Sustainable Building Technology

Out of the ordinary

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It has long been anticipated that the cost of sustainable building will come down as it enters the mass market, benefiting from economies of scale and greater industry confidence in low impact techniques and technologies as they become more familiar. Jay Stuart, managing director of integrated sustainable design consultants Delap and Waller EcoCo reveals a Kildare housing project which is likely to rapidly accelerate this process, and convince even the most conservative elements of the industry that low energy, low carbon building can be achieved at little or no additional cost

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.

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.

Conscientious objection

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Walter P. Toolan and Sons, a firm of solicitors in Ballinamore, County Leitrim has redeveloped its office with the intention of creating a healthy, environmentally sound building. Jason Walsh visited the office to find out more.

Renewed efforts

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In the future, the high cost and scarcity of fossil energy may force a shift towards retaining and modernising old buildings, thereby avoiding the use of huge amounts of energy to manufacture building materials. John Hearne visited the Belvedere Orphanage, a group of 19th century dwellings whose low energy refurbishment may offer a template for development in the future, by using wood pellet district heating and a host of energy saving measures whilst nonetheless paying great attention to preserving the buildings’ heritage value.

Hollow victory

Hollow Victory
Much of the housing built around Dublin over the last forty years has been built of single-leaf nine-inch hollow block construction – which are both notoriously energy inefficient and extremely difficult to insulate effectively without causing damp problems. Lenny Antonelli visited a hollow block house which has been ecologically renovated to protect occupant health whilst shooting to the top of the energy rating scale.

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.

All weather house

A sustainable building must address more than energy, carbon or materials, argues Irish born architect Stephen Roe of up-and-coming London architects Roewu – it must respond to its environment. Not only does Roe’s design for the All Weather House achieve that, it boasts green materials, renewable heating and generous insulation too.

Move on up

Low energy upgrade options in two Dublin homes
High energy prices and growing public eco awareness is leading to a situation where people are giving existing homes energy upgrades on an unprecedented scale. Two recently renovated houses in Dublin are at the extremes of how even the most difficult existing dwellings can be made greener, as Jason Walsh reveals.

BEMS - Building Energy Management Systems

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Commercial, industrial and institutional buildings use a great deal of energy to ensure the comfort of the occupants and the efficient operation of their businesses. Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) enable building owners to use this energy efficiently, as Sustainable Energy Ireland’s Chris Hughes explains