News

State passive house scheme breaks ground

The Land Development Agency (LDA), in partnership with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, has broken ground on the largest public housing scheme in the state in recent years – a passive house scheme at Shanganagh in Shankill, Co Dublin.

Government

New technology centre to break barriers to construction innovation

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD, has launched Construct Innovate – a new Enterprise Ireland Technology Centre hosted at University of Galway which may play a key role in the transition to sustainable building in Ireland.

Government

Roadmap targets embodied and operational carbon

The energy used to heat, cool and light our buildings is responsible for almost a quarter of Ireland’s national carbon emissions – with the carbon embodied in the buildings themselves representing over an eighth of the total, a new report has revealed.

General

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

AECB conference to showcase timber innovation

The AECB conference 2022 will focus on practical solutions to decarbonising buildings, with a particular emphasis on timber-based approaches with the potential to deliver low energy, healthy buildings at scale while minimising the use of precious resources and impact on the environment.

Events

New digital hub for sustainable building upskilling

A new online hub aimed at upskilling the construction sector is now live.

General

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

Building or upgrading?

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Marketplace news

BaseTherm liquid floor insulation gets Agrément cert

BaseTherm liquid floor insulation gets Agrément cert

BaseTherm, a liquid floor insulation system produced and installed using a mobile floor insulation factory, has gained NSAI Agrément certification.

16-01-2023 Marketplace

Partel’s airtight membranes now certified for passive house construction

Partel’s airtight membranes now certified for passive house construction

Two Partel airtight systems, Exoperm Mono SA 250 and Vara Fluid Spray, have been evaluated and certified as Passive House Components by the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt, Germany. Both systems achieved advanced component status, Class phA.

16-01-2023 Marketplace

Xtratherm name changes to Unilin

Xtratherm name changes to Unilin

Leading insulation manufacturer Xtratherm is to be renamed Unilin Insulation from the start of 2023 onwards.

16-01-2023 Marketplace

Ecocem announces cement breakthrough to cut CO2 by 70 per cent

Ecocem announces cement breakthrough to cut CO2 by 70 per cent

Ecocem, Europe’s leader in low carbon cement technologies, has announced a major step in enabling the global cement industry to decarbonise on a trajectory compliant with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 C.

16-01-2023 Marketplace

Blogs

Paul Doran remembered

Paul Doran remembered

Editor Jeff Colley remembers Paul Doran, one of Ireland's foremost builders, who has tragically passed away.

Blogs

Why we wrote Designing for the Climate Emergency

Why we wrote Designing for the Climate Emergency

Over the last century architects have unwittingly played a key role in terms of climate collapse and a slew of linked catastrophic environmental and social harms. A new book aims to change that.

Blogs

HomeWorld 1981: car engine-driven houses & low energy ideas that stuck

HomeWorld 1981: car engine-driven houses & low energy ideas that stuck

In the latest missive in his series on the history of low energy design, Dr Marc Ó'Riain looks to some wacky and wonderful experimentation in a project that aimed to transform public perception of Milton Keynes.

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

The PH+ guides

The PH+ guide to thermal breaks

The PH+ guide to thermal breaks

Building physics take no prisoners. Anyone designing, constructing or upgrading the thermal envelope of a building to modern energy performance levels is duty bound to understand and minimise thermal bridging, or suffer the consequences. One-man thermal bridging encyclopaedia Andrew Lundberg of Passivate, who teaches thermal bridging analysis at Dublin Institute of Technology, gives some practical advice on why and how to tackle thermal bridging head on, and describes some of the leading innovations in thermally broken components.

19-04-2018 Guides

Timber frame & mass timber: the Passive House Plus guide to structural timber construction

Timber frame & mass timber: the Passive House Plus guide to structural timber construction

Fuelled by the need to build quickly and to increasingly tight sustainability standards, the market for timber frame and mass timber construction is growing rapidly. This detailed guide covers many of the main established and emerging techniques, and looks at key issues to address if you’re considering a timber-based build.

05-07-2019 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 insulating foundations

The PH+ guide to insulating foundations

While understanding wall and roof insulation is relatively straightforward, insulation under the ground floor can be a bit of a mystery by comparison. Not only is it buried in the ground, but there are notoriously tricky spots like the wall-floor junction that need to be detailed and insulated properly. And the design of your foundation often depends on site conditions and the type of structure you’re going to build, too. In this guide, we explain some different ways of insulating one of the most challenging parts of the building envelope.

10-06-2019 Guides