Expert Electrical
Passive EcoWall
Passive EcoWall External View
Passive EcoWall
Passive EcoWall Internal View

Carbon emissions associated with the construction and operation of the Irish built environment account for more than a third of Ireland’s emissions (37%). More specifically, the heating, cooling and lighting of buildings accounts for 23% of Ireland’s national emissions, while the remaining 14% accounts for embodied emissions. This 14% is often categorised as the emissions “blind spot” of the construction industry.

Targeting embodied emissions efficiently

Addressing whole-life carbon emissions in the built environment is critical to meeting the Irish government’s ambitious target of halving national emissions by 2030 under the Climate Action Act, now enshrined in law. To accomplish this, several strategies need to be implemented:

  • Building less: optimising the use of existing buildings
  • Designing and building clever: prioritising material use and design with low carbon materials
  • Building efficiently: using low carbon construction technology and eliminating waste

To achieve this, it is crucial to reduce operational emissions and target embodied emissions efficiently using building methods and materials with a lower embodied impact. Recognising this challenge, Ecological Building Systems has developed the Passive EcoWall Ⓡ concept. This offers exceptional thermal efficiency, surpassing nZEB requirements, and employs carefully chosen materials with lower, and sometimes even neutral, carbon emissions.

Achieving Passive standard with natural materials

Passive EcoWall provides a complete low energy, diffusion-open building concept based on low-energy tried and tested Passivhaus principles. It features Gutex woodfibre natural insulation, Finsa Superpan VapourStop airtight vapour barrier racking boards, and the Pro Clima Intelligent airtightness system. In Ireland, several certified Passivhaus homes and modular buildings have been constructed using the system and demonstrated reduced energy usage and increased comfort. The specification can also include Thermafleece sheepswool or Thermo Hemp Combi Jute, a natural insulation made from upcycled hemp and jute fibres. Passive EcoWall combines energy efficiency, safety from condensation and moisture issues, low embodied energy, and comfort with natural materials and a reduced carbon footprint.

Allowing the structure to breathe

As structural elements are sealed more effectively than ever to achieve higher levels of airtightness, moisture management is crucial, especially in our damp climate. In contrast to many conventional wall systems, Passive EcoWall incorporates an external insulation layer of Gutex woodfibre boards. These offer excellent thermal and acoustic insulation and are highly vapour diffusion open (breathable), allowing structural elements to dry out rapidly and completely. Additionally, the internal Superpan VapourStop boards, which come pre-fitted with a vapour barrier layer, enhance on-site efficiency, lower installation costs, and establish a continuous internal airtight seal using Pro Clima tapes. This comprehensive approach reduces the risk of interstitial condensation.

The Passive EcoWall system is a perfect example of how it is possible to combine low-energy construction with more sustainable building materials. Utilising building methods such as this will be key for not only reducing operational emissions, but also addressing the 14% embodied emissions blind spot of the construction industry.

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