Conference spells out A to Z of new regulations

Art McCormack, nZebra; Tomás O'Leary, nZebra; Simon Coveney TD Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government; Andy Lundberg, nZebra and Paul Kehoe TD.
Art McCormack, nZebra; Tomás O'Leary, nZebra; Simon Coveney TD Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government; Andy Lundberg, nZebra and Paul Kehoe TD.

Over 230 delegates attended Ireland's first nZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings) held in Enniscorthy last Thursday.

Representatives of the architectural, construction and local authority sectors were given detailed briefings on nZEB building methods from a panel of experts from Ireland and abroad.

The conference was opened by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, who set the tone of the one-day event by outlining Government thinking in respect of Ireland's future housing needs. He said Ireland will introduce nZEB building compliance regulations by 2018 for all public buildings and by 2020 for other construction projects.

The Enniscorthy conference, the first of its kind to take place in advance of the new regulations, was designed to inform all interested parties of what is required in the future.

The event was organised by nZebra, a subsidiary company of MosArt Ltd., a Rathnew, County Wicklow based firm of architects, whose Managing Director Tomas O'Leary is from Enniscorthy.

MosArt has been providing sustainable building and landscape design services since 1993 and is presently responsible for the design, detailing and certification of Wexford County Council's nZEB Housing Scheme at The Moyne, Enniscorthy, which is the first local authority housing scheme in Ireland to be built to nZEB specifications.

At Thursday's conference, Mr O'Leary, brought delegates on a step-by-step 'behind the scenes' construction of an nZEB house, with the aid of a 30-minute video, outlining solutions for building designers and contractors aiming to achieve cost-optimal sustainable buildings.

His presentation was one of many which dealt with every aspect of nZEB construction methods which are designed to deliver accelerated and affordable future-proof housing for the 21st century.

The theme of the conference was set by Sean Armstrong, Senior Housing Standards Advisor at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government who detailed the 'Roadmap for Delivering nZEB in Ireland'.

Wexford County Council's Chief Executive Tom Enright, gave a thought provoking insight into the work involved in the construction of an nZEB Scheme when he outlined the methods employed in the Council's scheme at The Moyne, Enniscorthy, while Quantity Surveyor Seamus Mullins gave a cost analysis for delivering nZEB which, he said, was cheaper than a conventional build.

Other speakers included Andree Dargan, County Architect, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; Christy O' Sullivan, Managing Director, ILTP Consulting; Dr. Shane Colclough, University of Ulster, and Dragomir Tzanev from Bulgaria who outlined what is required to train construction workers to deliver nZEB in Ireland.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion on 'The Way ahead for Ireland' involving Pat Cox, Former President of the European Parliament; Jim Gannon, Chief Executive, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and Tom Parlon, Director General, Construction Federation of Ireland.

Wexford People

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