Re: Re: Any experience I should look for for energy efficiency specification?

Home Forums Ireland Any experience I should look for for energy efficiency specification? Re: Re: Any experience I should look for for energy efficiency specification?


Bringing this back to architecture, low energy is not about bolting on fancy equipement ists abouit using the simple tools of Architecture. Christover Alexander et all. Best klessons in Passive House is to look at the old abandoned cottages in the countryside. Siting, Orientation, compactness, daylight. The first year stuff.

Pity the software doesn’t take this in account though. Either on domestic or commercial side. We have to be careful, that we give the client bang for the buck too. And while the above described items are definitely sustainable in a real way, they are not benchmarked presently. I could go into some reasons for that, but it is decidedly mathematical, and has to do with the EPBD, and its proper understanding. The EU went for an asset rating, which would allow one to compare one building with another. Assessments done at a distance, often for dwellings which are in the planning process.

There are advantages in that approach. It can be highlighted at design stage, the opportunities for quick wins, and low hanging fruit with regard to energy management. This can be then caught at construction stage. The other approach, would be to model up the entire site etc, and perhaps the dwelling would get built. Then you would have this beautiful mathematical model of the actual site, and the wind rose and whatever. But at expense of time, money and experts too. And the fact the building would be built, would prevent very many alterations at all.

We need to be reasonable here. There are 1.6 million dwellings alone in Ireland. The real danger is that solar-this and heat pump-that sales men are going to ‘burn’ through whatever money is out there, without any proper real consideration of energy savings. This is BS. But you know what good and talented salesmen are capable of – why do people drive Porsche cars around Dublin at 20 miles per hour? ? ?

The ideal is the control and carefully funnel the €10,000.00 per dwelling average investment into something worthwhile, (we don’t have it to waste like before) and to build up an industry level of skills in retro-fitting. That will stand to the whole country as a worthwhile investment and resource going forward.

Passive home is brilliant – given the time, and skill level augmentation process, which needs to happen first. Sequence is key. See my point about British Telecom’s investment in wind generation above. I mean the trouble is, we see so many wonderful examples in the press coming from Britain, and the continent of sustainable design. But we forget, those are completely different markets.

I was reading the Energy Saving Trust document on light bulbs recently, and it described that in the 40 year average electrical re-wiring cycle for dwellings, about 800,000 dwellings in the UK undergo substantial wiring upgrades each year. (Probably a figure based on boom-er times I realize, but still) Even at the height of it, the Irish market was about an 1/8 of that. And that required us Irish poor slobs to practically commit leveraged suicide, to buy 2 and 3 extra properties. Garda’s and civil servants becoming property investors. That was sustainable to begin with.

The point is, there is a pot of money about €3 billion euro in size out there, in the potential retro-fit industry. The skills aren’t there, the expertise isn’t there and the customer common sense isn’t there. So we need to be careful, really careful, how we manage this opportunity.

Brian O’ Hanlon

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