News

Denmark sets out phased embodied carbon targets for buildings

Denmark sets out phased embodied carbon targets for buildings

Denmark is set to introduce embodied carbon targets into the country’s building regulations, a policy which has been backed with cross-parliamentary support.

General

AECB launches new retrofit standard

AECB launches new retrofit standard

The Association for Environment Conscious Building has announced the launch of the new AECB Retrofit Standard, which like its AECB Building Standard, is based on the passive house standard and designed to promote a whole-house, fabric first approach.

General

Green groups critical of latest budget

Green groups critical of latest budget

Leading environmental and green building charities have criticised the government’s lack of ambition on retrofit, upskilling and a green economic recovery in its latest budget.

Government

Poorly ventilated retrofits can double radon retrofit risk, study finds

Poorly ventilated retrofits can double radon retrofit risk, study finds

Residential retrofits must ensure ventilation is carefully considered in order to avoid an increase in radon gas levels, researchers at NUI Galway in Ireland have found.

Health

Marketplace

A Proctor Group call for consideration of moisture balance issues

A Proctor Group call for consideration of moisture balance issues

A Proctor Group (APG) have stressed the importance of taking account of the HAMM (heat, air, moisture movement) principles when designing buildings, taking account of the effect of insulation type and placement along with the vapour permeability of the various layers.

29-03-2021 Marketplace

Good design key to heating & cooling via MVHR – CVC Direct

Good design key to heating & cooling via MVHR – CVC Direct

A big part of a comfortable household is having good indoor air quality and a comfortable air temperature. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is an efficient way of providing the necessary ventilation with little heat loss.

29-03-2021 Marketplace

Partel’s Izoperm Plus achieves passive house ‘A’ cert

Partel’s Izoperm Plus achieves passive house ‘A’ cert

Partel’s Izoperm Plus airtightness system has achieved phA certification from the Passive House Institute, the highest level of component certification, following recent testing.

29-03-2021 Marketplace

Manchester passive ICF house gets 0.31 ACH

Manchester passive ICF house gets 0.31 ACH

A new passive house in Manchester, built by Passive Building Structures, has achieved an airtightness test result of 0.31 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals on its final blower door test, easily beating the passive house airtightness standard of 0.6.

29-03-2021 Marketplace

Blogs

Will we really build back better?

Will we really build back better?

As governments rush to jump-start their economies, there is a danger that important lessons for how to retrofit homes will be lost in the rush to build. But there is a better way, writes Dr Peter Rickaby.

Blogs

The world’s first ‘zero energy’ house

The world’s first ‘zero energy’ house

Returning to his regular series on the evolution of sustainable building during the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain takes a look at the first serious attempt to build a house with net zero energy use.

Blogs

The science of filters

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.

Blogs

Are we the virus?

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.

Blogs

Getting to net zero carbon

Getting to net zero carbon

The UK government has committed to a legally binding target of being “net zero carbon” by 2050. Peter Rickaby ponders the steps needed to get there, and what the goal means for our homes, offices and other buildings.

Blogs

Environmental activism - tracing the roots of today's climate activism

Environmental activism - tracing the roots of today's climate activism

While the green wave visible at ballot boxes and street marches in 2019 reflects an apparent escalation in public consciousness on the need for urgent, decisive environmental action, the roots of today’s environmental consciousness stretch back over half a century, explains Dr Marc Ó Riain.

Blogs

How humanity can save itself from itself

How humanity can save itself from itself

We are in the grip of a global emergency. The science is clear, and thousands of lives have already been lost. The public are demanding firm and bold leadership, but a laissez-faire attitude on the part of western governments has delayed and watered down our response, with calamitous consequences.

Blogs

Are you sexist? Creating a building site culture where we can all thrive

Are you sexist? Creating a building site culture where we can all thrive

What forms does sexism take in the construction industry, asks builder Em Appleton, and what can we do about it?

Blogs

Culture shock & knowledge transfer

Culture shock & knowledge transfer

What are the consequences for the built environment, and the climate, of the lack of communication between research and industry, asks Dr Peter Rickaby – and what can be done about it?

Blogs

The first oil crisis

The first oil crisis

In the latest instalment of his series on the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain reports on the seismic impact caused by the 1973 oil crisis.

Blogs

Is it too late for sustainability?

Is it too late for sustainability?

Despite the urgency with which radical action is required to transform our built environment, Dr Peter Rickaby says he has never been more optimistic about the possibility of change.

Blogs

The schism in solar energy

The schism in solar energy

In his latest column on the evolution of solar energy, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at how the design approaches of architects and engineers diverged in the middle of the century.

Blogs

The PH+ guides

The PH+ guide to greener concrete - reducing the climate impact of cement and concrete in buildings

The PH+ guide to greener concrete - reducing the climate impact of cement and concrete in buildings

Cement is responsible for up to 8% of global carbon emissions, and in this guide, sustainable design expert Jay Stuart looks at ways to minimise its environmental impact through good design, and at some of the alternative, lower carbon cement and concrete products on the market.

30-07-2020 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 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 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

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