design + energy + excellence

Author: aoife (Page 1 of 24)

Net Zero Home Finalist for Two Architecture Awards

We are delighted to have our ‘Net Zero Home’ project shortlisted in two categories of the Building and Architect of the Year Awards 2024.

Our project is a finalist for two awards:

  • Single House Building of the Year
  • Sustainability Award for a Single Building or Development

The Building and Architecture of the Year Awards celebrate architectural excellence in both building and design. They serve as a platform for architects and their buildings, spanning a diverse range of architectural styles across residential, public, commercial, and cultural sectors, allowing for thorough evaluation and appraisal.

This project is strongly related to the landscape, and uses a contemporary language influenced by traditional elements and materials.

One of the main goals was to achieve net zero carbon emissions. All the material choices and construction processes were meticulously aligned with this objective.

Net Zero Home, Wexford - Isabel Barros Architects

The full shortlist is available to view here.

The winners will be announced at the gala awards on Friday, 12th April 2024 at the Shelbourne Hotel.


Featured in Portuguese Media:

Merry Christmas 2023 & Happy New Year

It’s that time of year to unwind with loved ones and enjoy Christmas cake!

Isabel Barros Architects will be closed from December 21st 2023, and will reopen on January 4th, 2024.

Thank you to all our clients, colleagues, and supporters.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Isabel Explains the Concept and Materials of Project Net Zero Home

MEDITE SMARTPLY kindly shared with us the video they prepared featuring our Passive House in Crossabeg – Project Net Zero Home.

Project Net Zero Home is an exemplar new-build house project which aims to achieve Net Zero Carbon utilising MEDITE SMARTPLY products.

The project demonstrates how we can reduce both operational carbon and embodied carbon by using the right products and materials.

Passive House Concept

This house was guided by the Passive House standard, the world‘s leading standard in energy efficient construction. It embodies quality, comfort, and remarkable energy efficiency.

The Passive House – definition

Passive Houses maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature throughout the year with minimal energy usage. These structures achieve this by utilizing passive heating methods, optimizing sunlight exposure, leveraging internal heat sources, and employing heat recovery systems, often eliminating the need for traditional heating systems even in harsh winters.

Fabric First Approach

The technical design was focused on fabric efficiency and airtightness.

This project involved meticulous attention to detail in perfecting the building fabric and selecting materials. Each component, from insulation materials to walls, roofs, and floors, was carefully chosen to align with our sustainability goals. The focus was on optimizing energy efficiency as a means to reduce carbon emissions.

Materials

The Project Net Zero Home prioritized the use of wood as a construction material of the future, recognizing its ability to effectively sequester carbon. This included the use of timber products manufactured in Ireland from FSC® certified forests managed by Coillte (MEDITE SMARTPLY PROPASSIV system).

The project aimed to use materials with lower carbon intensities and lower transport-related carbon emissions. Other materials were used for their recyclability at the end of their lifecycle, their performance during use, and their long-term durability.

Airtight and Thermal Bridge Free Design

Airtightness is an important requirement for any energy-efficient building.

The SMARTPLY Propassiv board was instrumental in achieving outstanding airtightness results. Engineered with airtightness in mind, this board offers an integrated vapour barrier which eliminates the need for for additional AVCL (Air and Vapour Control Layer) membranes. It significantly simplifies and streamlines the construction process, enhancing the overall efficiency on site.

Attention to detail and having a construction team working together were also vital to achieve good air tightness results.

One of the main principles of a Passive House design is to achieve a thermal bridge free construction. Therefore, thermal bridges were carefully assessed when designing the thermal envelope, and some had to be assessed using 2D and 3D software.

Building Systems and Passive Systems

This project employed a range of advanced building systems, including the integration of renewable technologies, to ensure optimal performance and sustainability.

A combination of passive strategies, including strategically designed canopies and blinds, played a crucial role in enhancing energy efficiency and comfort. These elements were integrated to maximize shade during summer months, preventing overheating, while allowing ample sunlight in the winter, thereby reducing the need for active heating and cooling systems.


Energy Efficiency Evaluation

The air tightness test returned the impressive result of 0.19 air changes per hour. This is lower than any passive house currently in the Passive House database for Ireland.

The energy balance of the house design was tested using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP). The Passive House energy threshold for heating is 15 kWh/(m²yr). The heating demand as calculated by the PHPP is 12.7 kWh/(m²yr) for this house.

The house achieved a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A1.


You can learn more details about this project here.


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