The practice has been keeping a blog which focuses on Construction Industry Sustainability matters which we feel are noteworthy. We have recorded technical issues to do with the performance of energy efficient construction and hope this blog is a useful resource for information and advice.
I read that the construction industry had experimented with adding insulation to new buildings and that energy consumption had failed to reduce. This offended me – it was counter to the basic laws of physics… So I made it my mission to find out what [they were doing wrong] and to establish what was needed to do it right.
The energy supply market is rapidly shifting from fossil fuel to renewable sources. This transition is necessary, not only to comply with European targets and international and regional protocols on climate change (20% share from renewables on total energy supply by 2020), but it’s also the most responsible way to promote energy security.
Crest Centre Northern Ireland by Paul McAlister Architects - Commercial and residential buildings in Europe are overall responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions.
Passivhaus overheating shouldn’t happen: it’s one of the criteria of the international Passivhaus standard. Even so, people sometimes ignore this requirement during the early stages of the design process.
As part of any passive solar home design, the choice and design of windows and overhangs is important. You want your house to admit as much heat and light as possible in the cold season, but not overheat during summer. And you also want them to help protect your home from the cold in the winter.
Ground-breaking housing scheme captures one developer's journey to passive ... The just-finished second phase of Durkan Residential's ambitious Silken Park scheme in south-west Dublin bridges the gap between two extremes: while phase one was built to the 2002 building regulations, phase three - which will break ground next year - will comprise 59 passive certified units.
Thermal mass 'Thermal mass' describes a material's capacity to absorb, store and release heat. For example water and concrete have a high capacity to store heat and are referred to as 'high thermal mass' materials. Insulation foam, by contrast, has very little heat storage capacity and is referred to as having 'low thermal mass'.
The Government's legally binding objective of achieving an 80% reduction in national CO2 emissions and the drive for zero carbon homes and buildings is focusing attention upon building design and procurement.
Pittsburgh’s world-class centre for environmental education has been designed to achieve Living Building Challenge standards and will open its doors in September.
Anyone familiar with spending a hot summer's day in a caravan and then another in a stone house with closed shutters will appreciate the meaning of ‘Decrement delay’. The inside of the caravan closely maps the rise and fall in external temperature to provide the familiar stifling effect on the occupants .
Nearly a quarter of Britain’s electricity was generated from wind turbines, solar panels and other renewables last year. Output from renewables rose from 19.1 per cent in 2014 to a record 24.7 per cent in 2015, according to the Department of Energy & Climate Change.
From 2020 onwards all newly built or renovated houses in NI and ROI will have to comply with the Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standard. How that requirement will be put into practice remains unclear but there are some general rules we already know will have to be followed ..
If you live in the South (southern USA) and already own solar panels, it could take you just under three years to make up the cost of the $3,000 Tesla Powerwall battery.
Total primary energy consumed from direct and indirect processes associated with a product or service within the boundaries of cradle to gate. This includes all activities from material extraction (quarrying / mining / harvesting), manufacturing, transportation and fabrication until the product is ready to leave the final factory gate.
It’s a glorious day: Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county council has passed a motion to make the passive house — and its equivalent — mandatory for all new buildings.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council could be on course for a clash with Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly after councillors voted in favour of an energy-efficient building standard over which his department has serious concerns.
A new report from the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) and University College London (UCL) has warned lenders are using inaccurate models to estimate energy costs. This is leading to many energy efficient properties being undervalued by as much as £45,000 over the life cycle of a mortgage.
Solar energy is a seriously underrated resource. More power from the sun hits the Earth in a single hour than humanity uses in an entire year, yet solar only provided 0.39% of the energy used in the US last year.
Passive House is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction concept that can be applied by anyone, anywhere.
“As debate ramps up in Ireland about whether local authorities in Dublin should adopt the passive house standard, and the UK government scraps its plans for zero carbon homes, Dr Shane Colclough urges passive house advocates to prepare for the lobbying battles ahead by remembering the basic science behind the standard.”
There is a growing sense that passive house's time has come. Following on from the examples set by umpteen municipalities and local authorities in continental Europe, there are signs of public bodies in Ireland and the UK making the passive house standard mandatory.
Now nearing completion, the University of East Anglia's (UEA) most recent development, The Enterprise Centre, is on course to become an exemplar low-embodied carbon buildinq, pushing the boundaries for sustainable architecture.
Steel Farm is the first certified passive building in Northumberland, and the first cavity wall passive house in the north east of England. It is located near Hexham in the North Pennine area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB)
In 2008 the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) identified funding for pilot/exemplar projects under the Zero Carbon Task Force (ZCTF).
This Guide is a unique publication which combines professional guidance from a range of suppliers and industry experts, which, when combined together, can deliver a low energy building. A variety of systems are presented ranging from ventilation systems to a range of insulation, airtightness, windows and water treatment systems.
The recent Self-Build on a Shoestring competition demonstrated how one can build a two bedroom house with exceptionally low energy consumption for less than £45,000.
The cheapest and cleanest energy choice of all is not to waste it. Progress on this has been striking yet the potential is still vast. Improvements in energy efficiency since the 1970s in 11 IEA member countries that keep the right kind of statistics (America, Australia, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden) saved the equivalent of 1.4 billion tonnes of oil in 2011, worth $743 billion.
The task group set up by Government to deliver zero carbon homes by 2016, Zero Carbon Hub, has released formal recommendations on carbon compliance. This has some substantial implications for house building performance standards and environmental considerations.
The importance of good ventilation in classrooms has been recognised since Victorian times, but many of today's schools fail to reach even basic levels of indoor air quality. Ewen Rose reports on a growing health crisis.
BREEAM is the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) Environmental Assessment Method first launched in the UK in 1990. It sets best practice standards for the environmental performance of buildings through design, specification, construction and operation.