Ireland - passivehouseplus.ie

Zero in - Inspired design offers route to net zero energy living stars

It sounds like an impossibility: a high density, architectural, zero energy home on the tightest of back garden sites, adaptable to the needs of everyone from empty nesters to a family of six without opening a toolbox. But sometimes a project comes along that redefines what is possible.

International - Issue 35

This issue features an intriguing new passive house apartment building in north-west Spain.

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.

Dead air - airborne Covid 19 and poorly ventilated buildings stars

In the early stages of the Covid-19 crisis, there was little official recognition that airborne transmission was a risk. Has that view changed, and what role will building ventilation play when winter approaches?

Deep retrofit and stimulus stars

With governments across Europe looking for ways to jump start their economies following the early impact of Covid-19, attention is increasingly turning to deep retrofit. But while there is strong evidence that deep retrofit could play a major role, the devil will be in the detail – and the challenge of dramatically upscaling a nascent industry shouldn’t be underestimated.

Sea change — luxury passive scheme on the Devon coast

Built mostly with clay blocks and sited above the sandy shores of Seaton, on the Devon coast, this new development of eight high-end apartments not only meets the passive house ‘plus’ standard — meaning it pairs the requisite ultra-low energy fabric with a substantial amount of renewable energy generation — but it also boasts serious attention to the use of ecological and healthy material.

International - Issue 34

This issue features the passive house ‘plus’ certified headquarters of Métropole Rouen Normandie, located on the banks of the Seine in Rouen, France, and designed by Jacques Ferrier Architecture.

Bringing buildings into the circular economy

Embodied carbon is the next great challenge for the building sector. For the group’s latest update, Marion Jammet of the Irish Green Building Council discusses initiatives underway at both Irish and European level to further cut the carbon footprint of the built environment.

New research gives boost to recycled concrete

Results of a new five-year study of recycled concrete show that it performs as well, and in several cases even better, than conventional concrete.

Grenfell inquiry hears of damning test culture

Before it was halted until January 2021, the Grenfell Tower inquiry heard a series of damning testimonies on the culture towards fire safety within leading building material manufacturers and certification bodies in the years leading up to the fire.

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.

Pilot light - Pioneering Donegal deep retrofit a roaring success

A rundown 1970s scheme of one-bedroom, single storey social housing units in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, has been transformed into a pioneering development of cosy, A-rated, NZEB-busting homes. The pioneering project – the first completed under Ireland’s deep retrofit pilot scheme – also breathed new life into an unloved green area and is expected to help fuel a regeneration project in the town.

Dún Laoghaire passive house scheme will be one of world’s largest

ABK Architects has received planning permission for 597 homes at Shanganagh, Co Dublin, the overwhelming majority of which will be passive houses. The project has been developed in partnership with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Land Development Agency.

Quinn Building Products rebrands as Mannok

'Mannok' has been unveiled as the new identity for Quinn Industrial Holdings, a name which the company’s familiar brands Quinn Building Products and Quinn Packaging will transition to in the coming weeks.

Experts call for CO2 sensors as tool in Covid fight

CO2 levels in rooms and other enclosed spaces should be used as a proxy for Covid transmission risk, a number of leading experts have said, as the evidence increasingly points towards airborne transmission being a major factor in the spread of the virus.

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).

Building sector must show bold climate leadership

In late 2018, the IPCC issued a stark warning. It highlighted that limiting global warming to 1.5 C is crucial to avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. It also clearly established that achieving the goals of the Paris climate agreement will require action at an unprecedented pace and scale. To maximise the chances of limiting global warming to 1.5 C, all sectors of the economy must achieve significant emissions reductions, and the building sector must fully decarbonise by 2050.

Hell's kitchen - Why cooking can destroy indoor air quality

When it comes to air pollution, we tend to worry most about things like traffic fumes and solid fuel burning — or when it comes to indoor air, condensation, damp and mould. But one of the biggest threats in the air we breathe comes from something we are exposed to almost every day, but rarely think about: cooking. John Hearne reports on the evidence for how cooking affects indoor air quality, and what we can do about it.

Speculative effort - technical virtual tour of a developer-built Enerphit

An extraordinary A1 upgrade in Cork City  is Ireland's first developer-led Enerphit. The attention to detail taken in its construction is something to behold. See below for a detailed technical virtual tour, including tags showing sequences of construction shots that reveal what makes this building so special. To view the case study in our digital magazine click here (Irish edition) and here (UK edition.

Are lower land values the silver lining of the crisis?

While the Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly caused a huge amount of human suffering and economic damage, it has brought some upsides too. Mel Reynolds speculates on how much land prices may fall, and what the positive and negative impacts may be.

Dead air - airborne covid 19 and poorly ventilated buildings

In the early stages of the Covid-19 crisis, there was little official recognition that airborne transmission was a risk. Has that view changed, and what role will building ventilation play when winter approaches?

Coasting home - Beautifully designed Hampshire home breezes past passive standard

‘Architecture is the blissful moment when the site and brief come together,’ says architect Ruth Butler of the challenge she and her engineer husband faced in designing their family home, on a difficult urban site by the Hampshire coast. But it was a challenge they met and exceeded, because even though they hadn’t even planned to build a passive house, they soon realised the design was on course to meet the onerous energy standard anyway.

Double standards - Mayo home takes passive approach to NZEB stars

Sited on the side of a hill in the west of Ireland, a new home that meets the NZEB and passive house standards boasts a locally-made and super-insulated timber-frame, and is designed to fold cleverly into the rural landscape.

Supporting green building’s upskilling

Over the past couple of months, the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) has been focusing on helping those in the industry to upskill during the lockdown.

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