Once poorly understood by the mainstream building industry, airtightness is now increasingly seen as one of the most crucial objectives on any building project. Not only is it vital for energy efficiency, it’s also key for thermal comfort and for protecting a building’s structure from dampness and mould. In this comprehensive guide to airtightness, we look at why it’s so important, how exactly it’s measured, and most importantly, how to achieve it on site.
VRM Tech, the developer of innovative mobile software apps for the construction industry, has launched Virtual Construction Management Platform (VCMP), a cloud-based app that aims to radically streamline the management of construction projects.
Leading insulated concrete formwork (ICF) manufacturer Amvic Ireland says that its new Amvic 300 ICF system contributes significantly to achieving the nZEB standard in new buildings, following a fresh energy assessment of some of the company’s previous projects.
Generational differences in taste were successfully married by a concern for energy efficiency in this contemporary, award-winning passive house in An Spidéal, which comes within a whisker of the nZEB standard.
The Saint-Gobain Ireland Technical Academy is adding to its existing training portfolio by launching a series of free nZEB modular courses. Starting this July, these innovative nZEB courses will offer those working in construction in Ireland a chance to upskill, free of charge, in an increasingly regulated area of the construction industry.
The new Part L of the building regulations for non-domestic buildings will provide something of a culture shock to the industry, according to Brian Byrne of energy consultancy Net Zero, unless it quickly gets to grip with the new standard.
As electricity supply from renewable sources continues to grow, and electricity grids gradually decarbonise as dirtier fossil fuels are phased out, heating homes with electrical technologies like heat pumps starts to make more sense. And in the mild, temperate climate of Britain and Ireland, air source heat pumps are particularly suitable — especially as new build standards of energy efficiency continue to tighten, meaning new homes need less and less energy to achieve comfortable indoor temperatures. But how do air source heat pumps work, what types are there, and how much do they cost to run? Our in-depth guide attempts to answer the key questions.
Architect Tom Duffy has long had an interest in green design, and working on a self-build project for himself and his wife he was able to prove a point: making a modest family home to the highest standards need not cost the earth.
Assessment of thermal bridges is the low hanging fruit lining the path to passive house and low-energy building, according to leading thermal modeller Andy Lundberg of Passivate, who says that taking the time to understand thermal bridging and to minimise and calculate it properly is essential to delivering cost optimal low energy buildings without an Achilles heel.
Rising from the shell of the stalled riverside headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank, Ireland’s financial regulator could be accused of insensitivity for choosing as its new home a site that became a toxic symbol of the banking crisis, but the building is not without virtue: it comfortably surpasses the proposed nearly zero energy building standard while achieving the onerous Breeam ‘Outstanding’ rating for sustainability.
Unclear definitions for nearly zero energy buildings are confusing the building industry and distracting from delivering better buildings, says architect and DIT lecturer Simon McGuinness.
Homeowner Brendan Murphy started self-building his Cork passive house way back in 2010, long before the standard was trendy, and even chose to completely forgo a water-based heating system. So what did he learn from the experience — and how has the house been performing since?
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.
Specialist low energy building product manufacturers Quinn Building Products have been announced as the main sponsors of the World nZEB Forum, which combines pre-forum workshops on 15 November and a conference on 16 November.
Designed around an existing timber chalet, this striking contemporary house managed to go passive on a budget for one lucky family of six, all while inadvertently blitzing Ireland’s forthcoming nearly zero energy building standard.
This large family home in south Dublin proves that big homes don’t need to be cold and draughty, comfortably beating Ireland’s planned nearly zero energy building standard for 2021 — even though it was finished in 2015.
At a time when the industry’s under increasing pressure to deliver cost-effective, robust, low energy homes at breakneck speed, one new west Dublin project is leading the way – while picking off sustainability targets for fun.
In the fifth instalment of her column on designing and building a passive house for her family, Nessa Duggan talks about the importance of getting good advice — on everything from airtight sliding doors down to your choice of timber flooring.
In the second instalment of this column, architect and DIT lecturer Simon McGuinness outlines the key priorities for the industry to learn in order to deliver successful ultra low energy buildings in 2017 and beyond.
Despite having no construction experience, self-builder Eamonn Fleming decided he could build a new family home more cheaply — and with better attention to detail — if he did it himself. And even though he didn’t set out to build a passive house, he managed to meet the standard while doing almost all of the work in conjunction with his father, while exceeding the targets of Ireland’s nearly zero energy building definition.