131: How to live rich

Educator and facilitator, Davie Philip of Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Educator and facilitator, Davie Philip of Cloughjordan Ecovillage

Davie Philip feels and lives like a rich man. He’s an educator and facilitator at Cloughjordan (pronounced ‘clock-jordan’), rated one of the top 10 places to live in Ireland.

Cloughjordan Ecovillage contains 129 energy efficient houses. It features a biomass-fuelled district heating system and the whole village is designed for biodiversity.

Podcast Summary

  • How the green building and sustainability movement came to be in Ireland.
  • The importance of community resilience and how it relates to sustainability.
  • Normalizing sustainability.

Community Resilence

Community resilience is a community’s ability to cope with hardship.

To Davie Philip, talking about sustainability is not just about building green houses, but building resilient communities. When Cloughjordan Ecovillage was founded, an old existing settlement was chosen with the purpose of it playing a part in the new neighbourhood, and, as Philip put it, “we wanted to normalise sustainability, not keep it fringe and marginal.”

Cloughjordan Ecovillage Tours

If you're heading to Ireland, put a Cloughjordan Ecovillage tour on your agenda.
If you’re heading to Ireland, put a Cloughjordan Ecovillage tour on your agenda.

Cloughjordan Ecovillage on the Web

  • Another enjoyable episode Matthew.

    A small note, a “Near Zero Energy Building” is an EU defined term that all buildings are to meet by 2020 (public buildings earlier by 2019) – “a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby” http://www.epbd-ca.eu/themes/nearly-zero-energy. A Passivhaus building is essentially an ideal candidate for an “nZEB”.
    It is “nearly” because actually it is very hard to be truly “net zero” when you accurately balance primary (source – taking account of generation efficiency, distribution losses etc) energy production/consumption needs between day/night and summer/winter. Needless to say, most so-called “net zero’ buildings are no such thing. And hence why most so-called “net-zero” buildings are still grid tied. (Which is sensible!) In NZ, it will be easier to achieve “net zero” potentially, with a high proportion of grid energy being produced from renewable sources such as hydro. The question should be, though, is a “net zero” building actually a useful target? Probably better to be “net zero” at community scale or larger and benefit from different loads, storage, production, scale, etc.

  • mcutlerwelsh

    Thanks for the reference Elrond. Great point. I wonder, is this a case of true and exact science getting in the way of effective marketing? While not being absolutely true, ‘net zero’ is a relatively easy concept for most to understand. ‘Near zero’, not so much?

    • This is a simple case of not understanding the past as Mr. This Philip mentioned and the Prime Reason Passive House is slithering on the bottom of mainstream adoption. We have failed ourselves forever on sustainable housing and people are still waiting for the savior to appear. Simplicity is wish but never a reality. Example a Certified by somebody house still will Rot, Burn or be destroyed by lack of Maintenance with a extremely short lifespan. A home that cost less than half the average Super Insulated and maintenance free is totally discarded as a contender.

      High Performance Homes has a ring of success, don’t you think? I’m of now to see if I’m Irish…Green.

      • mcutlerwelsh

        I think anyone who is highlighting the positives and making good homes more accessible to more people, is worthy of promoting. Perfect can be the tyranny of the good.

        • I was replying to your statement not the good work of Davie Philip. Certifications and being secretive to your possible customers is where Passive House and others get lost in the crowd of competing certification groups.