Passive House movement launches in Ireland

New homes in Ireland should be built without standard heating systems, a group of housing designers and contractors has claimed.

According to the newly-formed Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI), the practice of building homes reliant on sunlight, insulation and draught-reduction measures – known as ‘passive housing’ – not only reduces the environmental impact of households but also delivers significant savings on fuel bills.

PHAI chair, Martin Murray, claims passive houses are ‘leading the way toward a carbon-neutral future’ as they produce more energy than they use.

“Passive houses radically reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions,” said Mr Murray, whose group was formally launched in Dublin last Thursday (September 9).

“The idea is not new, as there are now over 30,000 examples built world-wide. These include many other types of building besides houses, such as office-blocks, apartment-blocks, schools and just recently a Tesco supermarket. In each case, the building occupant has made considerable savings.”

PHAI state while the Irish government’s building regulations have seen improvements in energy efficiencies, the onus for a more dramatic reduction lies firmly with those responsible for designing and building property.

Mr Murray added: “Those in the construction industry and prospective homeowners need to take the lead and invest in proper design.

“The infrastructure required to implement [passive housing] designs is available and affordable in Ireland, despite claims to the contrary from elements within the Irish construction industry.

“Extensive monitoring of these buildings is ongoing and the results show that not only are the occupants saving money, but are, in general, hugely satisfied with the product which they have invested in.”

Sam Plester

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie