International Passive House Conference 2015 in Leipzig

Solar-Store-Presenation1Another successful International Passive House conference was held in Leipzig on 17th & 18th April 2015.

One of the main themes to come across at the conference was the reduced costs of building to Passive House standard now compared with the past – due to the reduction in the cost of Passive House components.

Also highlighted was the clear role that Passive House can play in achieving Nearly Zero Energy Buildings across Europe.

It was great to see that the PHAI community was represented by Tomas O Leary who presented on the EuroPHit project, Shane Colclough, presented on the performance of the seasonal energy store installation in Galway and Coillte presented their new airtight OSB product.

This year’s Pioneer Award, which recognizes the trailblazers of energy efficient construction, went to Canada. Harold Orr and his collaborators on the Saskatchewan Conservation House project were recognized. Through their studies 40 years ago they already realised that efficiency is the key to sustainable construction.


Review of the Passive House Briefing in Dundalk

Dundalk Briefing Speakers 2 400pxThe Passive House Briefing in Dundalk Institute of Technology on 11 March 2015 was a great success with around 90 attendees at the event.

Colin Doran, Dept of Construction and Surveying, welcomed everyone to the college and introduced the various speakers.

Dr Shane Colclough (presentation in PDF), chair of the PHAI, presented an overview of Passive House in Ireland.

The remaining presentations covered a variety of topics, with Darren Sweeney (presentation in PDF) of Dimplex Renewables outlining heat pumps and their application.

Niall Crosson (presentation in PDF) of Ecological Building Systems explained the importance of airtightness on site. He also outlined some very enlightening examples of how things can go wrong on site if the correct procedures are not followed or the correct materials are not used.

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Affordable Certified Passive Houses for First Time Buyers

madeira-houseThe many benefits associated with Passive House buildings include comfort, excellent indoor air quality, health benefits and low energy bills. But what about the costs associated with building to Passive House standard?  Passive Houses use up to 90% less energy than typical buildings, which reduces the running costs.

However, in the context of the requirements of current building regulations, and the upcoming Nearly Zero Energy requirements, the cost differential between conventional construction targets and the Passive House standard will be minimal.

The following Cost Saving Example and information has been provided by Michael Bennett & Sons on their Madeira Oaks Affordable Passive Housing Scheme (12 No. Units), Enniscorthy , Co. Wexford.

These are affordable Certified Passive Houses for first time buyers.

The houses are two storey 3-bed semi-detached with a generous internal floor area of 1,100 sq. ft. The houses are fully certified passive construction, and all houses will achieve a A2 building energy rating, as prepared by Home Bond and certified by the SEAI.

Some key figures to highlight:

  1. Price per house unit ……………………..€170,000.00
  2. Annual estimated running cost………………€200.00
  3. House drawing and site layout…………….download PDF
  4. Details and features page……………………download PDF
  5. Finance cost savings example…………… PDF

As suggested in their attached information: “Why buy a house that you will need to heat, when a Passive House keeps you warm naturally?”

PHAI Welcomes New Patron

pat_coxThe Passive House Association of Ireland is delighted to welcome former EU President Pat Cox as Patron of the association.

Having recently built and moved into his own Passive House, his first-hand experience has driven him to become an advocate for the standard.

In his address at the recent See the Light Conference he said:

“The time has come in Ireland for passive house standards to move from the margins to the mainstream, for building policy and its energy efficiency to become more active by becoming more passive.

This is not a call to replace either SEAI’s Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) or the European Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD). It is rather a proposition to formally recognise the passive house standard as compliant with Part L of the Irish Building Regulations.”

The PHAI is looking forward to working closely with Pat as it pursues it’s mission to promote, educate and facilitate, so as to develop a strong identity, understanding and demand for the Passive House concept.