Irish government in row over ‘Passivhaus’ regulations

The Irish government is fighting plans by a local authority in Dublin to make the super energy-efficient passivhaus standard mandatory for new buildings. In a submission to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county council, the Department of Environment said introducing the standard would slow the construction of new homes. Ireland’s building industry is experiencing a tentative recovery for the first time since the country’s property bubble began to collapse in 2007.


The government is eager to accelerate house building in the capital, which has experienced a serious housing shortage. The passivhaus standard, developed by European physicists in the 1990s, requires high levels of insulation, draught-proofing and ventilation. It is designed to eliminate the need for traditional central heating systems and to drastically cut carbon emissions. The Department of Environment submission, obtained by the magazine Passive House +, said the move by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown would increase the cost of house building. It warned that the environment minister, Alan Kelly, would consider invoking a rarely-used legal clause allowing him to intervene in local planning matters if necessary.

Similar Posts