Sustainable Building Technology

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.

DEAP heat

DEAP Heating
The Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) is now the national methodology for creation of Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificates for new dwellings in Ireland, and is an important desk top tool for predicting the performance of projects at outline design stage.

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.

Alive and well

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Designing sustainable buildings doesn’t always mean hi-tech solutions. From green roofs to living walls to constructed wetlands, sometimes it’s just a matter of embracing natural solutions. Lenny Antonelli investigates the emerging technologies and designs that use nature to improve the performance of buildings.

Green giant

Bank of America Tower, to be located at One Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan is a US$1 billion project that has been designed to be one of the most highly efficient and ecologically friendly tall buildings in the world. The building, currently under construction, is expected to be complete in 2008.

Jason Walsh got in touch with Cook + Fox Architects in New York, designers of the Bank of America Tower to see how the practice plans to square the circle of designing an environmentally sound high-rise building.

DEAP impact

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At the start of July a key event in the Irish construction industry passed almost entirely unnoticed, with the requirement that the brand new Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) calculation software be used for all planning applications for new homes with immediate effect. The new tool will be used to calculate Building Energy Ratings (BER) under the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design in the School of Architecture at DIT Bolton St. reveals his view on DEAP and its impact on the industry.

Sustainable Cement

The cement industry is well known as being amongst the worst culprits for emitting CO2, a seemingly unavoidable side effect of its production. However, as Peter Seymour, Business Development Manager with Ecocem Ireland Ltd explains, there is a strong, eco-friendly competitive alternative to Portland cement that is being specified in a variety of high profile construction projects in Ireland.

Slanted and enchanted

Although not a particularly sustainable building in many regards, there is much environmental merit in the Dominic Stevens designed Mimetic House, a 1300 Sq. ft structure built for e120,000  near Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. The house’s builder Conor McManus of GreenTek Construction, specialists in building highly ecological, low energy, airtight homes and extensions, describes the sustainable aspects of the house.

Environmental Authority

Clare County Council show the way with new sustainable offices
As long term readers of Construct Ireland will recall, the mainstreaming in recent years of sustainable design and construction has been exemplified in many innovative local authority offices. John Hearne visited Aras Contae an Chláir, and discovered a building which attempts to holistically minimise environmental impact, with attention paid to more than just energy performance and carbon emissions.

A place in the sun

Swords housing project with solar heat recovery system & timber frame
The mainstreaming of sustainable building technologies is manifesting itself in a growing number of developers seeking to find the greener option. Jason Walsh describes a recent project where airtight timber frame construction meets high-tech solar thermal in a North Dublin House of Tomorrow funded scheme which is delivering low carbon results