Issue 30 - passivehouseplus.ie

International: Issue 30

This issue features two new buildings built to the passive house standard - an elementary school in Austria and a gorgeously simple house in the Ore Mountains of the Czech Republic.

Site specific - Somerset passive house adapts to tight plot

The best architecture responds skilfully and sensitively to its surroundings, so when a long and narrow plot beside a busy road became available in the Somerset village of Chew Magna, architect David Hayhow set out to design a passive house, inspired by nearby farm buildings, that would be both private yet filled with light — quite the challenge given the site’s tight restraints.

Legendary engineer builds engine-less home

With this stunning, award-winning passive house in Camden, the legendary engineer Max Fordham — together with bere:architects & Bow Tie Construction — has produced a simple and beautiful urban home with no wet heating system that draws on his lifetime of work applying the principles of simplicity, practicality and replicability to the design of building services.

Cork retrofit blitzes new build NZEB standard

The retrofit and extension of a run-down semi in Cork shows just how radically a typical Irish home can be transformed with a skilful retrofit — and why, if your budget is limited, upgrading the building fabric should be your first priority.

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.

Editor's letter: Issue 30

Our editor Jeff Colley's editor's letter from issue 30 received some particularly lovely praise, with architect Steve Mardall reaching out to say: "Was moved to write to commend you on your editor’s letter in this issue 30. You’ve perfectly captured the essence of the totality of where we are as a planet and a race. And captured well that subtle consensus of denial and ‘othering’ it, that is a compelling force to fall in line with if one is not to be labelled as a righteous crank. Your words articulate some of my own not formally articulated thoughts, and offer me clarity and impetus going forward." Meanwhile, AECB Carbon Lite Retrofit graduate Paul Forrester tweeted: "What a tremendously powerful piece of writing your editor’s letter is in issue 30 of @phplusmag. When I struggle to articulate all the thoughts, fears and conflicting ideas in my head, I might just show people that instead!" So here it is.

State-of-the-art heating test lab opens at GMIT

An international standard ‘E-Thermal’ environmental test facility designed to assist Irish SMEs in developing new sustainable heating products has formally been opened at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.

Beam Vacuum & Ventilation awarded three new ISO certs

Beam Vacuum & Ventilation has announced that they have successfully achieved certification against the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety), while also meeting the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) for contractors’ criteria.

Sola Energy Solutions set for 50 deep retrofits this year

A 1960s cottage in Tipperary is one of the first projects to be deep retrofitted this year by Sola Energy Solutions under Tipperary Energy Agency’s popular SuperHomes scheme, which aims to make it easy for homeowners to undertake a deep energy upgrade by managing the entire retrofit process.

Ecological brings Lime Green plasters to Ireland

Ecological Building Systems has announced a new partnership with Lime Green UK, the UK’s leading innovator in the field of lime-based plasters, renders and mortars.

SMET screed boosts heating at Cork passive house

A liquid screed installed three years ago at a passive house in Cork City has been performing superbly, according to its architect, enabling the A1 rated home to be heated quickly and evenly via underfloor heating when required.

Work underway on ‘crowd funded’ passive house

Work is progressing on a house designed by Passive House Plus columnist Mel Reynolds that is expected to be certified to the passive house ‘plus’ standard, and which was financed by Property Bridges, Ireland’s first peer-to-peer lender for development finance.

MVHR owners sought for air quality study

Green Building Store and PHI Architecture are currently seeking property owners with MVHR systems to take part in air quality research in conjunction with Nottingham University.

Focus on whole build systems, not products - NBT

As construction delivery chain roles have become more fragmented, a lack of joined up thinking has meant that disparate elements of a project don’t always work effectively as a whole, says Andrew Mitchell, managing director of Natural Building Technologies.

Monolith ensures traditional finish on new ICF project

When looking at new technologies and projects, developers and self-builders might assume that if you’re building with ‘new’ methods such as ICF, SIPS, timber frame and steel frame that you can’t achieve a traditional facade.

Kingspan & Nulok launched insulated roof system

Long-term partners Kingspan Insulated Panels and Nulok have combined their innovative pitched slate and tile roofing systems to create a slim, versatile solution that offers the benefits of insulated panels with the aesthetic appeal of traditional vernacular roof finishes, all in an easy to install package.

Marc O'Riain: The golden age of solar water heating

Renewable energy technologies are often regarded as new and innovative, but in some instances their roots predate the oil age and go back to the start of the industrial revolution. Dr Marc Ó’Riain finds important insights in past failures of early solar thermal systems.

Housing ‘race to the bottom’ bad for climate & quality — energy expert

The pressure to build large volumes of additional housing in response to the housing crisis is driven by false logic and risks undermining both the quality of new homes and UK carbon targets, according to Richard Tibenham, lecturer in building physics at the University of Lincoln and director of Greenlite Energy Assessors.

Saint-Gobain ‘Build Better’ roadshow continues

Saint-Gobain Ireland announced that its Build Better Roadshow would travel to the Clayton Hotel in Galway on 25 June, with trips to Waterford and Limerick following in October and November. This follows the success of the first two Build Better Roadshows which took place in Belfast and Cork during April and May.

Cuckoos & magpies: state house-buying hits record

Recent headlines suggest first time buyers are being pushed out of the housing market by ‘non-household’ buyers, so-called ‘cuckoo’ funds. Official figures suggest that private companies are not the only competition in the new homes market – there may be a ‘magpie’ out there also.

Blind & shutter group calls for Part B changes

The British Blind & Shutter Association (BBSA) has challenged what it described as the defacto banning of shading on tall glass buildings in Part B of the building regulations, and is seeking a judicial review on several points, principally that the regulation is misconceived as it focusses on combustibility rather than flammability

Passive homes may have lower radon levels — study

Initial findings into radon levels in 75 certified passive house buildings in Ireland and the UK shows that there is a 60% reduction when compared against the Irish national average.

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