From the Construct Ireland archives


Welcome to the archive of Construct Ireland, the award-winning Irish green building magazine which spawned Passive House Plus. The feature articles in these archives span from 2003 to 2011, including case studies on hundreds of Irish sustainable buildings and dozens of investigative pieces on everything from green design and building methods, to the economic arguments for low energy construction. While these articles appeared in an Irish publication, the vast majority of the content is relevant to our new audience in the UK and further afield. That said, readers from some regions should take care when reading some of the design advice - lots of south facing glazing in New Zealand may not be the wisest choice, for instance. Dip in, and enjoy!

Dublin Docklands

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Number Two Grand Canal Square office, completed in September 2009 and substantially occupied by law firm Byrne Wallace in August this year, set a landmark in commercial office development by combining world-class design with sustainability - reconciling the architecture of Daniel Libeskind with achieving both a Breeam Excellent rating and an A3 BER certificate. Paul Dunne, sustainability and M&E director for Arup, outlines some of the project’s history and its achievements

Force of Nature

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In this adapted extract from his new book Natural Building: A Guide to Materials and Techniques, seminal eco architect Professor Tom Woolley outlines some of the reasons why natural building is necessary.

Methane & climate change

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With the threats posed by anthropogenic climate change now accepted as a key international issue, efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions are becoming manifest around the world in spite of – and even as a response to – the global recession. But any such efforts may be in vain if the focus on carbon dioxide distracts from the need to curtail methane emissions, as Richard Douthwaite explains

Out of the ordinary

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It has long been anticipated that the cost of sustainable building will come down as it enters the mass market, benefiting from economies of scale and greater industry confidence in low impact techniques and technologies as they become more familiar. Jay Stuart, managing director of integrated sustainable design consultants Delap and Waller EcoCo reveals a Kildare housing project which is likely to rapidly accelerate this process, and convince even the most conservative elements of the industry that low energy, low carbon building can be achieved at little or no additional cost

Zero carbon

Zero Carbon
Nottingham passive house enters Solar Decathlon

Private joke

Public private partnership schemes have come to dominate many aspects of Irish infrastructural development, from toll roads to urban regeneration schemes
Public private partnership schemes have come to dominate many aspects of Irish infrastructural development, from toll roads to urban regeneration schemes. Jason Walsh asks if they amount to privatisation by stealth and whether they come at too high a social and environmental cost.

Environmental Authority

Clare County Council show the way with new sustainable offices
As long term readers of Construct Ireland will recall, the mainstreaming in recent years of sustainable design and construction has been exemplified in many innovative local authority offices. John Hearne visited Aras Contae an Chláir, and discovered a building which attempts to holistically minimise environmental impact, with attention paid to more than just energy performance and carbon emissions.

Local Housing, Global Benefit

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Ever since the seminal Agenda 21 was endorsed by 150 nations including Ireland in 1992, increasing lip service has been paid to sustainable development in everything from government policy to manufacturers’ claims. However, as John Hearne describes, in Tralee Town Council’s Rath Oraigh housing development, local action has been taken with not only local, but global benefits that embody the principles of sustainable development.

Winning Combination

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A new development in the historic town of Thomastown, County Kilkenny brings the cutting edge of green innovation into a setting known for its medieval heritage. John Hearne visited the site, where a commitment to the environment is evident in sustainable design combined with everything from airtight detailing to technologies such as factory insulated timber frame, low energy windows, solar thermal, photovoltaic and heat recovery ventilation

Opinion

Opinion
If you’re not assessing the environmental performance of your suppliers and their products, it’s rapidly becoming a case of “caveat emptor”. Many of the world’s biggest companies are now buying green, and the Irish government is about to follow suit. Ignore the issue and you put your company at a competitive disadvantage, argues Brian O’Kennedy, managing director of Clearstream Solutions