UK - passivehouseplus.ie

Hell's kitchen - Why cooking can destroy indoor air quality stars

When it comes to air pollution, we tend to worry most about things like traffic fumes and solid fuel burning — or when it comes to indoor air, condensation, damp and mould. But one of the biggest threats in the air we breathe comes from something we are exposed to almost every day, but rarely think about: cooking. John Hearne reports on the evidence for how cooking affects indoor air quality, and what we can do about it.

Dead air - airborne covid 19 and poorly ventilated buildings stars

In the early stages of the Covid-19 crisis, there was little official recognition that airborne transmission was a risk. Has that view changed, and what role will building ventilation play when winter approaches?

Coasting home - Beautifully designed Hampshire home breezes past passive standard

‘Architecture is the blissful moment when the site and brief come together,’ says architect Ruth Butler of the challenge she and her engineer husband faced in designing their family home, on a difficult urban site by the Hampshire coast. But it was a challenge they met and exceeded, because even though they hadn’t even planned to build a passive house, they soon realised the design was on course to meet the onerous energy standard anyway.

Double standards - Mayo home takes passive approach to NZEB

Sited on the side of a hill in the west of Ireland, a new home that meets the NZEB and passive house standards boasts a locally-made and super-insulated timber-frame, and is designed to fold cleverly into the rural landscape.

Net result Bristol passive house turns energy bills into net profits

A ground-breaking new passive house in Bristol makes superb use of an urban plot to create a bright and spacious home built from ecological materials that — thanks to its huge solar roof and Tesla battery pack — produces more energy than it uses, making it one of the first UK projects to meet the passive house ‘plus’ standard, while also blitzing the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge’s targets for operational energy.

Victoria Falls - 19th century home drops energy demand by 94%

This ambitious renovation and extension of a single-storey Dublin redbrick, bringing it up to an A1 rating while far exceeding the new build NZEB standard, provides a beautifully-detailed blueprint for delivering warmth, comfort, and healthy indoor air — as well as extra space and living density — in historic city centre properties.

Why shading is a major issue in our hospitals

Daylighting, overheating, glare and lack of natural, insect-free ventilation remain significant issues in UK hospitals and may be hampering the ability of patients to recover, and hospital staff to properly care for them, according to UK solar shading manufacturer Smartlouvre.

Circular economy plans come into focus

The European Commission has adopted the EU’s new circular economy action plan, a major part of the European Green deal. The action plan aims to make the EU economy produce more durable, longerlasting, repairable consumer products, and maximise the use of recycled material.

New report questions long-held MVHR assumptions

A new report by the Passivhaus Trust has questioned the common assumption that mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is inappropriate in dwellings with air permeability worse than 3 m3/m2/hour.

Getting to net zero carbon

The UK government has committed to a legally binding target of being “net zero carbon” by 2050. Peter Rickaby ponders the steps needed to get there, and what the goal means for our homes, offices and other buildings.

Environmental activism - tracing the roots of today's climate activism

While the green wave visible at ballot boxes and street marches in 2019 reflects an apparent escalation in public consciousness on the need for urgent, decisive environmental action, the roots of today’s environmental consciousness stretch back over half a century, explains Dr Marc Ó Riain.

Office romance - Passive house supplier walks the walk with new office & factory

When Welsh sustainable building specialists PYC decided to start making their own timber frames, they got down to work designing and building their own factory. Once that was finished, it was time to test their system on their first order: to build their own passive house certified offices right next door – and to be bold enough to decide not to install central heating.

Doctor's orders - The complex relationship between energy retrofits and human health

There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence that home energy retrofits, done well, can improve the health of those who receive them — and equally there are horror stories about shoddy upgrades causing damp, mould and illness. But what does the evidence say about how energy upgrades effect occupant health, and what lessons can be learned for the future of how we renovate our homes? Kate de Selincourt reports.

Flat pack hijack

Flat-pack furniture has become a fixture of modern living, but what happens when the same concept is applied to housing – and when the client is an architect seeking to build to passive house and nearly zero energy building levels?

Stirling Work - The passive social housing scheme that won British architecture’s top award

Early in October, Norwich City Council’s Goldsmith Street development become both the first passive house and the first social housing project to win the Stirling Prize, British architecture’s most coveted award, with the judges calling it “high-quality architecture in its purest, most environmentally and socially conscious form”. Leading building energy expert Dr Peter Rickaby visited the scheme for Passive House Plus to see this ground-breaking project for himself.

Passive House Plus free to read due to Covid-19 crisis

To ensure anyone who wants to read Passive House Plus can do so easily during this challenging and disrupted time, we’re making the new issue of the magazine completely free to read, both digitally and in print. This edition is essential reading for anyone interested in how to design and spec out low energy, sustainable buildings.

Mies en Scéne - Iconic Dublin offices get deep green treatment

The deep and comprehensive refurbishment of the Miesian Plaza complex on Dublin’s Baggot Street provides a radical blueprint for how to transform mid-20th century city office buildings into comfortable, healthy and super low energy spaces that support sustainable transport and working patterns.

The first oil crisis

In the latest instalment of his series on the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain reports on the seismic impact caused by the 1973 oil crisis.

Steeply sustainable - Low carbon passive design wonder on impossible Cork site

The unique split-level, wedge-shaped plan of this striking and award-winning new passive house in Cork isn’t just for show — it is a carefully thought-out response to an extremely challenging site, and an example of how great architecture can create beautiful, sustainable buildings in even the most unlikely of spaces, and with a fraction of the upfront carbon costs of traditional build methods.

Is it too late for sustainability?

Despite the urgency with which radical action is required to transform our built environment, Dr Peter Rickaby says he has never been more optimistic about the possibility of change.

The schism in solar energy

In his latest column on the evolution of solar energy, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at how the design approaches of architects and engineers diverged in the middle of the century.

Passive Purple used to seal Beattie Passive Enerphit

The innovative Passive Purple airtightness paint from Intelligent Membranes has been used to form an external airtight layer on an Enerphit project in Norfolk. The BEIS-funded deep retrofit to a block of six flats for Great Yarmouth Borough Council is being delivered by passive house specialists Beattie Passive.

Lamilux lights up new passive business centre

An impressive assembly of passive-certified skylights is helping to ensure that the occupants of a unique new eco business centre in Oxfordshire can work in an indoor environment full of natural light.

Passive house costs falling, new study finds

New research published by the Passivhaus Trust has shown that the real-terms cost of building to the passive house standard has fallen since the previous study four years ago.

Good design integral for latest MBC passive house

For new self-builders Andrew and Lynne Webster, spending extra time and money on the design stage of their new passive grade timber frame house proved to be one of the best decisions they could have made.

Blowerproof gets passive house cert

Blowerproof liquid airtight membrane has achieved Class A passive house component certification for both its liquid and fibre-reinforced brush applications.

Passive Sills get BBA cert

Passive Sills, the Cork-based manufacturer of insulated windowsills, has announced that it has achieved British Board of Agrément (BBA) certification.

Subscribe to this RSS feed