Over the past year cold snaps, heat waves and severe storms have all brought the reality of the climate crisis home to the UK and Ireland. But with the climate changing in fast and uncertain ways, how can we construct buildings that will remain resilient — and keep their occupants healthy and comfortable — long into the future?
As understanding grows of the importance to human health of good bacteria in our environment, and new hospitals in the US start to undergo ‘prebiotic’ treatment, Dr Peter Rickaby asks how long it will be before microbiology becomes a core part of building design.
A disastrous failed external insulation contract run under a government energy saving scheme has affected up to 390 homes in Preston with water penetration, mould and damp.
A brand new passive-certified nursery at the University of Aberdeen provides the children of staff and students with a bright, warm and healthy space for learning and playing.
Despite increasing standards of insulation and airtightness, housing developers face few requirements to provide better ventilation and indoor air quality for new home buyers — beyond knocking extra holes in walls. But as reports of condensation and mould affecting new housing developments continue to surface in both the UK and Ireland, and research indicates many new homes may have poor indoor air quality, are developers finally waking up to the need for properly engineered ventilation systems?
Award winning Cork-based insulation manufacturer Ecocel will shortly open its doors for a series of factory tours, with the aim of increasing awareness of the importance of eco-friendly, healthy insulation.
The co-ordinator of a sustainability focused architectural masters programme in University College Dublin believes that education in building design needs to focus more on the health and well-being of building occupants, as well as the numbers-driven approach of energy efficiency and resource conservation.
Questions have been raised about ventilation standards under the government’s new Warmth & Wellbeing scheme, which provides free energy efficiency upgrades to people over the age of 55 living in Dublin 12 and 24, who experience energy poverty and are also suffering from respiratory conditions.
In this first instalment of his brand new ‘Help Desk’ feature, architect and passive house designer Simon McGuinness of Dublin Institute of Technology invites questions on all aspects of passive house, retrofit and low energy building.
The Association for the Conservation of Energy (Ace) has described as “scandalous” the Chancellor’s announcement of a 42% cut in the help available to households living in “dangerously” cold homes.
As the climates gets warmer, overheating in buildings is likely to get worse — particularly given the modern architectural preference for huge expanses of unshaded glass. But what really causes overheating, is it really worse in low energy buildings, how do passive houses fare, and what can be done to prevent it?
Heat Merchants and HomeBond co-hosted the National Construction Industry Conference last November in Croke Park’s Conference Centre to review key issues and deliver insights to over 210 architects, engineers, planners and developers. The topics centred around key issues which will influence the future of the construction industry in Ireland, including liability, health & safety plus the implications of recent and upcoming additions to various sections of the building regulations.
Icynene Classic, the open-celled soft, flexible, breathable foam insulation, familiar to thousands of residential installers around the country, has just secured BBA certification for applications directly to the underside of breathable and non-breathable roof membranes and felt – without the need for either a vent card or a double batten system.
As Passive House Plus goes to press confirmation has come through that an extension to a nursing home in Celbridge, Co Kildare, has become the first healthcare building – and the first extension of any kind – to become certified passive.
Ron and Collette Wardle started suffering ill health almost immediately after a sloppy energy upgrade. But reading a copy of Construct Ireland started a chain of events that led to the couple getting a brand new ventilation system — and seeing a marked improvement in their health.
Whether we reside permanently in an existing residence or are looking to build a new home, it is vital that we consider the well being of the occupants as well as the environment. RTE presenter Duncan Stewart stresses the importance of a healthy home.