As we look forward to the upcoming Architecture and Building Expo, 6-7 October, Architecture Ireland takes a look at the Expo’s annual Architects’ Choice Awards through a series of interviews with past winning suppliers.
In this article, we speak with Ecological Building Systems. In 2015, Ecological Building Systems were awarded the ‘Best Interior Design Product’ Award for the Diasen Diathonite Evolution Lime Cork Thermal Plaster system.
Ecological Building Systems previously won the Architect’s Choice Award in the Best Interior Design Product category at Architecture Expo 2015. Could you please tell us more about the winning product in question and what impact its success in the Awards has had?
We were delighted that Diasen Diathonite Evolution Lime Cork Thermal Plaster system won the award in 2015. At the time the product was more well established in the UK. We launched the product at Architecture Expo in 2015. Winning the award has given the product greater publicity among design professionals and provides additional reassurance that the material is recognised as an ideal breathable thermal solution for new and existing buildings.
Ecological Building Systems will be exhibiting at the Architecture and Building Expo again this year. Are there any particular products or services you’ll be presenting at the show that you could tell us more about here?
Along with our usual range of Pro Clima airtightness solutions and natural insulation materials we will also be presenting some new innovations from our partners Gutex from Germany. They have developed a new semi-rigid woodfibre batt with even better thermal and mechanical properties called Thermoflex. We will also be presenting a range of thermal bridge solutions with our Bosig Phonotherm structural insulation. In the area of retrofit, we will also be presenting a range of solutions including the Diasen Diathonite Evolution Lime Cork Thermal Plaster referenced above, Thermo Hemp and Calsitherm Climate Board insulation.
As a key provider of sustainable building materials and products, what are the main changes you’ve experienced in this sector over the last number of years and are there any future trends you see emerging?
We have seen significant growth in awareness regarding the technical benefits natural insulation provides. In the area of retrofit in particular, the importance of allowing solid walls and timber roofs to continue to breathe after thermal refurbishment to avoid mould growth and long term moisture induced issues. There is also a greater awareness regarding the environmental impact of building materials and thermal insulation. Natural materials which not only reduce the environmental impact, but which can sequester and store carbon are being specified more to improve the ecological aspect of buildings. The introduction of the environmental product declaration platform in Ireland will further assist in increasing awareness regarding this.
When considering low-energy construction, what would be your advice to architects when specifying in this area?
Having a ‘fabric first’ approach to building design from the outset optimises the performance of building elements and materials. This should be prioritised before considering the use of mechanical or electrical building services systems. This approach reduces capital and operational costs and improves energy efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. Key aspects to putting the ‘fabric first’ are:
- Maximise airtightness combined with controlled ventilation;
- Use high levels of thermal insulation with no thermal bridges;
- Optimise solar gain accounting for shading;
- Utilise thermal mass within the building fabric;
- Using energy from occupants, electronic devices, cookers etc.;
- Utilise materials which are sourced from sustainable resources with minimum embodied energy.
Finally, if our readers wish to chat with Ecological Building Systems during or after Architecture Expo, who, how and where can they find you?
Ecological Building Systems will be exhibiting at stand D12. For more information regarding the range of products, training and services we provide please do not hesitate to contact Niall Crosson, Ecological Building Systems on 046 9432104 or www.ecologicalbuildingsystems.com.
Ecological Building Systems was set up in Athboy, County Meath in the year 2000. Our ethos at Ecological Building Systems is to achieve ‘Better Building’ by adopting a ‘fabric first’ approach to design, with the use of more natural materials to optimise building performance and durability. Forming strong relationships and networks with our European partners, the first products that Ecological imported was the Pro Clima range of airtight and windtight building products.
Ecological Building Systems offer on-site technical support, hygro-thermal modelling using WUFI, U-Value calculations & Dew Point Assessments. In addition, Ecological also offer CPDs and airtight and insulation installation training.