BER Certs

BER Certs

Postby roskav » Wed May 13, 2009 4:24 pm

I'm completely exasperated that our 1950's house, with cavity walls, double glazing, 200mm of attic insulation has got a G rating. That's the lowest you can get. I have no quibbles with the assessors .. they were meticulous. It's just that if you live in a draughty barn with a tin roof there would be no incentive to upgrade your insulation or windows if you were using the rating system as your benchmark. What are the DOE at?

Have any others had similar experiences?

R
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Re: BER Certs

Postby garethace » Wed May 13, 2009 6:38 pm

Ros,

Thankyou for raising this point. I was hoping someone would. I was fearful, I was the only one who had experienced this. I do encourage others here at the forum to submit their opinions. As I made the point in his thread:

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=7466

We need to be extremely careful in how we manage this opportunity, to foster better skills and attitudes in the construction industry, towards retro-fit projects. Of course in the boom times, no builder would even bother his backside with the small stuff, but that attitude has definitely changed. I heard a construction industry federation representative use a phrase recently I thought well tailored - our building contractors have to become 'energy aware'.

But perhaps the DOE have been too aggressive in their efforts with the BER scheme. Although, if you talk to guys from the passive home, and climate change side of the argument, they will tell you that the BER scheme is about right, in terms of its performance expectations. If one looks at it in terms of carbon emissions and the atmospheric level.

As I understand it, a lot of Ireland's emissions of green house gases has to do with agricultural activities and the rearing of cattle for beef. We are higher, in that respect than other European countries. I think that broadly, the carbon accounting systems, whatever they are, if they are commonly applied across all EU member states, should allow us to compare the different countries and where one or other needs to focus the most.

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Re: BER Certs

Postby garethace » Wed May 13, 2009 6:50 pm

Ros,

I would also like to mention while I am here, that this was predicted a long while ago, when the building boom was in full swing by Gerry McCaughey of Kingspan Century and others in their respective fields. (I don't mean to plug Gerry's company here or anything, but simply to use his expressed views a few years ago, as one example I know) That much of the problems to do with carbon emission taxation and so forth - or loss in value of property, via asset rating schemes etc, would be transferred onto those, most vulnerable in society. Namely, the young people, who during the Celtic Tiger years were saddled with such huge and unsustainble levels of personal bank borrowing.

I just searched for the Brundtland report in google, and found his quote:

‘[Development that] meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’


The Brundtland report seems to facilitate one of the more robust defintions of sustainability, that I have come across in my studies. Her definition seems to work for a wide variety of different fields and activities too. And I think, is also relevant to this thread of discussion.

I haven't read through the report myself, only listened to others refer to it. This seems to be a good link here:

http://www.worldinbalance.net/agreements/1987-brundtland.php

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Re: BER Certs

Postby garethace » Fri May 22, 2009 10:39 pm

I wrote something today about it.

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=7607

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Re: BER Certs

Postby Johnnaris » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:39 am

simulation credit


Thanks for sharing this useful information. It's great.
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Re: BER Certs

Postby garethace » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:06 pm

I was looking at a solar panel installation today on a roof with an almost east and west direct facing aspects. The owner installed the solar panels on the west aspect of the house, which is the rear, so as not to have any panels facing out onto the street. I will bet the neighbours would complain if he did. However, I was thinking if one did have a choice, east or west? I am inclined to go with west, because you are more likely to have a store of hot water ready for you when you arrive home in the evening. Even in winter time if the day was sunny. I have a feeling that solar panels on the east, might receive a lot of good sunlight in the summer, that may well be useable if one is to have a morning shower. But for the rest of the wintertime, it may not be much good. Except at weekends perhaps.

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Re: BER Certs

Postby garethace » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:12 pm

roskav wrote:I'm completely exasperated that our 1950's house, with cavity walls, double glazing, 200mm of attic insulation has got a G rating. That's the lowest you can get. I have no quibbles with the assessors .. they were meticulous. It's just that if you live in a draughty barn with a tin roof there would be no incentive to upgrade your insulation or windows if you were using the rating system as your benchmark. What are the DOE at?

Have any others had similar experiences?

R


Ros,

I was thinking about this today. It may prove helpful to use the analogy of the food industry in thinking about this. While you did receive a poor rating for sure, things may not be as bad as you think. There will be a lot of people out there for a long time to come who will opt to buy your house or not, based on a whole range of other criteria besides energy rating. Anyhow, as time moves on, retrofitting of dwellings to improve their rating will become an established industry like any other.

But getting back to my food industry analogy. Say, you are designing a new house. You know that if your new designed house gets a ‘D’ rating (provisional) it is not up to standard. In other words, the built realisation of your design should not be put on to the housing market. No more than infected meat produce should be put on super market shelves. As fuel prices rise, the unknown is much more worrying to people than the known. If people know that a house comes with an energy rating, even if it is a 'G' rating, they know they can opt to buy the house and invest in energy retro-fitting. I would imagine you chose the house you bought for a range of factors besides its energy performance. Those other factors will always remain intact and appeal to the future customer also.

But what would really destroy the price of house properties for everyoned across the board, is when the market worries it doesn't know which is which. Then people who cannot afford the energy retrofit afterwards, do not know what to buy. When that happens, the whole lot of housing stock prices fall to the floor. Owing to the sheer uncertainty of the whole thing. So giving houses an energy rating, even a poor one, in other words, helps to stabilise the market. It converts an unknown into a known. The energy rating is a form of indirect green taxation of course, which you pay at the point where you dispose of the property on the market.

You either upgrade the property yourself before you dispose of it, if you have the money available. Or you take the small hit when you sell it to someone else. In total, everyone is paying a small contribution towards the Kyoto protocol or whatever it is. Everyone lives in a house or apartment so everyone ends up contributing towards the taxation. But I think, it is a taxation with good aspects to it. Although people do not see it as such today. The fact the energy rating scheme is in place will help ensure that the overwhelming bulk of the value of your asset will remain intact for years to come. Buyers will be better informed and therefore more confident. There will always be a buyer out there, who will want to buy Ros's house and add some value by doing the energy retrofit themselves.

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Re: BER Certs

Postby sinnerboy » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:04 pm

http://www.sei.ie/Your_Building/BER/BER_FAQ/FAQ_BER/Assessors/July_09_Status_report.pdf

The OP ( if he is still around ) has a house that is part of the 10% of G rated existing houses

The cert is not "for" him/her - it is "for" anyone wishing to buy or rent that house . Which or may not prompt an upgrade .

Up till now almost all attention has been the energy performance aspect of BER . But those little BER cert labels also indicate a calculated C02 emission rate . The greens have spoken often about a desire for carbon taxes ......
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