Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Web directories

Just a word of caution about web directories. There are dozens of Irish web directories claiming to be ‘the’ green directory. Also several other directories claiming that there list is 'the most comprehensive'.
The problem is that the prices to be listed vary from FREE to several hundreds of Euro per Year! So one cannot be listed in them all.

The online Golden might not be the best but at least you know that the business has a phone number and an address.

Anyway Happy New Year!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

paint that can kill sound

I heard on 'Today Fm' this morning that Colortrend in Celbridge, Co. Kildare have just developed a sound reducing paint. It can kill up to 5 decibles. it should be on the market soon.
They are also working on a paint that can kill bacteria. Ideal for hospitals, could be on the market by the end of next year. Based on ‘nano silver’ antibacterial technologies introduced by Samsung.
I can see a lot of applications for both paints.
Listen to it below...
Business show Part 2 Sunday 30/11/2008

Monday, 13 October 2008

Polished concrete flooring

Renobuild of Ferns Co. Wexford just upgraded the business to provide polished concrete floors to customers, according to the Sunday Business Post last Sunday.
Concrete is one of the toughest building materials in the world but it no longer has to be dull and grey. A Renobuild, applied HTC Superfloor™ is a complete process that revitalises and strengthens concrete floors, new or old. The concrete floor can be polished to expose aggregate and replicate the look of polished stone. The result is tougher than the original concrete, very attractive and seamless for low maintenance and hygiene.
RenoBuild is based in Ferns, Co. Wexford.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

More Eco Foam Insulation

SEALECTION Agribalance® is a open-cell spray foam insulation and air seal that contains more than 20% renewable agricultural-based materials (refined vegetable oils) in the resin. Based in County Cavan, Ireland Eco Spray Foam Insulation, Ltd. was founded by Mr. Cathal Mundy and Mr. Fergal McAloon in 2008.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Roof Slates made of recycled polymer

Today post came in from Athy ECO Slate. Pretty much like the Ecostar Majestic Slates.
AthyEcoSlate manufacture the Roof Slates made of recycled polymer here in Ireland. Colour Black only, usable down to 18 degree roof pitch. Athy ECO Slate are Located Athy Co. Kildare.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Roof Slates made of recycled rubber

Last Saturday I went to the Selfbuild show in Waterford. I attended some seminars which where informative.
One of the products on display at the show impressed me.

Ecostar Majestic Slates they look and feel like natural slate.
But are manufactured composing up to 80% recycled post-industrial rubber and plastic. These post-industrial materials consist of waste that includes car bumpers, car dashboards and tyres. The manufacture of EcoStar tiles prevents these materials from ending up in landfills. Majestic Slate tiles offer an environmentally friendly, lightweight alternative to traditional slate roofing products and as you can see on photo don't break easily.

Featuring a 50-year Gold Star or limited materials warranty and available with a 100 mph wind warranty. High impact resistance that provides protection from hail, falling branches, foot traffic, ice and snow damage. And Majestic Slate can be installed up to eight times faster than natural stone slate
The Slate tiles are available in nine colors: stone red, earth green, chestnut brown, cedar brown, mountain plum, smoke gray, federal gray, midnight gray and black. The BBA has awarded a Agrément Certificate for Ecostar Majestic Slates. EcoTech Recycled Products Ltd are Located in Belfast.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

1st Passive House development

Yesterday I went to the launch of Irelands first Passive House development. These ten passive houses are part of a larger housing scheme, The Village at Grange, in Killerig, Co. Carlow.
The detached dwellings are not spectacularly designed and in fact they look like other dwellings in the same estate built to the current building regulations.
What is to be commended though is that they are the first certified Passive Houses in a small housing estate. More passive housing estates will come and there is talk of European wide regulations that all dwellings to be passive by 2011.
I am surprised to hear that that the dwellings are BER rated B2 as I thought a passive house should be at least A3 rated.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Improve your heating system

The Oxyvent Tank captures the air when it leaves the boiler and releases it automatically from all heating systems, eliminates the need to bleed radiators, no more air locks or mysterious noises and totally transforms the operation of the heating system.
This system has been around for awhile with several TV appearances. And now it is being tested.
An experimental facility was commissioned in order to perform baseline tests in a typical balanced system as well as a system operating with the Oxyvent tank in place. The preliminary tests which have been carried out tend to indicate that the claims of the Oxyvent system are apparently true with a lower operating temperature required, less fuel consumed, improved temperature uniformity of the radiators, a system that is ‘self-balancing’ and improved comfort heating.
Oxyvent test rsults

No matter what heating system you have whether it is conventional system or a modern alternative energy system you can use the Oxyvent Tank, to remove the air and allow your system to function to its maximum capacity.

For more information go to

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Hamster Hair Insulation

The latest phenomenon in eco-friendly insulation to hit the Irish market is a mat made from the hair of a special breed of Russian hamster. John Gallagher came across the rodents, remarkable for their long thick coats, while travelling in Russia and was inspired to start his own enterprise in his home County Donegal.

The A rated hamsters are bred specially for their dense fur which is shorn every three months to produce a chemical free insulation with a very high U value. The half acre farm itself is sustainably run thanks to energy harvested from the hamsters exercise wheels which feed lights, heating and ventilation.
For more information go to

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Wind Power – Grid Connection

Eco-Eye had good news tonight. Hurray! We can now connect our Wind Turbines, creating green electricity, to the national (ESB) grid.
We can feed back the excess we produce into the system. And on windless days the EBS provides us with the electricity we need at € 0.1324 per kWh.
Dual metering is finally here.

But... We give our surplus for free! There is no tariff in Ireland to sell electricity to the ESB. The likes of Scotland pay 11-12cent per kWh.

How long will it take for the ESB to give us a payback?
Is the grid not over loaded?
Wouldn’t micro energy generation help the problem?
Quote ESB web site: "These generators may, at certain times, export electricity but currently, no economically viable mechanism exists in Ireland to be paid for the electricity."

Friday, 8 February 2008

BER rating - where is it to be found?

I have noticed for a while that I have not seen ONE BER certificate value in an auctioneers ad. On a quick search today on the internet, I found that NO auctioneer showed the BER rating of new Dwellings coming onto the market!
A Building Energy Rating (BER) is standard calculation of the energy performance of a building. It is rather like the A to G rating for a household electrical appliance. BER is based on primary energy demand and the BER scale ranges from "A" (most efficient) to "G" (least efficient). Letters sectioned into 3 levels e.g. A1, A2 A3.

Dwellings designed and built to current building regulations are "C1". Buildings I have designed lately have a A3 to B2 cert.
It is law since 1st of January 2007 that new dwellings for sale must have a BER Certificate. At the moment this is done from the drawings. So the dwellings do not have to be built to get a BER cert Value.

From the 1st of January next year, any existing building being offered for sale or rent must have a BER Certificate.There is talk of the government’s new programme requiring a BER of A1 by the year 2013 for all new dwellings.
So start asking (demand) the BER Cert value the next time you view a new dwelling.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Eco Cement

Concrete was always considered not Eco friendly. But now there is a eco-friendly cement, Ecocem Ireland is an independent, specialist producer of GGBS (Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag) cement. GBBS cement is manufactured from an industrial by-product (blastfurnace slag) - there is no extraction of new materials. The production of CO2 in manufacturing GGBS is approximately 60kg per tonne (from the electricity and gas consumed) and there are zero CO2 and NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions.
1 ton of Portland Cement produces 960 kg of CO2 .

1 ton of GGBS produces 60 kg CO2 some difference.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Hemp plaster in bags.

Nothing new but now readily available is Hemp Plaster in ready mixed bags of 20kg or 1000kg bulk bags.
It is made from chopped stem of the hemp plant, which is reacted with lime and pozzolan in a unique process to allow rapid drying and hardening.
Hempire Building Plaster from Hempire Building Ltd. can even be applied onto wet walls. It has high thermal insulation characteristics and can be used in the construction of zero carbon buildings. It is also fire, water and pest resistant.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

My first blower-door-test

I experienced my first blower-door-test today. The test was called (before plastering) to see how good sealing (taping joints etc.) was to date. And if there was anything that needed improving or had been over looked.
The crew arrive for the test well prepared with door blower and l
laptop in Hand. The blower and the generator to power the testing was put in place fairly swiftly. Good start, I thought.
Little did I know then, that 3 and a half hours later, all would not be going as well as I hoped…
After the initial set up, there were software problems. Several phones calls made and received, testing began. Unfortunately the gentlemen making the test were not able to do a "smoke test". By using a tool that emits artificial smoke, one can pinpoint potential openings in the building envelope. Nor were they able to give us any results right away. It will take a few days for the results to come back.

In all, disappointing. What’s the point of the test if one cannot find out right away how good or bad sealing efforts are? The builder must move on anyway and continue his work, without knowing how good his efforts to date are. Next step plaster boarding.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Recycle Polystyrene

Up to now Polystyrene (white flaky packaging) went to landfill. RehabEnterproses now have started to recycle clean expanded polystyrene (EPS). Unfortunately at the moment only in Dublin. South Dublin County Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown have collection points.
Perhaps if we spoke to our local Recycling centers and made them aware that we now can recycle Polystyrene in Ireland we can start to collect nationwide.

Monday, 14 January 2008

New Year New Adventure

With the New Year I thought I should try my hand at blogging !

Soy Based Insulation

I recently came across a new spray foam insulation product called "BioBased Insulation" It is a soybean based product. Applied as a liquid, it expands to 100 times its original size in seconds.
It's been around for a while in the USA.