Almost a decade after the economic crash, every political party in Ireland now recognises the country is in the middle of a full-blown housing crisis. Similar problems exist in the UK market, but for different reasons. Now, if the political will to fix things has finally arrived, the question remains — what can actually be done about it?
Simultaneously tackling fuel poverty and climate change requires drastic action on deep retrofitting the existing housing stock – and fast. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s deep retrofit and renovation of Rochestown House may be Ireland’s most significant retrofit to date – a fact reflected in the project picking up the sustainability award at the 2017 Irish Architecture Awards.
It is simply not possible for developers to build housing in cities like Dublin and sell it for a reasonable price without making a loss, writes architect Mel Reynolds — instead, we need meaningful affordable housing schemes.
A new development of passive housing on the outskirts of Norwich shows how to combine energy efficiency, ecology and affordability on one exemplary site — and why the city continues to be an unlikely leader in pushing passive house construction in the UK.
The first social housing scheme of any kind to top Ireland’s BER scale, this project is a timely reminder that in the midst of a national housing emergency, it is possible to tackle climate change and blitz the forthcoming nearly zero energy building targets, while housing the most vulnerable in society in healthy, fuel poverty-proof homes predicted to incur zero heating cost.
The extra cost of building to certified passive house levels – while also scoring an A1 BER – is as low as 0.1%, research at Ulster University has shown.
In excess of 12,000 homes may have been built in Ireland last year, new analysis by Passive House Plus has revealed – with a marginal decline in energy performance evident as housing activity increases.
The private speculative sector can’t build affordable housing, but there are other ways of achieving this, writes architect Mel Reynolds.
With Ireland’s housing crisis continuing to escalate, government policies may be further exacerbating the problem, argues Mel Reynolds.
On 20 April the Irish arm of the world’s largest heat pump manufacturer, Daikin, hosted a social housing forum at the Mullingar Park Hotel in Westmeath. Attendees primarily included architects, consultants, and representatives of housing bodies and local authority housing departments from all over the country.
Unelected officials in Dublin City Council have rejected the decision by city councillors to make the passive house standard or equivalent energy performance standards a mandatory planning condition for all new buildings in the city. The council also included a statement to protect the route of the controversial Eastern Bypass, in spite of councillors voting against it.