News

45,000 more Irish homes face radon risk, new maps reveal

New radon maps, launched by the Environmental Protection Agency today at the National Radon Forum, show an increased risk from radon in Ireland, with 170,000 homes now predicted to be at risk of radon exposure above the national reference level.

Government

Huge demand for new deep retrofit grants

Some one-stop-shops will not take on projects with new build extensions.

General

‘Sufficiency’ key alongside energy efficiency & renewables, says IPCC

Latest climate report calls for more e cient use of floor space in buildings

Climate Change

New EU law will mandate renovation of inefficient buildings

Green groups criticise lack of focus on embodied carbon. The European Commission is proposing sweeping changes to the way in which energy ratings for buildings are allocated, in a bid to stimulate the retrofit of the worst performing buildings across Europe.

General

Rebuilt Low Energy Buildings Database to become key international resource

Leading sustainable building association the AECB has secured funding to create an international resource to share detailed information on low energy buildings in the UK, Ireland and, ultimately, internationally, via a rebuild of the Low Energy Buildings Database (LEBD).

Projects

TEDx passive house talk now available online

Passive House Plus editor and publisher Jeff Colley’s TEDx talk on the passive house standard is now available to view online.

Events

RIAI launches 2030 climate challenge

The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has launched its 2030 Climate Challenge, calling for urgent action to be taken by architects and the wider construction industry to tackle the climate emergency.

Climate Change

Climate action plan sets embodied carbon targets for construction

Ireland’s new climate action plan, which was published on Thursday 4 November, contains the country’s first official targets for limiting the embodied carbon of construction materials. 

Government

Poor ventilation a Covid risk in 40 per cent of classrooms, study finds

Coventry University research has found that 40 per cent of primary school classrooms examined in a study did not have an adequate ventilation rate to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Ventilation

COP26 house to showcase fabric first, low carbon build methods

A new demonstration house currently being erected in Glasgow in advance of this year’s COP26 climate conference will showcase build systems and methods for achieving zero carbon housing to the world.

Events

Oil heating sector pivots to biofuels, but green groups raise concern

The UK and Ireland’s oil heating industry says it has taken a “major step forward” in the use of biofuels in domestic oil boilers, with early tests concluding that hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) works in virtually all existing oil boilers.

General

Architects call for urgent climate action ahead of COP 26

Ahead of the Built Environment Summit (28-29 October) and COP26 (1-12 November), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Declare have published a report demonstrating the critical role the sector must play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change

#BuildingLife: “Regulation of whole life carbon is key”, says Steve Murphy of Hines

In the #BuildingLife ambassador spotlight series, Passive House Plus is profiling leaders who have endorsed the Irish Green Building Council’s call to address the environmental impacts of buildings across their life-cycle..

General

Draft development plan guidelines a “retrograde step”

The Department of Housing has come under criticism for draft guidelines which would prevent local authorities from setting sustainable building targets for buildings as a planning condition, with the passive house standard and low carbon cement directly referenced.

Government

EPA launches new green procurement guides

The government has launched new guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency aimed at greening public procurement.

Government

Passive house celebrates 30th birthday at international conference

The Passive House Institute celebrated the low energy standard’s 30th birthday at the 25th International Passive House Conference in September. Around seven hundred participants registered for the conference, which mostly took place online due to Covid.

General

Window-opening unreliable for ventilation, study finds

A comparison between two pairs of households in Switzerland suggests that people do not reliably compensate for lack of mechanical ventilation with more window opening.

Ventilation

Study confirms “systematic inequalities” in indoor air pollution

A new analysis of the exposure of London households to indoor pollutants highlights “systematic inequalities” in exposure, overwhelmingly driven by factors beyond the control of those people worst affected.

Ventilation

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Marketplace news

Partel launches new Acraline Roll adhesive

Partel launches new Acraline Roll adhesive

Partel has upgraded the performance and functionality of its Acraline Roll adhesive with new technical features. The company said that Acraline offers a “unique sealing solution for membranes” in the construction of passive house and low energy buildings.

13-05-2022 Marketplace

Retrokit tailors software platform for one-stop-shops

Retrokit tailors software platform for one-stop-shops

Retrokit, the Irish clean tech start-up whose software platform helps housing professionals to make evidence-based decisions for energy upgrade projects, has tailored its software for one-stop-shops managing retrofits under the national home energy upgrade programme.

12-05-2022 Marketplace

Techrete aims for net zero carbon by 2030

Techrete aims for net zero carbon by 2030

Leading precast concrete facade manufacturer Techrete has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

12-05-2022 Marketplace

EPDs key to reducing embodied carbon – Munster Joinery

EPDs key to reducing embodied carbon – Munster Joinery

Leading Irish window manufacturer Munster Joinery has emphasised the importance of environmental product declarations (EPDs) for reducing embodied carbon in buildings. The company sees reducing embodied carbon as the next major step for the industry after tackling operational energy.

12-05-2022 Marketplace

Blogs

Let’s bring ventilation in from the cold

Let’s bring ventilation in from the cold

Why is there is such antipathy towards putting ventilation at the forefront of our Covid prevention strategy, asks Residential Ventilation Association of Ireland chair and co-founder David McHugh.

Blogs

“Sustainability must be embedded at all stages of a building’s life,” says David Browne of RKD

“Sustainability must be embedded at all stages of a building’s life,” says David Browne of RKD

In the #BuildingLife ambassador spotlight series, Passive House Plus is profiling leaders who have endorsed the Irish Green Building Council’s call to address the environmental impacts of buildings across their lifecycle.

Blogs

ESG: a game changer for sustainable building?

ESG: a game changer for sustainable building?

With signs that the corporate world may be starting to move from greenwashing to genuinely grappling with sustainability via environmental, social and governance reporting (ESG), will this create opportunities for the widespread adoption of evidence-based sustainable building? Archie O’Donnell, Passive House Association of Ireland board member and environmental manager with i3PT, finds reasons for optimism.

Blogs

We must take radical action on whole life carbon

Addressing building life cycle emissions requires much deeper action than is currently planned, says Marion Jammet of the Irish Green Building Council.

Blogs

Housing for who?

Housing for who?

Despite an increase in the construction of new homes, the number available for first-time buyers and families to purchase is falling.

Blogs

Passive house 30 years on: qualified success or brilliant failure?

Passive house 30 years on: qualified success or brilliant failure?

As the stringent fabric-first, low energy standard enters its fourth decade, Guy Fowler asks what sort of impact it has made on the world, and where it should go from here.

Blogs

How do breather membranes work?

How do breather membranes work?

How do underlays manage to let water vapour through while keeping the rain out? Toby Cambray delves into the physics…

Blogs

Let’s get decarbonisation done

While there is much debate about whether we should prioritise retrofitting homes or installing heat pumps, the climate crisis means we may not have a choice but to do both as fast as possible, writes Toby Cambray.

Blogs

The Saskatchewan House, 1977

The Saskatchewan House, 1977

In his latest column on the history of low energy building during the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks back at the Saskatchewan House, which was built in Canada in 1977, and established the principle of prioritising energy demand reduction over active systems.

Blogs

How will we decarbonise heating?

How will we decarbonise heating?

Insulating our homes is critical and must be our first priority, but how do we get the rest of the way to zero carbon? Dr Peter Rickaby investigates the options…

Blogs

Cutting embodied carbon: doing more with less

Cutting embodied carbon: doing more with less

We won’t be able to reduce the embodied carbon of construction fast enough just by switching to lower carbon materials, says Pat Barry of the Irish Green Building Council, so we urgently need smart design that allows us to build with less, and to create a genuine circular economy for building materials.

Blogs

When is an A-rated home really A-rated?

When is an A-rated home really A-rated?

Does the energy rating of homes actually reflect their real-world performance? Dr Shane Colclough, vice chair of the Passive House Association of Ireland, outlines the growing importance of post-occupancy analysis.

Blogs

The PH+ guides

The PH+ guide to air source heat pumps

The PH+ guide to air source heat pumps

As electricity supply from renewable sources continues to grow, and electricity grids gradually decarbonise as dirtier fossil fuels are phased out, heating homes with electrical technologies like heat pumps starts to make more sense. And in the mild, temperate climate of Britain and Ireland, air source heat pumps are particularly suitable — especially as new build standards of energy efficiency continue to tighten, meaning new homes need less and less energy to achieve comfortable indoor temperatures. But how do air source heat pumps work, what types are there, and how much do they cost to run? Our in-depth guide attempts...

08-05-2018 Guides

The PH+ guide to greener concrete - reducing the climate impact of cement and concrete in buildings

The PH+ guide to greener concrete - reducing the climate impact of cement and concrete in buildings

Cement is responsible for up to 8% of global carbon emissions, and in this guide, sustainable design expert Jay Stuart looks at ways to minimise its environmental impact through good design, and at some of the alternative, lower carbon cement and concrete products on the market.

30-07-2020 Guides

The PH+ guide to airtightness

The PH+ guide to airtightness

Once poorly understood by the mainstream building industry, airtightness is now increasingly seen as one of the most crucial objectives on any building project. Not only is it vital for energy efficiency, it’s also key for thermal comfort and for protecting a building’s structure from dampness and mould. In this comprehensive guide to airtightness, we look at why it’s so important, how exactly it’s measured, and most importantly, how to achieve it on site.

04-02-2019 Guides

The PH+ guide to insulating concrete formwork

The PH+ guide to insulating concrete formwork

As demand for super-insulated and airtight building structures grows, insulating concrete formwork (ICF) is rapidly gaining popularity as a method of construction. But what exactly is ICF, what are its key advantages, and why is it so well suited to passive house and low energy construction?

16-10-2018 Guides

Marketplace + companies featured in this article

Ecological Building Systems

Our ethos at Ecological Building Systems is to achieve 'Better Building' by adopting a 'Fabric First' approach to design.