News

IGBC launches updated sustainable homes rating system at Better Homes 2022

The Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) today launched a new version of its Home Performance Index (HPI) sustainable home certification system at its annual residential conference, Better Homes 2022. The focus of the event was on delivering low carbon homes at scale.

General

EU proposes gas demand reduction plan till spring

As Russia weaponises gas exports, the European Commission has proposed a gas demand reduction plan, to cut use in Europe by 15 per cent until next spring.

Government

World’s first passive house hospital completed in Frankfurt

The world’s first passive house hospital has been certified by the Passive House Institute – showing that the standard can be applied to even to the most demanding building types.

Projects

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

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Marketplace news

Choose cellulose to protect against damp in attics — Ecocel

Choose cellulose to protect against damp in attics — Ecocel

The government substantially increased the available grant for attic insulation earlier this year, and given the expected boost in attic upgrades this is likely to stimulate, John Egan of Cork-based cellulose insulation manufacturer Ecocel says that it’s critical homeowners consider factors such as moisture performance, as well as airtightness and carbon footprint when choosing their insulation material.

02-09-2022 Marketplace

Hevac launches hot water heat pump with green refrigerant

Hevac launches hot water heat pump with green refrigerant

Leading sustainable heating systems provider Hevac Group has launched the De Deitrich Elensio hot water heat pump range onto the Irish market – using a refrigerant with a risibly low global warming potential (GWP).

02-09-2022 Marketplace

Low carbon, cement free carbon rooms being built in Cork

Low carbon, cement free carbon rooms being built in Cork

A garden room built by Cork-based Blue Mountain Garden Rooms has a significantly lower carbon footprint when compared to an equivalent log cabin with a concrete base, or to a block-built log cabin with a concrete base, a recent analysis has found.

01-09-2022 Marketplace

Grant joins Octabuild

Grant joins Octabuild

Grant has announced its membership of Octabuild in a move that will see the company strengthen its relations in the building and construction industry and showcase its award-winning home heating technologies.

01-09-2022 Marketplace

Blogs

“Addressing embodied carbon is a no brainer” says Eoin Ó Broin TD

“Addressing embodied carbon is a no brainer” says Eoin Ó Broin TD

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

Punk retrofit: fighting the lack of vision on energy upgrades

Punk retrofit: fighting the lack of vision on energy upgrades

In the aftermath of COP26, Dr Peter Rickaby asks what is the government’s plan to deliver the deep, whole-house, quality-assured retrofits needed to get us to net zero by 2050?

Blogs

The world energy crisis 2022

The world energy crisis 2022

The energy crises of the 1970s did not prompt a major shift in Europe from foreign oil and gas towards energy efficiency and renewables. Will we learn this time around, wonders Dr Marc O Riain

Blogs

Housing: turning problems into solutions for Ukrainian refugees

Housing: turning problems into solutions for Ukrainian refugees

Our abundance of holiday homes and other vacant dwellings could be used to house Ukrainian refugees, writes Mel Reynolds.

Blogs

The 1980s: A renewable revolution undermined

The 1980s: A renewable revolution undermined

Marc O Riain explores how policy on both side of the Atlantic in the 1980s sabotaged a nascent revolution in renewables and energy conservation.

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

The PH+ 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

The PH+ guide to heat recovery ventilation

The PH+ guide to heat recovery ventilation

Heat recovery ventilation is an invaluable way to maintain indoor air quality in low energy buildings and minimise the loss of precious heat, but there are several issues to address to ensure optimal performance. Ventilation expert Ian Mawditt, a technical advisor on Part F of England’s building regulations, has decades of experience in field investigations of indoor air quality and ventilation effectiveness. His guide, which focuses on centralised or ducted whole house heat recovery systems, is essential reading to anyone considering such a system.

10-06-2019 Guides

The PH+ guide to external insulation

The PH+ guide to external insulation

In the first in a new series of technical articles on some of the key technologies in sustainable building, John Hearne makes the case for wrapping buildings in an external insulation layer, and describes some of the main issues to watch out for.

07-02-2018 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