Issue 32 - passivehouseplus.ie

Getting to net zero carbon

The UK government has committed to a legally binding target of being “net zero carbon” by 2050. Peter Rickaby ponders the steps needed to get there, and what the goal means for our homes, offices and other buildings.

Environmental activism - tracing the roots of today's climate activism

While the green wave visible at ballot boxes and street marches in 2019 reflects an apparent escalation in public consciousness on the need for urgent, decisive environmental action, the roots of today’s environmental consciousness stretch back over half a century, explains Dr Marc Ó Riain.

Office romance - Passive house supplier walks the walk with new office & factory

When Welsh sustainable building specialists PYC decided to start making their own timber frames, they got down to work designing and building their own factory. Once that was finished, it was time to test their system on their first order: to build their own passive house certified offices right next door – and to be bold enough to decide not to install central heating.

Doctor's orders - The complex relationship between energy retrofits and human health

There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence that home energy retrofits, done well, can improve the health of those who receive them — and equally there are horror stories about shoddy upgrades causing damp, mould and illness. But what does the evidence say about how energy upgrades effect occupant health, and what lessons can be learned for the future of how we renovate our homes? Kate de Selincourt reports.

Flat pack hijack

Flat-pack furniture has become a fixture of modern living, but what happens when the same concept is applied to housing – and when the client is an architect seeking to build to passive house and nearly zero energy building levels?

Stirling Work - The passive social housing scheme that won British architecture’s top award

Early in October, Norwich City Council’s Goldsmith Street development become both the first passive house and the first social housing project to win the Stirling Prize, British architecture’s most coveted award, with the judges calling it “high-quality architecture in its purest, most environmentally and socially conscious form”. Leading building energy expert Dr Peter Rickaby visited the scheme for Passive House Plus to see this ground-breaking project for himself.

Mies en Scéne - Iconic Dublin offices get deep green treatment

The deep and comprehensive refurbishment of the Miesian Plaza complex on Dublin’s Baggot Street provides a radical blueprint for how to transform mid-20th century city office buildings into comfortable, healthy and super low energy spaces that support sustainable transport and working patterns.

Passive Purple used to seal Beattie Passive Enerphit

The innovative Passive Purple airtightness paint from Intelligent Membranes has been used to form an external airtight layer on an Enerphit project in Norfolk. The BEIS-funded deep retrofit to a block of six flats for Great Yarmouth Borough Council is being delivered by passive house specialists Beattie Passive.

Lamilux lights up new passive business centre

An impressive assembly of passive-certified skylights is helping to ensure that the occupants of a unique new eco business centre in Oxfordshire can work in an indoor environment full of natural light.

Passive house costs falling, new study finds

New research published by the Passivhaus Trust has shown that the real-terms cost of building to the passive house standard has fallen since the previous study four years ago.

Sola open new NZEB showroom

Leading Tipperary-based low energy retrofit contract Sola Energy Solutions have opened a new NZEB showroom designed to showcase the full suite of low energy retrofit & new build options offered by the company.

Xtratherm launch new Part L NZEB briefing note

Xtratherm has launched a new technical briefing note designed to clearly explain how to comply with the latest version of Part L of the building regulations for dwellings.

Good design integral for latest MBC passive house

For new self-builders Andrew and Lynne Webster, spending extra time and money on the design stage of their new passive grade timber frame house proved to be one of the best decisions they could have made.

Blowerproof gets passive house cert

Blowerproof liquid airtight membrane has achieved Class A passive house component certification for both its liquid and fibre-reinforced brush applications.

Passive Sills get BBA cert

Passive Sills, the Cork-based manufacturer of insulated windowsills, has announced that it has achieved British Board of Agrément (BBA) certification.

Heat pump upgrade warms Donegal B&B

A family Bed & Breakfast in Glenties, Co Donegal built during the last boom has lowered its energy bills and improved comfort thanks to a suite of upgrade measures that included a new Daikin air source heat pump.

Moisture monitoring key as energy standards rise

Tramex, the Irish manufacturer of moisture meters for the building design and construction industries, has emphasised the critical importance of testing and monitoring moisture conditions within buildings as airtightness and insulation standards continue to increase.

Channel Islands gets its first passive house

A passive house new build has commenced in Guernsey and, when certified, it will be the first project in the Channel Islands built to the standard. Located on the west coast of the island, Le Catillion is a single-storey dwelling being constructed for an architect and his wife as their low energy holiday home.

Is the O’Devaney Gardens deal social vandalism?

The redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin City has grabbed headlines. Commentary has focused on the low levels of social housing proposed, high prices for private homes, and developer profit. But what is the cost to the state, asks Mel Reynolds, and is this sustainable?

Barn retrofit achieves 0.18 ACH with bi-fold doors

A deep retrofit project in Lancaster has achieved possibly the best ever airtightness result in the UK for a retrofit project. Designed by leading passive house architect Mark Siddall, Shepherd’s Barn is a super insulated, low energy barn conversion which incorporates high standards of airtightness and an MVHR system.

Software errors create false NZEB compliance picture

Teething problems with the software used to generate Building Energy Ratings and determine compliance with Part L of the building regulations may be rendering it unfit for purpose, Passive House Plus can reveal.

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