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!

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.

Neutral Ground

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Watford, just over 30 kilometres north of London, is now home to an aspirational new house, developed by an Irish company, designed to completely remove carbon emissions from the home. Jason Walsh visited the site to learn more

EU energy commissioner

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Jeff Colley spoke to Commissioner Piebalgs about key issues affecting Ireland’s energy future  and the importance of local initiatives such as Fingal County Council’s groundbreaking introduction of sustainable building requirements

Climate control

Why Copenhagen talks are unlikely to prevent climate change crisis
As fears grow amongst climate scientists that the world may be close to reaching a tipping point leading to runaway global warming, there’s a growing recognition that the forthcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen must deliver dramatic and binding targets to cut carbon. According to Richard Douthwaite, the talks are unlikely to deliver sufficiently meaningful action.

Passive mixed development

Passive mixed development, Foxrock
Foxrock passive development built with externally insulated poroton & aircrete blocks along with timber frame

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



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

Passivhaus or passive solar house?

Passivhaus Or Passive Solar House
Few concepts in sustainable design have caught on like the passive house. Since the construction of the first passive house in Germany in 1990, an estimated 15 to 20,000 houses have been built to what is arguably the world’s leading low energy building standard. Drawing from his experience in sustainable building since the early 1980s, Bill Quigley of NuTech Renewables posits an alternative approach.

Passive aggressive

The emergence of the passive house in Ireland
Imagine moving into a house without a heating system – what would you do? Contact the developer and demand they put one in immediately? Call a solicitor and sue the builder? Or sit back and enjoy living in a house, designed to meet your expectations of comfort without any recourse to a space heating system. Jason Walsh met the people behind Ireland’s drive toward the passive house.

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