Zero Ambitions Podcast

In this episode, we had the pleasure of Dr. Barry McCarron's company, from his car, during a break in the conference he was attending.

If you’re looking for an inspiring journey into academia and leadership in low-energy building, Barry’s story has you covered. We also talk about how passive house certification appears to mitigate risk from radon, the impact of further education (as opposed to academia), and how proper systems design is essential to making even passive houses work properly.

Barry earned his doctorate at Queens University Belfast in a piece of academic research of real consequence: comparing the levels of the deadly cancer-causing gas radon in passive houses to other dwellings.

Radon, the radioactive gas which kills roughly as many people as road deaths in Ireland, can increase in low-energy buildings. Barry's research covered why passive houses appear to buck the trend, itself something of a proxy for the wider ventilation conversation.

Now at South West College in Enniskillen - who recently developed the groundbreaking passive house premium-certified Erne Campus - he is the chair of the Passive House Association of Ireland and is doing powerful work to bridge the gap between academia and the construction industry.

Notes from the episode

We don't actually earn anything from this, and it's quite a lot of work, so we have to promote the day jobs.


What is Zero Ambitions Podcast?

Zero Ambitions is a podcast about sustainability and the built environment. There is no single solution to fixing the built environment, so we're talking our way through as much of it as we can.

We find interesting guests who know what they're talking about and speak with them about sustainability, good practice, and how to make a difference because the challenges are massive and the problems complex.

You can also find us on LinkedIn:

Hosted by Jeff Colley (Passive House Plus), Dan Hyde (Everything is User Experience) and Alex Blondin (Everything is User Experience).