From the Construct Ireland archives


Welcome to the archive of Construct Ireland, the award-winning Irish green building magazine which spawned Passive House Plus. The feature articles in these archives span from 2003 to 2011, including case studies on hundreds of Irish sustainable buildings and dozens of investigative pieces on everything from green design and building methods, to the economic arguments for low energy construction. While these articles appeared in an Irish publication, the vast majority of the content is relevant to our new audience in the UK and further afield. That said, readers from some regions should take care when reading some of the design advice - lots of south facing glazing in New Zealand may not be the wisest choice, for instance. Dip in, and enjoy!

Pay as you save

Pay as you save
In an ideal world every occupied building in Ireland would be energy upgraded to the highest standard, tapping into numerous benefits for the building occupant, the construction industry and society as a whole. Construct Ireland is calling for the introduction of pay as you save, a repayment model which offers the potential of making significant energy upgrade investments achievable in the vast majority of Irish buildings, as Jeff Colley reveals.

Renewable Energy Grants (Jeff Colley)

The first scheme of renewable energy grants for Irish homeowners, the Greener Homes Scheme, was launched on Monday 27th March 2006 and will make grant funding available to homeowners looking to install renewable energy heating technology
The first scheme of renewable energy grants for Irish homeowners, the Greener Homes Scheme, was launched on Monday 27th March 2006 and will make grant funding available to homeowners looking to install renewable energy heating technology

On the plus side

MULLINGAR ENERGY PLUS HOUSE TO GENERATE MORE ENERGY THAN IT CONSUMES
Nothing focuses the mind like a target. The growing impact of Building Energy Ratings (BER) is increasingly encouraging Irish people to aim for the highest energy rating they can. Patrick and Niamh Daly’s house in Mullingar takes this trend to the next level, using a myriad of sustainable green materials and technologies to become a net energy producer and go beyond the limit of the BER scale. John Hearne visited the nearly completed house to find out more.

Passivhaus or passive solar house?

Passivhaus Or Passive Solar House
Few concepts in sustainable design have caught on like the passive house. Since the construction of the first passive house in Germany in 1990, an estimated 15 to 20,000 houses have been built to what is arguably the world’s leading low energy building standard. Drawing from his experience in sustainable building since the early 1980s, Bill Quigley of NuTech Renewables posits an alternative approach.

Slane barn retrofit

Slane Barn
Renovated agricultural barn marries its traditional look with modern green features

Geo Dynamics

Geothermal Heat Pumps
Richard Douthwaite looks at the viability of heat pumps, and the factors that could determine their future role in a changing energy landscape.

Moate point

Moate point
A new development in County Westmeath answers a nagging question about district heating: how to make it financially viable when it services energy efficient buildings. Lenny Antonelli visited a housing estate that combines low energy design with an innovative district heating system and ecological timber frame construction

Rathdrum passive refurb

Rathdrum Passive Refurb
Randy Ralston and Mel Cronin aimed for the passive house standard with their upgrade, and though they didn’t quite get there they ended up with a house that produces more energy than it consumes, making it one of the country’s flagship green renovation projects.

Botched Finglas upgrade

Botched Finglas Upgrade
Ron and Collette Wardle started suffering ill health almost immediately after a sloppy energy upgrade. But reading a copy of Construct Ireland started a chain of events that led to the couple getting a brand new ventilation system — and seeing a marked improvement in their health.

Passive aggressive

The emergence of the passive house in Ireland
Imagine moving into a house without a heating system – what would you do? Contact the developer and demand they put one in immediately? Call a solicitor and sue the builder? Or sit back and enjoy living in a house, designed to meet your expectations of comfort without any recourse to a space heating system. Jason Walsh met the people behind Ireland’s drive toward the passive house.

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