete blocks along with timber frame

One-off house with a green conscience

One-off house
Mixing excellent thermal performance with renewable heating, efforts to boost biodiversity and plans for micro-generation, a new timber frame house in rural Cork shows that both appealing design and low environmental impact can be achieved with one-off rural housing.

EPA HQ

EPA HQEPA HQ
A new extension to the EPA's headquarters in Wexford lives up to the organisation's aim of environmental protection, boasting passive ventilation and lighting, a host of green technologies and a sustainable approach to landscaping.

International Selections

International case studies
Newly inaugurated RIAI president Paul Keogh selects four diverse UK projects that integrate sustainability without compromising on design

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