Northern Irelands Passive House early adopter, Willie Moffit, of Moffit Robinson Construction in Omagh featured on the National ITV News.

Willie Moffit, a great advocate of Passive House in Northern Ireland featured on the National ITV News.

The interview focuses on the sustainable heating system of the Camphill Community near Omagh and also a Passive House Willie completed several years ago. The house in the interview was Northern Ireland’s first certified Passive House.

Climate change: UK 'can cut emissions to nearly zero' by 2050

Climate change: UK 'can cut emissions to nearly zero' by 2050

The UK should lead the global fight against climate change by cutting greenhouse gases to nearly zero by 2050, a report says.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) maintains this can be done at no added cost from previous estimates.

Its report says that if other countries follow the UK, there’s a 50-50 chance of staying below the recommended 1.5C temperature rise by 2100.

A 1.5C rise is considered the threshold for dangerous climate change.

Some say the proposed 2050 target for near-zero emissions is too soft, but others will fear the goal could damage the UK's economy.

Can new innovations in ultra-low energy housing tackle fuel poverty?

Can new innovations in ultra-low energy housing tackle fuel poverty?

Can new innovations in ultra-low energy housing tackle fuel poverty?

This is the question being addressed at the inaugural Passive House Association of Ireland Conference, taking place in Belfast on Friday 10th May. The conference, supported by The Royal Society of Ulster Architects and Kingspan Insulation, has been developed to debate, challenge and address how the industry in NI needs to move forward and embrace new ways of tackling fuel poverty.

The 2016 Northern Ireland House Condition survey showed that 22% of households were living in fuel poverty in Northern Ireland; the private rented sector is the worst affected by fuel poverty with most recent figures at 26.3%; and in 2017-18 there were 1,500 excess winter deaths with 30% attributable to living in a cold home. In addition, 68% of households in Northern Ireland are reliant on home heating oil; an unregulated fuel in terms of price and customer protection.


Panellists and attendees will be privy to the latest research and development in the field, and there will be the opportunity for much lively conversation – with focus given to retrofit and new build housing.

The conference will have an esteemed panel of industry experts leading the discussions which includes: Director of Fuel Poverty Coalition NI, Pat Austin; County Architect for Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown County Council, Andrée Dargan; Dr. Shane Colclough from University of Ulster; Green Party NI Leader, Claire Bailey; Caroline Best Project Architect at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Managing Director of Mosart & Passive House Academy, Tomas O’Leary; and Chair of PHAB Group and GP Developments, Garrett Quinn.

The conference keynote speaker will be Housing Development Manager for Exeter City Council, Emma Osmundsen who will be discussing her council’s policy and successes in social housing by implementing low energy, healthy and climate resilient buildings.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Paul McAlister, Chairman of the PHAI, said, “This is a discussion which is long overdue, and we are delighted with the positive response from across the political and civic spectrum to our first ever conference tackling this issue.


“Fuel poverty affects thousands of households in Northern Ireland and decisive action is needed. The main issue is there is a lack of understanding on the benefits of low energy housing and a perception that it is more costly to implement this approach; which is not correct. We believe that this conference marks an important first step in addressing the problem, and we hope that it will motivate our business and community leaders to embrace and be more open to, recognising the potential of ultra-low energy housing.”

Crawfordsburn Passive House featured on the BBC National 6 O'Clock News

Delighted to have had the Crawfordsburn Passive House featured on the UK National 6 O'Clock News with the reporter Emma Vardy.
Emma was doing a piece on a report by the UK Government Committee on Climate Change which focuses on targets for Sustainable Housing.
So pleased that they included my line about energy efficient housing eliminating fuel Poverty.

Erne Campus Passive House Site Visit and Briefing

Friday, December 14, 2018 at 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

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The Passive House Association are hosting a Passive house briefing culminating in a Site Visit to the new Erne Campus Building.
This building, which has astonishing sustainable credentials, will be the first Passive House Premium Building constructed in the UK and Ireland.
The technology employed in the constructions is ground-breaking and Donal McGloin of Tracey Brothers will give an insight into the challenges for the project.
A bus will be provided for transport from the CREST Building to the site and the return.


9:30 AM - Registration: Tea & Coffee

10:00 AM - Welcome and Introduction - Paul McAlister: Chairman – Passive House Association of Ireland

10:15 AM - Passive House finance and the beneficiaries Pecha Kucha* – Presentation - Garrett Quinn

10:30 AM - The Multiple Benefits of Low Energy Dwellings - Dr. Shane Colclough

11:00 AM - Cost Effective, Rapid Build - Declan Loane: Quinn Building Products

11:15 AM - Passive House Developments and Training - Barry McCarron SWC

11:34 AM - Bus to Erne Campus and talk by Donal McGloin of Tracey Brothers

12:30 PM - Return Bus to CREST South West College

Clink on Link below for Tickets or cut and paste into Browser.

Passive House Open Day – Waringstown, Co Armagh

Passive House Open Day – Waringstown, Co Armagh

Paul McAlister Architect is delighted to open our beautiful newly built House for the official Passive House Open day which takes place across the world!
The house is nearly completed, and this will be an opportunity to see the unique way the house is heated in winter and the design for passive solar gain.

The event is taking place on Saturday 10th November from 11.30am to 12.30pm and we will be asking attendees to register.

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We had a great response, just under 60 people attended the event.


The Perfect AIRTIGHT ‘SEAL’ - Seminar Tour 2018

Optimum Energy Efficiency, Freedom from Structural Damage and Healthy Living within UK Construction.

BELFAST – Tuesday 6th November 2018

VENUE: Titanic Belfast,
1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9EP


09.00 Registration & Refreshments

09:30 Opening address Paul McAlister
Chairman, Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) 


Paul McAlister qualified as a chartered Architect in 1997, opened his own practice in 2002 and has established this practice as a leader in the field of sustainable and energy efficient architectural design. The practice has won multiple awards and continues to promote best practice in sustainable and responsible architectural design and construction. In 2010 Paul became the first person in Northern Ireland to become a Certified Passive House Designer. He is responsible for Northern Ireland’s first, Architect designed, Passive house becoming an advocate and early adopter of the standard. The practice’s most ground-breaking building is the 1.8 million CREST (Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Technologies) award winning building in Enniskillen.

The schedule of speakers for the day

The schedule of speakers for the day

Paul McAlister giving the opening address

Paul McAlister giving the opening address

The Ecological Buildings Solutions Team for the day

The Ecological Buildings Solutions Team for the day

Near Zero Emissions Buildings regulations arrive this year. Are you ready?

 The Near Zero Emissions Buildings regulations (nZEB) is a European low energy building standard. All new public buildings must be compliant by December 31st, 2018 and all other new buildings must meet the standard by December 31st, 2020

While Brexit and wider political uncertainty affects Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is pushing ahead.  If you are working on public buildings currently then they will have to meet these standards by the end of this year.

The RSUA has partnered with Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) to provide an expert-led half day seminar to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to incorporate this standard into your practice.

 Seminar Content

Paul McAlister (Paul McAlister Architects) and Barry McCarron, (CREST Research and Development Coordinator) will lead this engaging half day seminar. 


Paul McAlister is chairman of the PHAI, and his award-winning practice focuses on design and has exceptional sustainability credentials, winning the RSUA Sustainability Award in 2016.  He believes the Passive House Method of construction is the best means of creating reliable, quality sustainable architecture without the risk of performance-gap failures. He also recognises the importance of Passive House principles in achieving Near Zero Energy Buildings in the UK and Ireland and meeting the new European standards.

Barry McCarron has been the Research and Development Coordinator since 2013 for the award winning CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies) Pavilion at South West College in Northern Ireland.

Barry is an MSc graduate of the Queens University Belfast through the Gibson Scholarship. He previously graduated from the University of Ulster with an Honours Degree in Architectural Technology and Project Management. He has also completed a HND in Building Engineering and Project Management at the Belfast Institute of Higher and Further Education.  Barry has recently undertaken a PhD in Queen’s University Belfast to research the Passive House Standard performance in Ireland.  He has more than ten years’ experience with the Construction Industry and specialises in Sustainable Construction and renewables Micro Generation and is part of the team at South West College working towards developing the College into a Regional Centre of Excellence for Passive House.

  Module 1

  • nZEB requirements for Domestic and Non-Domestic Buildings.

 Module 2

  • Overview of the Passive House Standard: using an established standard as a route to nZEB.

 Module 3

  • Case study of fast-track affordable social housing built to dual certification according to nZEB and Passive House:

 Course duration:

4 hours (with a break)



2:00pm to 6:30pm on Thursday 28th June 2018

Tea and coffee will be available from 1:30pm


Syndicate Room 6, Riddel Hall, Stranmillis Road, Belfast


Link / map


RSUA Practice Service Scheme members £69 + VAT

RSUA Members £82 + VAT

Non-members £92 + VAT

 How to book:

Book your place online or contact Julia Leaker (  Cheques should be made out to RSUA and sent to 2 Mount Charles, Belfast, BT7 1NZ.

nZEB Ireland launched at national conference

nZEB Ireland launched at national conference

nZEB Ireland, an independent not-for-profit organization established to fill the knowledge gap on the EU’s nearly zero energy building (nZEB) standard in Ireland, has been launched.

This article was originally published in issue 26 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge


The membership-based organisation will advocate for evidence-based approaches to nZEB, while aiming to ensure that Ireland’s proposed definition and implementation of the nZEB standard meets the requirements of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings directive and associated guidance on nZEBs issued by the EU.


Fostered by the Passive House Association of Ireland, nZEB Ireland has been incorporated as a separate company with an independent constitution. While board members of the PHAI have served as interim board members of nZEB Ireland, a new board is being assembled, it was announced at the nZEB Ireland Rapid Housing National Conference in DIT on 22 June, where delegates heard about how rapid build techniques could help Ireland to solve the housing crisis without compromising on energy performance. The event was hosted by DIT in association with Dublin City Council, with support from gold sponsor Xtratherm, silver sponsors Glavloc, Nilan & Actavo, and bronze sponsors Keystone Lintels and Saint-Gobain.


Board members for the new organisation who have been confirmed so far include climate scientist Prof John Sweeney (who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the team that authored the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 4th assessment report); former SEAI CEO Prof J Owen Lewis, and award-winning architect Frank Cooney.


Pictured at the inaugural NZEB Ireland Conference are (L-R) NZEB Ireland Co-Chair Dr Shane Colclough; Junior Housing Minister Damien English; Interim NZEB Ireland Board Member Tomas O’leary & NZEB Ireland Co-Chair Paul McAlister

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Technical Briefing – PHAI Ireland CPD event in conjunction with RSUA

The Passive House Association of Ireland will be presenting, in conjunction with the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, a CPD Technical Briefing on the topic of the upcoming challenges that NZEB will pose and the role of Passive House in overcoming them.

Passive House CPD Briefing Thursday October 2017 

Venue: Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Rd, Belfast BT9 5EE

 9.00 Registration;Tea and Coffee

Paul McAlister, PHAI Chairman, Paul McAlister - Passive House Architect - Challenges and solutions of meeting NZEB through the Passivhaus Standard; The performance gap in traditional construction techniques.

Declan Loane, Quinn Group -  Innovative Quinn-Lite blocks: reducing thermal losses in line with NZEB and avoiding the performance gap.

Dr Shane Colclough-  PHAI Vice-Chairman, Ulster University The cost of building to the near Zero Energy Building standard. A financial case study.

Eddie Ward, Gapogroup Airtightness Innovations for High Performance Buildings: avoiding the performance gap.


Speakers Declan Loane, Quinn Group, Paul McAlister Passive House Architect, Dr Shane Colclough- PHAI Vice-Chairman, Ulster University, Eddie Ward, Gapogroup

Speakers Declan Loane, Quinn Group, Paul McAlister Passive House Architect, Dr Shane Colclough- PHAI Vice-Chairman, Ulster University, Eddie Ward, Gapogroup

PHAI Briefing event at Ecological Building Solutions

Really great evening with inspiring presentations from Emmet Nee, Maurice Falvey, (Nilan) Gary O'Sullivan, Michael Hanratty (Managing Director at IHER Energy Services) and Paul McAllister at our Passivhaus Briefing Ecological Building Systems Ltd. Head office in Athboy. Thanks to all speakers and attendees!


Paul McAllister - Passive House Architect,  Michael Hanratty  (Managing Director at IHER Energy Services),   Maurice Falvey , (Nilan) Niall McCrossan ( Ecological Building Systems )  Gary O'Sullivan , (The National Standards Authority of Ireland) and  Emmet Nee , (Passive house Contractor)

Paul McAllister - Passive House Architect, Michael Hanratty (Managing Director at IHER Energy Services),  Maurice Falvey, (Nilan) Niall McCrossan (Ecological Building SystemsGary O'Sullivan, (The National Standards Authority of Ireland) and Emmet Nee, (Passive house Contractor)

Business Cube - Dungannon Enterprise Centre - Opening


Our clients, Dungannon Enterprise Centre, first approached Paul McAlister Architects in 2013 wanting to develop and convert vacant commercial premises into a number of small start-up business units.  In conjunction with the client we saw an opportunity to create something innovative as well as sustainable.  Using re-cycled shipping containers seemed like an ideal solution to create a contemporary space for micro business incubation.

Dungannon Enterprise Centres new venture aims to create a business community with the purpose of nurturing new talent and developing established names in commerce.  The modular nature of the new offices encourages the new tenants to use the common areas to network and develop new ideas with fellow entrepreneurs.  ‘The Cube’ occupies a 4,000 sq ft unit at Dungannon Enterprise Centre that had been left vacant after its previous tenant moved out.  The new business units in the ‘Cube’ aspire to create affordable space for both start-up and small established business

Initial design studies were completed to assess how many containers would fit into the space; and how the circulation would be created between them, emphasising the social aspects of the clients’ brief of encouraging interaction between occupants.  The concept for the common area is a ‘micro’ model of ‘Facebooks’ headquarters in America with a pool table in place and plans for a putting green to be installed.

The 13 offices created are attractive to potential tenants because of the potential for networking with other entrepreneurs in the space that the units are clustered around; allowing them to grow and expand their businesses, learning from each other and sharing resources and costs between the community.

The completed scheme at the ‘Cube’ is a creative hub for both tenants and visitors; with its layout encouraging users to engage with each other.  The re-use of shipping containers in this way has not been attempted in Ireland before, but it could be developed as a methodology for the innovative, environmentally friendly and cost effective re-use of empty warehouses throughout Ireland.  It is not a convention anywhere in the world but the adaptability of shipping containers and their flexibility of use should be investigated as a sustainable cost effective method of construction.

CREST Centre – Seminar – Achieving Excellence in Sustainable Construction

CREST Centre – Seminar – Achieving Excellence in Sustainable Construction

The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) is an exciting new initiative through which support is being provided to SMEs in Northern Ireland, the border counties and Western Scotland to enable them to develop sustainable ideas.