Yes, you can, but take care that you don’t fall short of imminent building standards to be introduced to Ireland. Some people find themselves reluctant to go for the ‘full’ Passive House option expressing a preference for what might be referred to as ‘near passive’. This is to be expected for some people who might be reluctant to consider something as new to Ireland as the Passive House standard, requiring air-tightness, triple-glazing, super-insulation, heat recovery ventilation and so forth. In principle, if people have their minds made up against Passive House standard (or indeed feel they can’t afford this standard), then there is little that can be done to convince them otherwise. It is important to think of the following, however. The DoE have decided that all new residential construction must be built to a carbon neutral standard by 2013 – that’s just four years away. Building a Passive House is perhaps the most economical method of achieving this standard, coupled with renewable energy technologies (such as a wind turbine or photo-voltaic panels). It makes little sense to knowingly build to a standard which will soon be outdated, likely adversely affecting property value in the future. Furthermore, if you build a ‘low energy’ house or ‘near-passive’, you will still need to install a heating system that is capable of providing good comfort in the worst possible weather (even if this lasts only a short period in the winter). This means that you will need a much larger heating system than you would if you build a Passive House, most likely requiring additional investment for that system. Further, energy prices are set to increase in the future, perhaps offsetting any saving that you might make in not building to the Passive House standard. In the end, making any improvements to a building in terms of energy efficiency will prove worthwhile and we recommend pushing your budget as far as you can to reduce your energy costs in the future.