Issue 34 - passivehouseplus.ie

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.

Good stock - Stylish Stockport retrofit achieves radical energy savings stars

This inspiring project may be exactly what the deep retrofit sector needs: an example of how to turn a bog standard, cold suburban home of little architectural merit into a climate champion delivering outstanding levels of energy performance, comfort and health, all while transforming the building architecturally.

Pilot light - Pioneering Donegal deep retrofit a roaring success stars

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.

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?

Aereco joins Renovate Europe campaign

Leading ventilation manufacturer Aereco has become the latest company to join the Renovate Europe campaign, which seeks to reduce the energy demand of the EU’s building stock by 80% by 2050 through deep retrofit measures.

Glavloc awarded Agrément certificate

Glavloc Building Technology has been awarded NSAI Agrément certification for their award-winning, high performance off site building system.

Remote home monitoring can help in Covid fight – iOpt Assets

Glasgow-based remote home sensing provider iOpt Assets believes its digital monitoring service can help to significantly limit maintenance visits by local authority and housing association staff, reducing one potential avenue of infection spread during the Covid-19 pandemic.

New passive vet centre opens in Wigan

Veterinarian and passive house enthusiast Chris Copeman, whose £60,000 passive house retrofit was featured in Passive House Plus issue 29, has built a new veterinary practice in Wigan that is aiming to meet the passive house standard.

Time to move to life cycle assessment of our buildings

New regulations over the last decade have substantially cut operational energy use in buildings, and with more building product manufacturers now publishing environmental data on their products, now is the time to move towards in-depth life cycle assessment to reveal the full environmental footprint of our buildings, Pat Barry of the Irish Green Building Council tells Passive House Plus.

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.

Covid may delay Part F competency & validation rules

The Department of Housing is considering short-term changes to ventilation requirements under building regulations due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the construction sector, Passive House Plus has learned.

SuperHomes to ramp up retrofit with new EU funding

Tipperary Energy Agency has secured significant new EU funding to further the development of its domestic retrofit programme, SuperHomes Ireland. The latest version of the scheme, dubbed ‘SuperHomes 2030’, is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. The new programme will run for three years.

Partel launches new fire-rated breather membrane

Low energy building product supplier Partel has launched a new premium class of protective flame-retardant breather membrane to the UK market. EXOPERM MONO DURO 200, with a Euroclass B fire rating, is designed for external applications within the low energy building sector.

2020 feels pivotal for passive house - Barry McCarron, PHAI

Passive house veteran Barry McCarron has just taken over as chairperson of the Passive House Association of Ireland for a three-year term. But he believes the unique convergence of national and international events makes 2020 particularly critical for delivering a sustainable built environment.

New drive to cut VAT on MVHR systems

A new campaign is aiming to encourage more sustainable property refurbishment through tax incentives for people to adopt passive, or near passive, building standards.

New government must support home working - Lidan designs

Roscommon-based modular offsite building manufacturer Lidan Designs has called on the next government to introduce effective financial incentives for companies to provide home office facilities to their employees.

Ecological launch new website and online training

Ecological Building Systems have announced the launch of a new website, aiming to support professionals and homeowners alike to achieve better results from their next project.

Circular economy plans come into focus

The European Commission has adopted the EU’s new circular economy action plan, a major part of the European Green deal. The action plan aims to make the EU economy produce more durable, longerlasting, repairable consumer products, and maximise the use of recycled material.

New report questions long-held MVHR assumptions

A new report by the Passivhaus Trust has questioned the common assumption that mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is inappropriate in dwellings with air permeability worse than 3 m3/m2/hour.

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