Ecological Building Systems
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Ecological Building Systems Launch elka strong board
Ecological Building Systems are delighted to introduce an innovative new wood particle board, elka strong board, to Ireland and the UK.
elka strong board (esb), is a high performance diffusion open, structural, wood particle board. esb is suitable for external or internal use. The boards are intended for use in load-bearing structural elements in humid conditions and categorised as a P5 racking board in accordance with EN 312. elka strong boards are produced by Elka-Holzwerke, a wood particle board manufacture based in Germany.
elka strong boards were successfully introduced to the German timber and building materials trade in 2009.
The boards have considerably less risk of swelling compared to OSB3, a critical property in our humid climate. They also feature superior transverse tensile strength compared to OSB3 (approx. 40% more). This ensures superior screw and nail extraction properties. The bending strength and modulus of elasticity of esb boards are the same in both directions, unlike OSB boards, where the value is halved across the width. This in turn greatly simplifies the installation process and minimises the risk of errors on site.
The boards may be applied internally or externally and are compatible with diffusion open breathable wall and roof structures. With a µ value of only 24, elka strong boards are over 6 times more diffusion open in comparison to many OSB3 boards. This significantly increases the ability for walls and roofs to dry out in the event of unforeseen moisture entry. Due to the board’s exceptional low vapour resistance, they may be used as an internal racking board in conjunction with Intelligent Vapour Checks, such as INTELLO PLUS, without inhibiting the performance of the Intelligent membrane from a vapour diffusion perspective.
In recognition of its unique hygrothermal characteristics, elka strong boards material properties are also now included in the material database of the advanced hygrothermal software programme, WUFI (www.WUFI.de).
As the boards utilise exclusively virgin green wood chips from a neighbouring sawmill minimal processing is required. This ensures the boards are practically odourless due to their low VOC emissions, which in turn contribute to a healthy indoor climate.
The board may also be applied internally as a surface finish. Thanks to the board’s sanded and virtually sealed surface, this enables water-vapour-permeable varnishes, paints and adhesives to be directly applied.
The wood required to manufacture elka strong board is sourced from sustainably managed forests and the boards are PEFC, and CE certified.
More information or product samples may be requested on firstname.lastname@example.org
By Niall Crosson, BTech, MEngSc, MIEI, CEPHD
Senior Technical Engineer Ecological Building Systems
A look back at the Irish Green Building Council Green Room Conference
The Irish Green Building Council put together a fantastic conference, The Green Room, last Thursday the 21st of May at the Woodquay Venue in Dublin. The Ecological team attended and exhibited at the event. A top line up of national and international speakers with inspiring case studies were presented at this year's conference. Here are just a few highlights from the event.
The conference was opened by Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources Alex White who updated the audience on the latest Government initiatives and he also launched the IGBC Build Upon project, a Europe wide renovation strategy. More information regarding this can be found here: http://www.igbc.ie/resource-tags/build-upon/
The first presentation by Miles Keeping of Deloitte Real Estate presented a thought provoking presentation titled “Sustainable Building on the demand side”. Miles chaired the development of the World Green Building Council report on Health, Wellbeing and office Productivity – The Next Chapter in Green Building (http://www.igbc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/WorldGBC__Health_Wellbeing__productivity__full_report.pdf).
His presentation highlighted how improving ventilation and IAQ delivers productivity benefits of between 8 & 11%! He also highlighted that staff who sit next to windows sleep for 46 minutes longer at night, again improving productivity!
It was refreshing to see the business case for wellbeing of occupiers as a financial incentive to build healthier more comfortable working spaces.
Another highlight was the presentation from Sean Hogan of RKD Architects, who presented the dual certified LEED Platinum, BREEAM Outstanding Guinness brewery building which achieved one of the highest scores ever for either scheme internationally for an industrial building...confirming Green Guinness is not just for St. Patrick ’s Day!
Following this an insightful and entertaining presentation was delivered by Ronald Rovers. He presented the inspiring and highly ambitious Energie Sprong programme in Holland, which aims to renovate 100,000 homes to a zero energy bill (http://energiesprong.nl/transitionzero/)! Ronald really caught the attention of the audience from the outset, by providing an image of Holland, flooded with sea water in 80 years, if we are to take a business as usual approach to climate change.
Ronald’s presentation illustrated how with adequate forethought and prefabrication they could attain Passivhaus retrofits for a whole building in a single day without having to move the occupants out of the building!
Following Ronald’s presentation we attended Caelan Bristow’s insightful presentation where she presented the challenges to specifying non-standard building materials and solutions. Caelan highlighted the need not only to reduce heat loss in buildings, but also to prioritise the embodied energy within the materials we build with. Caelan also referenced the need to reduce waste on site and in the building supply chain. For example, Caelan stated that there is enough waste straw in England to build 200,000 houses! She also highlighted international projects where prefabricated straw bale panels or Hemp Lime infill panels were used, such as the Marks and Spencer project in Cheshire built by Lime Technology.
These are just some of the presentations which were delivered on the day. As always, it was great to catch up with so many familiar faces, and meet lots of new ones! Well done to the Irish Green Building Council for organising the event!
More information about the event can be found here: http://www.igbc.ie/conference/the_green_room.html
On Tuesday the 14th of April 2015 Peter Smith a member of our technical support team, attended the launch of SMART ECO HUB SUSTAINABLE BUILDING GUIDE at Stormont Castle, Belfast. Niall Crosson our Senior Technical Engineer provided a number of technical contributions to the document but unfortunately wasn't able to attend as his new baby took priority!
The Smart Eco Hub is a cross border, business to business cluster organisation for companies in the sustainable energy sector. Their mission is to drive economic growth and job creation through collaboration and innovation in the sustainable energy sector to develop and exploit new technologies for local and international markets. Through their collaborative network of small and large enterprises, academic research organisations and local government agencies they provide a unique hub environment for identifying synergies, creating business opportunities, establishing living labs and stimulating innovation. Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) is a building standard that all EU member states will have to comply with over the next several years. As the title suggests, it means that all new buildings will have to meet a higher standard of energy efficiency so that they require virtually no fossil fuels and produce very little C02 into the environment. With fuel prices certain to continue rising into the future it makes both financial and environmental sense to embrace these changes if undertaking a new build or a substantial renovation.
The Guide is structured to follow a fabric first approach, starting with design issues, moving through insulation, building systems, glazing and ventilation/airtightness, before addressing water usage and waste water practices. The Directory at the end of the publication carries profiles and contact details of the companies who have contributed to this Guide.
The event began with a welcome by Lord Mayor of Belfast; followed by Cllr Oliver Tully; Chief Executive Louth Co Co, Joan Martin; Minister Mark Durkan; Mickey Brady MLA; and Steven Agnew MLA. Other speakers included, Colin King, Director BRE UK and Paul McAllister, a Passivhaus Architect. Colin King's presentation was particularly eye-opening and to the point, and included some telling images of common bad building practices and failures. Also from the floor, Tom Woolley, Rachel Bevan Architects; Liam Brown, Enviroform Ltd; Raymond Moan, Quality Timber frame; Paula Moan, Beam Vacuum & Ventilation; Olann Herr of Herr Ltd; and finally, Peter Smith of Ecological provided a brief presentation and summarised their input to the publication. Peter also met up with the ubiquitous Pat Barry of the Irish Green Building Council -he seems to be everywhere..how does he do it?! We were invited to finish a successful launch with a good lunch at the Stormont Hotel before heading our separate ways.
The Smart Eco Hub Sustainable Building Guide can be downloaded from the following link: SmartEcoGuide
If you wish to receive a free hard copy of the guide, we have a limited number available on request to our Irish and UK customers. To order one please mail email@example.com
Permanent airtightness with pro clima!
- Reliable functioning tested for 100 years.
- Independently confirmed.
- Maximum requirement significantly exceeded.
A Review of SEAI Energy Show 2015
Our new stand at Energy Show 2015 in the RDS, Dublin
It’s back to the office this week for the Ecological Ireland team following yet another busy and successful Energy Show. Our stand was ably manned by Adrian Crosson, Peter Smith, Niall Crosson and last but by no means least, our recent UK recruit sent over to help us Fintan Wallace.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) annual business to business event, The Energy Show 2015, was a real success with the exhibition growing 20% and visitors up 10% on last year to 3,800. The show, which took place at the RDS in Dublin on 25th and 26th March, hosted over 170 exhibitors along with multiple networking events, an extensive electric vehicle showcase, live retrofit demonstrations, an international markets pavilion and a wide range of workshops.
Opening the Show Alex White TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said: “The sustainable energy sector is a significant contributor to our economic recovery and it is already supporting 15,000 jobs and this figure is set to increase in the coming years. As we develop as a green energy location, Ireland will add sustainable energy expertise and access to secure, clean energy to the list of factors that are successfully attracting foreign companies to Ireland”.
Commenting on the success of the Show SEAI’s, Brian Motherway, CEO said: “Around €1.5 billion is being invested in sustainable energy technologies and services in Ireland annually. The Energy Show was a great opportunity for businesses to see and hear about the latest innovations in the smart energy technology and services sector. This year there was particularly strong international interest with 30 overseas companies and 13 embassies represented. Ireland is well positioned to capitalise on this global market given our expertise in this area, as evidenced by the vibrant and successful businesses at the Energy Show 2015.”
More information regarding the show may be viewed here: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Energy_Show/
Best Services Provider: Winner — Niall Crosson, Ecological Building Systems receiving the award for Energy Show Product of the Show Awards 2015 from Brian Scannell, one of the judges and Tom Halpin, Head of Information, SEAI.
We we’re delighted that our Better Building: Putting the Fabric First course won Product of the Show in the category, Best Service Provider.
Training specifiers, energy consultants, builders and homeowners has always been a cornerstone of Ecological Building Systems services since our inception almost 15 years ago. With our extensive knowledge in regard to high performance, healthy construction using natural materials we are in a unique position to impart our knowledge to all those involved in the construction industry. Therefore it was a great honour to receive such recognition for the training and services we provide from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Peter and Adrian taking a close look at our award at the show!
While renewable energy is to be fully supported, the basic foundation of any low energy building, be it new build or retrofit, is to focus on the fabric. Airtightness, thermal continuity, ventilation and using more natural materials which contribute to a heathy living space are core components of the training we provide. The Better Building course also introduces attendees to the basic principles of Passivhaus buildings, and how to comply with the latest iteration of Part L of the building regulations. Training is provided by Senior Engineer with Ecological, Niall Crosson in conjunction with the highly skilled practical sessions with Roman Szypura of Clioma House Ltd.
More details regarding the training can be viewed in the training section of our website. http://www.ecologicalbuildingsystems.com/Ireland/training
We also had the honour of meeting the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White and Brian Motherway, CEO of SEAI.
Niall Crosson meets Minister Alex White and SEAI CEO Brian Motherway
Both we very impressed with the range of airtightness and natural insulation solutions we promote and provide on the Irish market. They were also particularly interested in the history of our parent company MacCann & Byrne, dating back to 1906 and still a family based company to this day!
We look forward to next years show!
By Niall Crosson, BTech, MEngSc, MIEI, CEPHD
Senior Engineer Ecological Building Systems
30th March 2015
It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 months since the last SEAI Energy Show....where does the time go! We will once again be launching an array of new innovative Ecological building solutions at this year’s event. We are looking forward to showcasing a range of new pro clima airtightness solutions including pro clima's new CONTEGA SOLIDO SL and EXO range of air and windtightness plastering tapes and their new range of EXTOSEAL butyl sealing tapes.
We will also be launching our new range of Elka Strong Board (ESB) Diffusion open racking boards, an adaptive structural board for internal and external use.
Of course we will also be displaying our range of GUTEX woodfibre, THERMO HEMP and THERMAFLEECE sheep wool natural insulations and our range of natural paints.
We will also be demonstrating our unique range of joist and rafter expanders from the SMARTSIX system. Finally we will also be displaying the latest developments in Irelands highest performing airtight and pre insulated WELLHOEFER attic hatch and ladder.
Drop by and visit our technical team at stand C5 for more information about low energy building using more natural materials!
Thermally Upgrading Single Leaf Masonry Walls with Internal wall insulation...what are the pitfalls?
Thermally Upgrading Single Leaf Masonry Walls with Internal wall insulation...what are the pitfalls?
Identifying areas and elements within existing buildings where substantial improvements to the thermal performance can be affected, will always present a variety of challenges. The reason for this is that most of the material used in older buildings exhibit very different characteristics than most modern building materials especially in the areas of vapour diffusion, “breathability” and moisture management. One such area of contention is the thermal upgrade of single leaf masonry walls with internal insulation.
For specifiers, it is critical to assess..................................................