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!

Breaking the Bank

Richard Douthwaite on the perils facing Irish Banks
With banks in America and the UK encountering major difficulties as previously booming economies head towards recession, a similar and perhaps even worse fate may be awaiting Irish banks. Worryingly, the situation is shaping up to be so bad, that the very future of the banks may be under threat, as Richard Douthwaite explains.

Public good

Public Good
Until recently the York Street flats had been a living legacy of failed past approaches to social housing – a slum of mainly north-facing flats dating from Victorian times, and poorly rebuilt in the year Ireland became a republic, 1949. John Hearne visited the recently redeveloped York Street and found a thoroughly sustainable set of buildings that should inspire thoughts of future progress rather than past failings

Southern comfort

Timber eco home fuses south facing with south Dublin
Sustainable building at its best is about much more than just energy and carbon emissions, and involves considering location, form, orientation and the use of healthy, environmentally friendly materials. Mike Haslam of trail-blazing ecological architects Solearth describes a family home which scores highly on every front

Heritage and Development

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When the two worlds of heritage and development collide opinions frequently become polarised and fraught with difficulty. There are few more vexed issues, as Tim Carey, Heritage Officer with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council reveals

Green Gains

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In spite of the obvious emergence of technologies and design approaches to reduce the impact of new build, environmental standards remained poor throughout the duration of the housing boom. Now, a unique combination of political will, smart incentives, and a new market of informed and empowered buyers may be about to change that, writes Lenny Antonelli

Sustainable Sligo



In issue 2 we reported on an innovative new energy bike scheme being implemented in Sligo. Its instigator, Wilhelm Bodewigs, got in touch to tell us about an interesting Tram system proposal for the county

Gimme shelter

Gimme Shelter
Designing a low energy building when you've got unlimited space is one thing – but what if you need to make your walls thin to maximise space on a small site in an architectural conservation area? Lenny Antonelli visited a new St Vincent De Paul sheltered housing project that fit a lot of sustainable features on to a small plot in Dublin's north inner city.

Running out of gas

Why Ireland is unprepared for the impact of gas peak
As we all know, Ireland is currently paying the price for the inability of its political and corporate leaders to take seriously the warning signs of an economy where property investment and borrowing generally got out of control. Looking at policy and commercial investment plans for energy supply and distribution, Richard Douthwaite asks, are the decision makers showing an alarmingly similar attitude to evident gas supply threats?

EU energy commissioner

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Jeff Colley spoke to Commissioner Piebalgs about key issues affecting Ireland’s energy future  and the importance of local initiatives such as Fingal County Council’s groundbreaking introduction of sustainable building requirements

Access All Areas

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A little foresight at the design stage can go a long way in determining a building’s success. If a building’s design fails to take into consideration the needs of any potential occupants and users, the risk of the need for corrective work, often at considerable cost, is greatly increased.
Construct Ireland’s Architecture Correspondent Lauren Kapusta reports