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!

International Selections

International Selection
With 36 years experience in ecological architecture, Paul Leech of Gaia Ecotecture possesses a formidable knowledge of international green design. Fresh from picking up the best ecological building 2010 Lama award for the pioneering Navan Credit Union  – and a favourable review in Prof George Baird’s Sustainable Buildings in Practice: What the Users Think - a global survey of green buildings - Leech describes a handful of inspirational green exemplar projects from around the world.

Group effort

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With the age of cheap and abundant fossil fuel energy coming to an end, district heating, where a development is heated from a single, centralised heat source is becoming an increasingly attractive option due to the capital and running cost, efficiency and environmental benefits it can offer. Paraic Davis of Davis Associates mechanical and electrical engineers explains why district heating has become a viable and increasingly popular choice in Ireland.

Smart Move

Why the government must get smart metering right
The introduction of smart metering later this year presents a great opportunity to engage Irish people en masse into substantially reducing their energy consumption, simply by showing them how much electricity they’re consuming, and how much the cost varies at different times of the day. However, as Richard Douthwaite warns, there is a real risk that smart metering may come in a form that benefits the electricity companies and not the end-user.

Rathdrum passive refurb

Rathdrum Passive Refurb
Randy Ralston and Mel Cronin aimed for the passive house standard with their upgrade, and though they didn’t quite get there they ended up with a house that produces more energy than it consumes, making it one of the country’s flagship green renovation projects.

Renewable Energy Grants (Jeff Colley)

The first scheme of renewable energy grants for Irish homeowners, the Greener Homes Scheme, was launched on Monday 27th March 2006 and will make grant funding available to homeowners looking to install renewable energy heating technology
The first scheme of renewable energy grants for Irish homeowners, the Greener Homes Scheme, was launched on Monday 27th March 2006 and will make grant funding available to homeowners looking to install renewable energy heating technology

Fire Safety and Heritage Buildings

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Leading conservation architect Paul Arnold highlights the need for a sensitive approach when fire proofing heritage buildings, to ensure that, wherever possible, the best practicable fire safety is achieved along with, rather than at the expense of, preserving the building’s fabric



Ireland's inevitable default

Ireland's inevitable default
Richard Douthwaite explains why the bailout may turn out to be a gift to Ireland, and offers some advice for dealing with a default.

Lime hemp

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Lime-hemp is developing as a bio composite construction material with serious ecological and energy advantages. Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design at DIT Bolton St. asks if this is the environmental material of the future and explores its mainstreaming potential.

Walking on water

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Designing a low-energy public building with passive ventilation and lighting in mind is one thing – making it fit seamlessly into a rural wetland environment is quite another. Lenny Antonelli visited the award-winning Ballybay Wetlands Centre in County Monaghan - a closed-panel timber frame structure designed to sit softly on the surrounding landscape.

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.