From the Construct Ireland archives


Welcome to the archive of Construct Ireland, the award-winning Irish green building magazine which spawned Passive House Plus. The feature articles in these archives span from 2003 to 2011, including case studies on hundreds of Irish sustainable buildings and dozens of investigative pieces on everything from green design and building methods, to the economic arguments for low energy construction. While these articles appeared in an Irish publication, the vast majority of the content is relevant to our new audience in the UK and further afield. That said, readers from some regions should take care when reading some of the design advice - lots of south facing glazing in New Zealand may not be the wisest choice, for instance. Dip in, and enjoy!

Creature comforts

DRUMSHAMBO VETERINARY OFFICE MERGES ARCHITECTURE AND ENVIRONMENT
Not only does the new OPW-designed district veterinary office in Drumshanbo Co. Leitrim place strong emphasis on natural ventilation and lighting, it rests comfortably in the rural landscape and boats commendable green features too. Lenny Antonelli reports

Cutting oil dependecy

Cutting oil dependency
Economic analysts are starting to warn of the threat rising oil prices pose to Ireland’s recovery prospects. Richard Douthwaite argues that energy efficiency and renewables investments must be central to government plans, and explains how more than 100% of the cost of energy investments may come back to the exchequer.

On the plus side

MULLINGAR ENERGY PLUS HOUSE TO GENERATE MORE ENERGY THAN IT CONSUMES
Nothing focuses the mind like a target. The growing impact of Building Energy Ratings (BER) is increasingly encouraging Irish people to aim for the highest energy rating they can. Patrick and Niamh Daly’s house in Mullingar takes this trend to the next level, using a myriad of sustainable green materials and technologies to become a net energy producer and go beyond the limit of the BER scale. John Hearne visited the nearly completed house to find out more.

Passive Resistance

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On Tuesday the 15th of March a passive house, a house that does not need to be heated, was built a few miles outside of Galway. The brain child of Lars Pettersson of Galway based Scandinavian Homes Ltd, it is believed to be the world’s first standardized and factory made passive house.

Flight of the phoenix

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Beauty is only skin deep, or so goes the cliché, but is there more to 'grace' in a building than its exterior? Jason Walsh visited Rathnew, County Wicklow, to see how an ordinary office building was being transformed into a paragon of sustainability and spoke to two of the building's designers and occupants, architect Tomás Ó Leary and engineer Mark O'Brien

Dutch Courage

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Completed in October 2006 the headquarters of the Netherlands chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is nothing if not a striking building. It also happens to be one of the single most sustainable buildings created in recent years. Construct Ireland continues its series of examining internationally significant sustainable buildings, with Jason Walsh putting questions to the building's architects, Amsterdam-based RAU.

Force of Nature

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In this adapted extract from his new book Natural Building: A Guide to Materials and Techniques, seminal eco architect Professor Tom Woolley outlines some of the reasons why natural building is necessary.

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.

Dead heat

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As energy prices continue to rise, the Irish construction industry is moving into uncharted territory, where all elements that affect energy performance—from orientation, to building design, to specification, to standard of workmanship—are increasingly recognised as key concerns.

Saving grace

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The government recently announced a fund of e100 million for energy upgrading Irish houses in 2009, to be divided equally between low income and middle income earners. Focusing on the latter, Jason Walsh looks at the details of the Home Energy Saving scheme and speaks to key figures in the industry to get their views on the ingredients needed to make the scheme a success