Displaying items by tag: Design Approaches - passivehouseplus.ie

Norfolk straw-bale cottage aims for passive

Passive house design is often seen as belonging to the world of hi-tech construction — perhaps unfairly, seeing as it emphasises a good building fabric over bolt-on technologies. Straw-bale construction, meanwhile, is usually regarded as the preserve of only the most committed, do-it-yourself eco-builders. To some these two approaches appear to be chalk and cheese, but in fact they are inherently compatible, and more and more projects are now combining the maths-centred approach of passive house with the extensive use of natural materials. In the first of a series of case studies on passive straw-bale dwellings, Lenny Antonelli spoke to architect Fran Bradshaw of Anne Thorne Architects, who designed and built a straw-bale home for herself in Hickling, Norfolk two years ago — and aimed to meet the passive house standard while doing so, with only a single infrared electric panel as the building’s sole active heat source.

Time to move beyond the architecture of the oil age

We must discard the architectural baggage of the 20th century to solve 21st century problems – argues our columnist Marc Ó Riain – and relearn some lessons from before the advent of oil.

West Cork passive house raises design bar

The most celebrated architecture of the 20th century belongs firmly to the oil age, a heady mix of glass and steel and no need to have regard to comfort, given the availability of cheap fossil energy to fuel heating & cooling systems. But in the 21st century our buildings must adapt to and mitigate against climate change. That needn’t mean compromising on design, as one West Cork passive house shows 

East London passive school promotes active learning

The head teachers of an East London school put their interest in sustainable building into practice by adding a new passive house extension — and the results already seem to be paying off for pupils.

Artfully crafted Tyrone passive house

This new Dungannon home shuns conventional passive house design and embraces the late 19th century Arts and Crafts movement.

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.

Low energy Tipperary offices go for gold

A new development in Tipperary aimed to combine excellent levels of airtightness and insulation with generous glazing and natural ventilation to deliver ultra-modern, comfortable, low energy offices. How did it work out?

Passive fishermen's cottages on Norfolk coast

Three award-winning affordable homes in scenic North Norfolk have achieved passive certification while embracing a unique local style of architecture.

Passive house goes large

Passive house is no longer just the preserve of the self-builder. With over 300 passive houses built to date in multi unit-schemes and a thousand more on the way – along with major non-domestic builds – increasing numbers of British & Irish developers are going passive. But how will the sector cope with upscaling, and will the most cost-conscious developers be attracted to the standard?

Zero waste

Zero waste extension
Upgrading and extending a semi-detached house on a tight site in Limerick required ingenuity from architect Patti O’Neill.

Malahide tennis club

Malahide Tennis Club
High levels of external insulation, abundant natural light and a minimalist approach to ventilation are ensuring that Malahide Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is as green as its courts

Down wetlands centre

Down Wetlands Centre
Eco architects Solearth expand their highly impressive portfolio with deep green design at Castle Espie Wetlands and Wildfowl centre

Limerick civic precinct

Limerick-Civic-Precinct
With great attention to energy, materials and water, ABK Architects’ new civic precinct shows that smart green design can show no sign of compromise

Hempcrete retreat

Hempcrete
No matter how energy efficient a building method is, constructing a house from scratch will always cause some damage to the environment - but what if a building material could absorb more carbon than it causes to be released over its life cycle? Lenny Antonelli visits a hempcrete house in Co. Down that seeks to trial this innovative method of building

Extending credit

PROTECTED COTTAGE GETS ULTRA-GREEN EXTENSION
Award winning green architects Solearth have been at the vanguard of sustainable design in Ireland for over a decade. Solearth’s Brian O’Brien describes a highly ecological extension designed by the practice in west Dublin.

Born again bungalow

Born Again Bungalow
Few words in the vocabulary of Ireland’s built environment come with more baggage than ‘bungalow’. For many people, it embodies a total disregard for good architecture and the environment, in part due to its association with isolated one-off housing. John Hearne visited a house in Mayo that mixes considered design with a host of modern technologies to breathe new life into the form.

International green buildings

Going Global
In the first installment of a new feature on international green buildings, Lenny Antonelli takes a look at five innovative, sustainable and striking buildings from around the world.

Breaking the mould - part II

Breaking the mould
The previous edition of Construct Ireland featured an article by leading green architect Joseph Little analysing the insulated dry-lined blockwork walls typical of many homes in Irish housing estates, looking particularly at moisture movement within the external walls. Continuing on from that article, Little looks at the implications of several ways of insulating houses of hollow block construction.

Heaven sent

Heaven Sent
When it comes to redeveloping old buildings, green designers face two choices: replace existing structures with modern, energy efficient buildings or refurbish and avoid the embodied energy and waste of demolition and new construction. Lenny Antonelli visited a redeveloped convent in Booterstown, County Dublin that combines the best of both approaches.

Breaking the mould - part I

0406-Breaking-The-Mould-SMALL.jpg
Ill-considered attempts to upgrade a building’s thermal performance can not only fail to save energy, but can also create serious problems for occupant health and building structure alike. Leading green designer Joseph Little of Joseph Little Architects investigates the particular problems associated with dry-lining single-leaf concrete block walls

All systems go

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Some buildings, by their nature, tend to have larger energy requirements. Occupied around the clock, with occupants who feel the cold, nursing homes are a case in point. John Hearne visited a north Dublin building where a range of different sustainable technologies operate in tandem to deliver the residents’ heating and hot water requirements

Deconstruct Ireland

Deconstruct Ireland
The environmental impact of the built environment extends far beyond energy consumption and carbon emissions throughout a building’s intended lifespan. Architect and sustainable design consultant Sinéad Cullen of DW EcoCo & BE Architecture explains why there’s a need to design buildings that can be deconstructed rather than destroyed once they reach their end of life, and looks at the obstacles to be overcome to make this happen.

Insulating Ireland

Insulating Ireland
The vast majority of Irish buildings are in need of substantial energy upgrade work. Given the difficult economic conditions and low public awareness of the cost, comfort and health benefits of a well-designed energy renovation, the notion of upgrading most Irish buildings is a considerable challenge. However, as Lenny Antonelli explains, new ideas are emerging that could stimulate energy upgrade work on an unprecedented scale.

Dream factory

Dream Factory
The rapid emergence of sustainable building in Ireland has been heavily influenced by the techniques of early-adopters extending from Scandinavia, to Canada, to Germany and Austria. John Hearne visited a recently completed timber home in Galway which uses Austrian know-how to couple air-tightness, high levels of insulation and healthy materials with a sustainable approach to heating and ventilation

Acquired taste

Acquired-Taste
The Department of Agriculture’s new Food Safety Centre is a deceptively simple building that combines natural ventilation and lighting with energy efficiency - all on a designed natural landscape that seeks to both boost biodiversity and prevent flooding. Lenny Antonelli visited the County Kildare site to find out more

Good form

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If you are at all worried about keeping construction costs down and lengthening the useable lifespan of your building, it’s critical that energy performance is considered from the earliest stages of planning and design. John Hearne spoke to a number of leading Irish experts in sustainable design about following simple principles of orientation, form and layout to achieve substantial energy improvements for free

Alive and well

Alive-And-Well
Designing sustainable buildings doesn’t always mean hi-tech solutions. From green roofs to living walls to constructed wetlands, sometimes it’s just a matter of embracing natural solutions. Lenny Antonelli investigates the emerging technologies and designs that use nature to improve the performance of buildings.

Southern comfort

Timber eco home fuses south facing with south Dublin
Sustainable building at its best is about much more than just energy and carbon emissions, and involves considering location, form, orientation and the use of healthy, environmentally friendly materials. Mike Haslam of trail-blazing ecological architects Solearth describes a family home which scores highly on every front

Mixing It Up

Designing out carbon made easy
As Building Regulations tighten on carbon emissions, energy reduction and mandatory renewable energy targets, the task for designers becomes harder and harder. Bobby Gilbert of Bobby Gilbert and Associates explains how a new design tool is making sustainable design easier.

In Transit

Transition movement inspires dramatic carbon cuts in house refurb
The Transition Towns movement has recently come to the fore as a model for sustainable development, with communities around the world signing up to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience in a world where climate change and energy security are emerging as real threats. Leading eco designer Joseph Little of Joseph Little Architects describes how the recent refurbishment and extension of a Dublin house addresses many of the movement’s concerns.  

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