Shooting the moon

The concept of building back better and greener, popular early in the pandemic, is now in danger of being abandoned in the rush to return to ‘normal’ — but we always have the power to shape what normal is, writes Dr Peter Rickaby.

Is Enerphit the key to decarbonising existing homes?

With increasing attention turning to cutting carbon emissions from existing homes to meet carbon reduction targets, Duncan Smith, housing asset and energy strategy manager at Renfrewshire County Council in Scotland, argues that approaches which improve comfort and dramatically reduce energy bills must be front and centre.

Planning for passive

It’s time to make the passive house standard a requirement of local development plans across Ireland, says Mel Reynolds.

COP 26 & the future of the Glasgow tenements

Duncan Smith reflects on the social and architectural significance of Glasgow's tenement flats, and their potential place in a zero carbon future, as the city prepares to host COP 26. 

A precursor to the passive house

In his latest column on the development of passive and solar buildings in the 20th century, Dr Marc O’Riain looks at what might be considered an early prototype in the development of passive houses: the 1974 Philips Experimental House.

The condensation myth

Condensation within the structure of buildings is a lot more complex than condensation in a sweaty pub on a Friday night, writes building physics expert Toby Cambray.

Will we really build back better?

As governments rush to jump-start their economies, there is a danger that important lessons for how to retrofit homes will be lost in the rush to build. But there is a better way, writes Dr Peter Rickaby.

The world’s first ‘zero energy’ house

Returning to his regular series on the evolution of sustainable building during the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain takes a look at the first serious attempt to build a house with net zero energy use.

The science of filters

How do ventilation filters work, and can they help to protect us against Covid-19? Toby Cambray weighs in on the physics of a subject that is more complex and interesting than you might expect.

Will we ever return to normal?

Covid-19 has inadvertently given us a glimpse of what sustainable living patterns might look like, and we must seize this opportunity for long-lasting positive change, says Dr Peter Rickaby.

We need better building performance metrics

The way we currently do post-occupancy evaluation of buildings is inadequate, says Professor Fionn Stevenson — we need new ways to measure the environmental impact of buildings, and how resilient they are to climate change.

Towards greener homes — the role of green finance

For anyone interested in climate action, the government’s commitment to halve Ireland’s emissions by 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 was one of the highlights of the year. But we won’t reach this objective focusing exclusively on energy efficiency — we must turn our attention to cutting embodied carbon too, and this wil be a major focus of the Irish Green Building Council's Better Homes conference next Friday, 27 November. 

Are we the virus?

Taking a temporary detour from his series of columns on the history of sustainable building and renewable energy, Dr Marc Ó Riain takes a look at Covid-19 from the perspective of Gaia theory, and at the relationship between collapsing ecosystems and the emergence of new infectious diseases.

Zero in - technical virtual tour of a net zero passive house "plus"

Architect Mel Reynolds's stunning new passive mews in South Dublin is featured in the new issue of Passive House Plus magazine. You can view a technically detailed virtual tour of the property below - including detailed descriptions and construction photos of the build. To view the case study in the digital version of the new issue click here (Irish edition) and here (UK edition).

Best Delta 8 Carts