Displaying items by tag: Sustainable Building Technology - passivehouseplus.ie

All weather house

A sustainable building must address more than energy, carbon or materials, argues Irish born architect Stephen Roe of up-and-coming London architects Roewu – it must respond to its environment. Not only does Roe’s design for the All Weather House achieve that, it boasts green materials, renewable heating and generous insulation too.

Power to the people

Power to the people
The ESB's Home Insulation Scheme aimed to upgrade the homes of 1,000 pensioners on fuel allowance last year - it ended up reaching almost three times that number, reducing carbon emissions and improving the lives of many. Lenny Antonelli found out more.

Pushing the envelope

It’s not surprising that a 1970s bungalow on an exposed north-facing site might be draughty and burdened with high energy bills - but external insulation, a new heating system and a brand new roof can make all the difference. Lenny Antonelli reports.
It’s not surprising that a 1970s bungalow on an exposed north-facing site might be draughty and burdened with high energy bills - but external insulation, a new heating system and a brand new roof can make all the difference. Lenny Antonelli reports.

Solid as a rock

Solid as a rock
With over twenty years of design behind him, architect Martin Meyer has tackled plenty of big projects in his time, but his first home renovation challenge – to turn a dank 19th century red-brick house into a bright energy efficient home – was still eye-opening. Lenny Antonelli reports.

A room with a view

Room with a view
Nowhere demonstrates the need for a high-performance building envelope quite like a coastal site. John Hearne visited a cutting edge timber frame house overlooking Sligo Bay that was designed to achieve a highly insulated, air-tight and low embodied energy envelope whilst making the most of the spectacular vista.

Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon
Lenny Antonelli takes a look at some of the entrants of the 2009 Solar Decathlon, a competition that challenges university teams from around the world to design and build homes that capture the sun’s energy.

Hollow victory

Hollow Victory
Much of the housing built around Dublin over the last forty years has been built of single-leaf nine-inch hollow block construction – which are both notoriously energy inefficient and extremely difficult to insulate effectively without causing damp problems. Lenny Antonelli visited a hollow block house which has been ecologically renovated to protect occupant health whilst shooting to the top of the energy rating scale.

Environmental Authority

Clare County Council show the way with new sustainable offices
As long term readers of Construct Ireland will recall, the mainstreaming in recent years of sustainable design and construction has been exemplified in many innovative local authority offices. John Hearne visited Aras Contae an Chláir, and discovered a building which attempts to holistically minimise environmental impact, with attention paid to more than just energy performance and carbon emissions.

Vorsprung durch Oeko-technik

German eco house combines breathability and stunning airtightness
Germany has a reputation for high quality craftsmanship, an attention to detail and a positive attitude to sustainable and healthy housing. Jason Walsh visited a new German-built house in County Dublin to see if the expertise can be exported.

Move on up

Low energy upgrade options in two Dublin homes
High energy prices and growing public eco awareness is leading to a situation where people are giving existing homes energy upgrades on an unprecedented scale. Two recently renovated houses in Dublin are at the extremes of how even the most difficult existing dwellings can be made greener, as Jason Walsh reveals.

Green giant

Bank of America Tower, to be located at One Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan is a US$1 billion project that has been designed to be one of the most highly efficient and ecologically friendly tall buildings in the world. The building, currently under construction, is expected to be complete in 2008.

Jason Walsh got in touch with Cook + Fox Architects in New York, designers of the Bank of America Tower to see how the practice plans to square the circle of designing an environmentally sound high-rise building.

Renewed efforts

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In the future, the high cost and scarcity of fossil energy may force a shift towards retaining and modernising old buildings, thereby avoiding the use of huge amounts of energy to manufacture building materials. John Hearne visited the Belvedere Orphanage, a group of 19th century dwellings whose low energy refurbishment may offer a template for development in the future, by using wood pellet district heating and a host of energy saving measures whilst nonetheless paying great attention to preserving the buildings’ heritage value.

Thinking Caps

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Much of the debate on reducing international carbon emissions has focused on the extra cost of making the necessary cuts to slow the onset of climate change. According to Richard Douthwaite, the Irish Government is considering introducing Cap and Share, a system which would actually earn ordinary Irish people money for reducing emissions.

Conscientious objection

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Walter P. Toolan and Sons, a firm of solicitors in Ballinamore, County Leitrim has redeveloped its office with the intention of creating a healthy, environmentally sound building. Jason Walsh visited the office to find out more.

Out of the ordinary

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It has long been anticipated that the cost of sustainable building will come down as it enters the mass market, benefiting from economies of scale and greater industry confidence in low impact techniques and technologies as they become more familiar. Jay Stuart, managing director of integrated sustainable design consultants Delap and Waller EcoCo reveals a Kildare housing project which is likely to rapidly accelerate this process, and convince even the most conservative elements of the industry that low energy, low carbon building can be achieved at little or no additional cost

Slanted and enchanted

Although not a particularly sustainable building in many regards, there is much environmental merit in the Dominic Stevens designed Mimetic House, a 1300 Sq. ft structure built for e120,000  near Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. The house’s builder Conor McManus of GreenTek Construction, specialists in building highly ecological, low energy, airtight homes and extensions, describes the sustainable aspects of the house.

A place in the sun

Swords housing project with solar heat recovery system & timber frame
The mainstreaming of sustainable building technologies is manifesting itself in a growing number of developers seeking to find the greener option. Jason Walsh describes a recent project where airtight timber frame construction meets high-tech solar thermal in a North Dublin House of Tomorrow funded scheme which is delivering low carbon results

Sustainable Cement

The cement industry is well known as being amongst the worst culprits for emitting CO2, a seemingly unavoidable side effect of its production. However, as Peter Seymour, Business Development Manager with Ecocem Ireland Ltd explains, there is a strong, eco-friendly competitive alternative to Portland cement that is being specified in a variety of high profile construction projects in Ireland.

Into the limelight

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Hugh Dorrian, member of the Main Committee of the recently launched Building Limes Forum Ireland reveals lime is regaining ground as a key material not only in conservation projects, but in new build.

DEAP impact

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At the start of July a key event in the Irish construction industry passed almost entirely unnoticed, with the requirement that the brand new Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) calculation software be used for all planning applications for new homes with immediate effect. The new tool will be used to calculate Building Energy Ratings (BER) under the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design in the School of Architecture at DIT Bolton St. reveals his view on DEAP and its impact on the industry.

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