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Irish Construction Magazine Rebrands, Launches UK Edition/Digital Edition

Ireland’s best-selling construction magazine is to rebrand as ‘Passive House Plus’ and expand into the UK, Dublin-based publishing company Temple Media Ltd. has announced.

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October 9, 2012 (FPRC) -- Award-winning green building magazine Construct Ireland is being rebranded in a move the company says is designed to reflect the global construction sector’s shift towards energy efficient building & upgrading as well as the growing interest in the passive house standard, the world’s leading low energy building benchmark.

The first issue of ‘Passive House Plus’ - published as an Ireland-only edition – will be available in leading newsagents nationwide from Tuesday, with a total print run of 12,000 copies split 50/50 between newsagents and the industry. Passive House Plus will be published in separate Irish and British editions from December 2012. Both editions will also be available to purchase in digital form, another new development for the magazine’s publishers.

Irish companies are beginning to capitalise on passive house for export markets. Window manufacturer Munster Joinery has achieved the highest form of passive house certification, enabling it to export into North America, the UK and Europe. Irish structural panel manufacturers such as Dempsey Timber Engineering, Cygnum, Eco Homes, MBC Timber Frame, Kingspan Century, Thermowall, Sip Energy Ireland & Scandinavian Homes have made inroads into the UK and further afield with passive house-type specifications.

Ireland has developed the world's first passive house trades person course, at FÁS in Ballyfermot, and boasts 215 certified passive house consultants - the highest number of any country in the world other than Germany.

“The decision to rename the ten year old magazine reflects a market shift,” explained editor/publisher Jeff Colley.

He continued: “Passive house is the antithesis of the poor quality construction that abounded during the boom. The industry’s brand has taken a hammering in light of Priory Hall, pyrites, and the tens of thousands of people stuck with poorly built homes that they paid over the odds to buy. By embracing passive house, the industry’s starting to show that it can produce genuinely world class buildings in terms of comfort, health, energy saving and overall build quality. It’s the only way for the industry to repair its ruined brand.”

According to Colley, the decision to back passive house has been on the cards since Construct Ireland’s special issue on the passive house standard in September 2011.

He explained: “That was our most successful issue ever – and at a time when other construction magazines were going to the wall. We had our highest ever advertising and magazine sales totals, and double the number of reader enquiries.”

A recent analysis from the magazine’s reader enquiry system shows that 76% of readers building new homes and 51% of readers with upgrade and extensions projects are aiming to build to or close to the passive house standard. “Our readers have grown increasingly knowledgeable,” said Colley. “They’re either looking to build passive houses or build as close as possible to that standard.”

Colley said that although the rebranded magazine will focus on passive house, it will also cover other aspects of sustainable building such as green materials, water conservation and renewable energy. “We’re not going to be single-mindedly focused on passive house. People who build passive houses tend to want to address other aspects of green building too, so we have to cater for that. The beauty of passive house is that it’s all about taking a robust, integrated approach. It’s not just about cutting energy use, but doing so while improving indoor air quality and comfort, and improving the durability of the building.”

Temple Media Ltd was founded in September 2002, with the first issue of Construct Ireland published in January 2003. The company currently employs five people at its offices in Blackrock, Dublin. According to publisher/editor Jeff Colley, the establishment of a sustainable building magazine in the throes of the Celtic Tiger necessitated a stealthy approach. “The industry wouldn’t have taken us seriously at the time if we’d had an overtly green name,” he said. “Clearly the market wasn’t focused on quality at the time, let alone on green issues.”

Colley and Construct Ireland picked up Green Awards in 2009 for their work on developing and advocating the “pay as you save” model for financing energy upgrades. Colley & eco architect Duncan Stewart are co-founders of Éasca, the Environmental and Sustainable Construction Association, an organisation set up to promote expertise in sustainable building.


Send an email to Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR
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