Housing for all: a plan in need of a story

Under its new housing plan, the government wants the state to acquire more land for housebuilding. But why has it failed to use the vast land banks it already owns? Mel Reynolds runs the rule over the figures.

Why the Green Homes Grant failed

The Green Homes Grant scheme failed because politicians failed to heed more than a decade of lessons about how to do retrofit well, writes Dr Peter Rickaby, and now there will be an even bigger hill to climb.

On the 3D printing of buildings

Building physics expert Toby Cambray finds himself unconvinced by the merits of a new home in the Netherlands that has been 3D printed with concrete.

How to scale up energy renovation

The government’s target of retrofitting half a million homes by 2030 may seem daunting, but the Irish Green Building Council is working on a series of initiatives to help make it a reality, as the group’s Marion Jammet reports.

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.

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Precision Heating

Precision Heating is recognised as a leading supplier of heating and renewable energy products, to both residential and commercial customers throughout the whole of Ireland.