UK - passivehouseplus.ie

Evidence of COVID-19 infections in poorly ventilated spaces stars

The airborne transmission of COVID-19 may be a risk in enclosed spaces with air recirculation or poor fresh air ventilation, with one study concluding that airborne transmission may have occurred in 48.3% of people in a poorly ventilated office and 34.3% of passengers on an air conditioned bus.

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 stars

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.

Passive House Plus free to read due to Covid-19 crisis

To ensure anyone who wants to read Passive House Plus can do so easily during this challenging and disrupted time, we’re making the new issue of the magazine completely free to read, both digitally and in print. This edition is essential reading for anyone interested in how to design and spec out low energy, sustainable buildings.

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.

The first oil crisis

In the latest instalment of his series on the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain reports on the seismic impact caused by the 1973 oil crisis.

Steeply sustainable - Low carbon passive design wonder on impossible Cork site

The unique split-level, wedge-shaped plan of this striking and award-winning new passive house in Cork isn’t just for show — it is a carefully thought-out response to an extremely challenging site, and an example of how great architecture can create beautiful, sustainable buildings in even the most unlikely of spaces, and with a fraction of the upfront carbon costs of traditional build methods.

Is it too late for sustainability?

Despite the urgency with which radical action is required to transform our built environment, Dr Peter Rickaby says he has never been more optimistic about the possibility of change.

The schism in solar energy

In his latest column on the evolution of solar energy, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at how the design approaches of architects and engineers diverged in the middle of the century.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New airtight London apartments near completion

A new apartment development in one of South London’s up and coming districts is making use of Magply boards’ fire resistance and other performance characteristics, as the lining to a bespoke timber frame package.

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.

Norwich passive house scheme wins Stirling Prize

The Goldsmith Street development in Norwich has become both the first social housing scheme and the first passive house certified project to win the Stirling Prize, British architecture’s most prestigious award. 

UK housing market must start demanding much higher quality - Ecomerchant

The entire UK housing market — from self-builders and house buyers through to large-scale developers, housing associations and local authorities — must start demanding a much higher level of quality from new homes in order to ensure the market delivers buildings that are genuinely healthy, sustainable and low energy. That is according to Will Kirkman, managing director of leading sustainable building product supplier Ecomerchant.

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