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!

EPA

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‘‘We have a body of extremely experienced and competent staff who will be able to hit the ground running”

Inner Space

An increasing number of sustainable homes are being built in Ireland but many of them are in rural areas, and yet, Ireland is an increasingly urban society.
An increasing number of sustainable homes are being built in Ireland but many of them are in rural areas, and yet, Ireland is an increasingly urban society. Jason Walsh looks at one recent attempt to renovate a small terraced house in inner-city Dublin, bringing it up to modern environmental and energy efficiency standards.

Smart Growth

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With an economy fuelled by a government approach to planning that many people equate to a road building and house building free for all, it should come as no surprise that quality of life suffers



Oil days are over

The Oil Days are over
Duncan Stewart demands an energy revolution

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.

Peak timing

Peak timing
As the organisation entrusted by OECD countries to predict future global energy supplies, the International Energy Agency’s projections have significant impact on energy policy around the world. IEA officials recently told The Guardian that the organisation’s figures on oil supply had been inflated and that oil peak is happening. Richard Douthwaite assesses the fall out

Making the Grade

BELFAST COLLEGE BUILDING REVEALS ATTENTION TO ECO DETAIL
The Orchard, a new building on the campus of Stranmillis College, a teacher training college in Belfast, has become the first winner of a sustainable planning award organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute alongside a host of other awards. Jason Walsh visited the new building to find out about its green credentials.

A Breath of Fresh Air

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Prestige commercial buildings can place a heavy toll on the environment, typically relying in Ireland on carbon intensive grid electricity to power air conditioning systems throughout the warmer parts of the year and inefficient electric lighting – often all year around. Completed in November 2004, software company SAP’s Galway offices offer a rare opportunity to find out how a natural ventilated and low energy lighting building is working in practice, as John Hearne reveals.

Going Underground

Geothermal heating is being specified by everyone from self-builders to developers to local authorities in increasing frequency across Ireland. As a relatively new technology in Ireland, it is crucial that anyone considering a geothermal system knows what they are getting into, to ensure an efficient, reliable heating source.

With over 20 years experience in this field in Ireland, Dr Paul Sikora, Vice Chairman of the Geothermal Association of Ireland explains what issues to be aware of when considering geothermal, from site suitability, to what to look for from suppliers and installers.

Home Truths

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Patrick Daly, co-founder of the RiSE (Research in Sustainable Environments) research unit in the DIT has undertaken an in depth study and critique of the current Irish Part L for energy efficiency in dwellings, comparing it in detail to the UK equivalent. The findings raise challenging questions about the Irish standards and methodology and highlight serious shortcomings in comparison to our UK neighbours, permitting substantially higher levels of CO2 emissions from new homes in Ireland than in the UK.