The cost of building passive

Perhaps the most common argument against making passive house mainstream is that it costs too much to build. But as building regulations tighten and an increasingly competitive passive house sector emerges, does that argument hold water?

Victorian passive upgrade

Turning an old Victorian home into a passive house is a painstaking job that would frighten many building professionals. But the team behind this innovative retrofit didn't just end up with a certified passive house, they got one of the lowest energy dwellings in the UK.

Affordable housing project delivers certified passive results

Although preconceived notions about the existence of a passive house aesthetic still abound, trailblazing projects like the Ditchingham affordable housing scheme in Norfolk show that vernacular architecture & build methods can go hand-in-hand with passive performance.

West Midlands school achieves 90 percent energy saving

Building a passive house school is a big achievement, but the team behind Oakmeadow Primary School in Wolverhampton have done something even more formidable — they built one when they weren't even asked to, and they did it for a conventional budget.

3 generations, 2 semi-ds, 1 passive house

Built on a tricky site in the seaside town of Salthill, Co Galway, Ireland’s first semi-detached passive house development is designed to meet the needs of three generations from the same family.

International selection - From Austria to Frank Lloyd Wright

Picking from some of the best current sustainable design the world has to offer, we profile a floating passive house currently moored in the Netherlands, a ground-breaking timber hybrid tower in Austria, a multi unit passive scheme in Malmö, and an Enerphit upgrade to a brutalist Connecticut home originally designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s colleagues.

The passive house in a warming world

 The coming decades are expected to bring higher average temperatures, more extreme weather events – and possibly more cold snaps. But how are passive house buildings geared to adapt to a changing climate?

Monkstown semi-D sets deep retrofit example

A house in south Dublin recently became the first Irish building to become EnerPHit certified. Architect Joseph Little describes the challenges of meeting the Passive House Institute’s standard for upgrading existing buildings.

Sustainability centre with a passive message

One of the UK’s first nondomestic buildings to gain passive house certification, the Simmonds Mills designed Green Base centre is an embodiment of the environmental ethos it seeks to promote. 

Wicklow house comes close to passive

With a target as exacting as the passive house standard, circumstances can conspire against meeting every criteria. Architect Sam Mays describes a Co Wicklow home that hit every passive target except one when the builder went bust. 

Ireland’s most energy efficient building?

A new house in Wexford is the first in the country to achieve an A1 Building Energy Rating and certified passive house status – arguably making it the most energy efficient building yet built in Ireland. So why did a regulatory flaw risk rendering it non-compliant? 

International Selection - What we can learn from igloos

Nothing drives innovation like adversity. Facing up to the prospect of scarce energy and other resources, we can take inspiration equally from the Inuit and the most avant-garde of passive house designers, as Sofie Pelsmakers reveals in her choice of six uniquely inspiring buildings from around the world.

Bridging the building performance gap

Predicted energy usage seldom reflect actual consumption, whether in the case of typical stock or notionally low energy buildings. But how well does passive house turn theory into reality?

Certified passive nursing home extension breaks new ground

As Passive House Plus goes to press confirmation has come through that an extension to a nursing home in Celbridge, Co Kildare, has become the first healthcare building – and the first extension of any kind – to become certified passive.

International selection - Five ground-breaking buildings

What do certified passive houses in Germany & France, community centres in Austria and the USA and the 2011 Solar Decathlon winner have in common? Passive House Association of Ireland chair Martin Murray of Martin Murray Architects finds inspiration in each of the five ground breaking buildings

Marketplace + companies featured in this article

Ecocem

Established in Dublin in 2003, Ecocem Ireland Ltd is an Irish company specialising in the manufacturing of high performance cements

Ecological Building Systems

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