Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish government’s minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants' rights, was a keynote speaker at the UK Passivhaus Conference in Edinburgh on 17 October, and shared his vision for energy efficient and low carbon buildings in Scotland.
Three leading sustainable building organisations have expressed disappointment with the government’s proposed Future Homes Standard, which went to consultation in December, along with proposals for non-domestic buildings.
A pioneering co-housing scheme, a cube-shaped self build, a cork and polyester- insulated retrofit to a 1970s house, a glulam timber school, and a curved college building were the winners at the 2023 UK Passivhaus Awards.
Scotland’s minister for zero carbon
buildings is proposing to make the passive
house standard, or a new Scottish equivalent,
the minimum energy efficiency standard for
new build homes from the end of 2024.
Over the past two years Passive
House Plus editor Jeff Colley has
been moonlighting as co-host of Zero
Ambitions, a weekly podcast that wrestles
with the challenge of how to deliver the
scale and ambition of decarbonisation
and sustainability in buildings required
to avoid a hellish future.
The World Green Building Council
(WorldGBC) has launched a set
of principles aimed at guiding national
governments to develop effective building
policies and programmes to accelerate a
The Passivhaus Trust has published a
new technical paper on thermal bypass
– the phenomenon where air movement
across, within and behind insulation
increases heat loss, causes discomfort and
enables mould growth.
The Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) has introduced a new retrofit standard catering for hard-to-treat homes and cases where homeowners want to take urgent action on climate change but are not currently able to commit to a deep retrofit.
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.
Sustainable building product supplier A. Proctor Group has introduced a new online U-value calculator, condensation risk analysis software, and members area with a range of technical supports available to architects…
Partel, a leading manufacturer of airtight and windtight membranes, has developed two new fire-rated breather membranes that exceed current fire safety regulation levels for high-rise and high-risk buildings: Exoperm Duro…
Specialist green building & retrofit company Ecovert Solutions has developed an oil-free approach to external wall insulation (EWI) emanating from green new build approaches: cellulose insulated I-beam construction.
Leading sustainable building product supplier Ecological Building Systems has launched Retro EcoWall, a new quick-to-install internal wall insulation system ideal for traditional buildings, designed to meet the requirements of the…
Shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2003, BedZed was a prominent example of architecture
starting to pay attention to sustainability. But how well did it work? In the latest part of his series
on the history of low energy architecture, Dr. Marc O Riain looks back at a landmark project.
Advances in building physics in recent years are leading to an ever-increasing understanding among experts of the risks that a litany of pollutants can pose to building occupants. But this has not stopped vulnerable people from living – and dying - in substandard buildings that exacerbate these risks. Urgent action is needed, Toby Cambray explains, to better communicate and decisively tackle the risks buildings can pose to their occupants.
The scale of the retrofit challenge facing the UK and Ireland will require an army of
tradespeople to upgrade homes – leading many to the conclusion that a new retrofit
industry needs to be built from scratch. But is a more realistic answer staring us in the face
– a thriving existing industry of trusted local tradespeople, asks Dr Catrin Maby OBE.
One zero carbon energy source has historically been vehemently opposed by
environmentalists. But can nuclear power overcome the high-profile failures of its past, asks Dr. Marc O Riain, or has the technology missed the boat?
The passive house camp recently took
place from 26-29 September at South
West College's passive house premium-certified
Erne Campus and the Centre for
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies
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.
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.
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.
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...
Once poorly understood by the mainstream building industry, airtightness is now increasingly seen as one of the most crucial objectives on any building project. Not only is it vital for energy efficiency, it’s also key for thermal comfort and for protecting a building’s structure from dampness and mould. In this comprehensive guide to airtightness, we look at why it’s so important, how exactly it’s measured, and most importantly, how to achieve it on site.