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.

Action Renewables Awards at Titanic Belfast

Action Renewables Awards at Titanic Belfast

The Action Renewables Association annual awards were held on Tuesday 20th March at Titanic Belfast.  The event which was held in association with Tughans and Travelwise NI, was a great success and recognised ten local companies for their innovation in renewable energy technologies, thought-leading sustainability and awareness raising initiatives.

Sustainable Ireland Awards 2014


Paul Accepting his award for our work on The CREST project

Pictured with representatives from South West College, the main contractor PJ Treacy and the sponsor of the awards Kingspan

Crest Centre Award - Pictured above Adrian Logan, Sean McCarron of PJ Treacy & Sons, Contractor; Paul McAlister; Malachy McAleer and Joseph Martin, both from South West College; and the Kingspan sponsor.

Crest Centre Award - Pictured above Adrian Logan, Sean McCarron of PJ Treacy & Sons, Contractor; Paul McAlister; Malachy McAleer and Joseph Martin, both from South West College; and the Kingspan sponsor.

Review and Photos of See the Light 2013

The Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) held this year’s annual Irish Passive House Conference, “See The Light”, on Friday 25 October 2013 at DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology).

The conference was a great success, with delegates, exhibitors and organisers all agreeing that the event generated a lot of positivity.  A very informative day of talks from a strong line-up of national and international speakers culminated in the keynote address by Prof. Wolfgang Feist founder of the Passive House Institute.  This was followed by the panel discussion with Pat Cox former E.U. President and Prof. Brian Norton, President of DIT and chaired by Frank McDonald, environment editor of the Irish Times.

Passive House Briefings - Thursday 21st March 2013

Fifth Passive House Briefing attracts over 50 people to the University of Ulster.

The University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Centre for Sustainable Technologies, (a founding member of the Passivehouse Association of Ireland), hosted a well-attended Passive House Briefing on Thursday evening last 21st March.

The University which is ranked fourth in the UK in regard to Sustainable Technologies and Research was also showcasing its own ‘state of the art’ Passive House Test Studio, which includes a solar array that can replicate all types of solar conditions for research purposes. The Campus also includes the largest wall mounted PV array in the UK and two purpose built terraced houses to facilitate energy research and modelling of retrofit solutions.

Full Programme:

17.00 Optional Tour of Laboratory including Ireland’s First Passive House Test Studio

17.30 Tea, Coffee and Sandwiches served in Loughview Suite, Room 8H01B

18.00 Prof. Neil Hewitt, University of Ulster – Welcome Address

18.10 Paul McAlister, Architects & Energy Consultants – “Passive House – What does it cost?” – An actual project with actual costs

18.30 Dr. Shane Colclough, University of Ulster – “Passive Houses – Current Research in Ireland”

18.50 Mark Gribbin, Setanta Construction – “The Importance of Thermal Bridging”

19.10 Peter Keig, Eco Energy (NI) – Case Study: “Eco-Energy Retrofit, Grove Housing Association Belfast”

19.30 Martin Murray, Chair, Passive House Association of Ireland – Q&A and Close

Feedback on the event has been very positive. As reported by one of the attendees, John Humes of Povall Worthington Architects: “A brief note of thanks and praise for a superb seminar on Thursday evening. I have attended a number of similar events over the years – on this occasion I came away further inspired.”

Sustainable Build Technologies Breakfast Seminar

You are cordially invited to attend a Sustainable Build Technologies breakfast seminar at Southern Regional College (SRC) as part of the launch of our new i3 initiative. i3 provides support to business and industry through research & development, mentoring, knowledge transfer and specialist training services.

Date: 31st Jan 2013
Location: SRC, Portadown Campus.
Time: 7.30am – 9.00am

Guest Speakers

Paul McAlister – Paul McAlister Architects are an award winning architectural practice committed to design excellence, sustainability and commercial reality.
Tomás O’Leary; Passive House Academy – Tomás is the principal trainer and a co-founder of the Passive House Academy, an accredited Passive House training provider and Director of MosArt Architects.
Joseph Little; Joseph Little Architects & Building Life Consultancy – Joseph Little is the principal consultant with Building Life Consultancy, servicing the construction industry and other Architects to facilitate a step-change in knowledge of building physics, thermal bridging and health in buildings.

For more information or to register for this events, call the i3 team today on 028 3025 9664 or email


Passive House Seminar – Thursday 18th August 2011

Passive House Seminar – A design methodology and voluntary performance standard for optimised energy use in buildings. It results in buildings that require little or no energy use for heating or cooling, have excellent internal thermal comfort and low primary energy use. See how you can profit from many years of experience in Passivhaus building technology.

Paul McAlister Architects will speak about Passive House principles and outline how a Passivhaus fits with Code for Sustainable Homes and Zero Carbon Homes. He will also showcase several Passive house designs including a new social house scheme near Dungannon.

Eamonn Connolly will speak on the practicalities of achieving the ultra low U-values for wall and roof construction. He will outline how airtightness and thermal bridges must be a key consideration for Passive House certification.

Brendan Harte of Baskil Window will introduce the first UK and Ireland Certified Passive window, the ‘Futureproof’ window, and outline how the product has changed the low energy window marketplace.

Tomás O’Leary of the Passive House Academy, the designer of Ireland’s first Passive house, will give his unique insight into Passive House design and the training that is available through the Passive House Academy to designer and architects. Finally, questions & answers session