Archive by category Renewables & Sustainability

Pick and mix

Pick and mix

Self-builders around the world are creating energy-efficient homes to ensure low running costs. In Ireland, a voluntary certification benchmark that’s often followed to achieve this is Passivhaus, which Maija Tweeddale and Diarmaid O’Reilly of Co Wicklow strongly considered. However, due to cost they instead decided to adopt a ‘pick and mix’ policy suited to themselves, […]

Rammed earth

Rammed earth

Building with earth isn’t just for hot countries; in fact in Ireland building with cob used to be commonplace and in eco-circles, it’s certainly made a comeback. But there are other earth building alternatives, including rammed earth… Earth when used as a building material is fireproof, contributes to the regulation of the indoor environment (temperature […]

Lifecycle series: Lime

Lifecycle series: Lime

Arguably Ireland’s oldest manufactured building material, lime is a very beneficial product to use on any building project but has yet to make a comeback to mainstream building… Characteristics There are many benefits to lime, the main one being that it is exceptionally well suited to dealing with damp environments. No wonder our ancestors used […]

Eco house headaches

Eco house headaches

Do you aspire to build with natural materials and if so, do you feel like the proverbial ‘odd one out’? Unfortunately, you probably are! At the first National Natural Builders’ Gathering this very theme was discussed, as well as the fact that quite often eco materials and advice aren’t readily available at the local builders’ […]