Author Archives: Pat Lehane

Hevac Looks to the Future with Garrett White as MD

Garrett White, Managing Director, Hevac

Garrett has been with Hevac for 20 years and his career path has very much mirrored the development and evolution of the company over that time. So, it is appropriate that he should now assume the role of Managing Director as Hevac embarks on the next next stage of its development.

“Our industry is changing and it is important that we move with it”, says Garrett. “The challenge is to focus on getting that right, based on an offer of value-for-money with quality, reliable products and unrivalled customer service. This includes everything from on-time, in-full deliveries to in-house technical design capabilities and after sales service support. We have recently streamlined pre-order and collection systems in an effort to make engagement with our trade counter staff more efficient, while also focusing on continual improvement of our comprehensive local and nationwide delivery service from our two Dublin-based branches and one in Cork.

“We have a dynamic team here at Hevac, and one that represents a wealth of experience within the business. In addition, we carry over 6,500 unique products in stock with thousands more available to order. Moreover, this figure rises to 11,000 given the ready access we have to the ex-stock product holdings of our sister companies Tubeco, Origen and Polytherm. We truly are a one-stop-shop for the heating, plumbing and mechanical services industry.

“An added strength of the close working relationship we enjoy with our sister companies is that we can supply the most comprehensive and efficient district heating system combination that includes boilers, CHP and HIUs, through to underfloor heating and distribution pipework.

In recent years we have built on this capability to include full ‘design and build’ packaged plant room and flue installation services, along with a full AHU and ventilation product portfolio. “This is delivered by Hevac’s dedicated specification design team of fully qualified and experienced building services and mechanical engineers which is led by Paul Devereux. Paul and the team ensure that design assistance, guidance and technical support are provided to our customers.

 “As we look to the future, we are squarely focused on customer service. We truly appreciate every order we receive and we operate on the principle that customer satisfaction equals repeat business and we welcome every opportunity to prove ourselves in this regard”. 

Sirus Building Engineering Scholarship at DIT

Frank Caul, Managing Director of Sirus with scholarship winner Zoe Elliott.

Ciara Ahern, the Head of Building Engineering in DIT says: “The buildings in which we spend 90% of our time are responsible for about half of global energy use. Society urgently needs building engineers to help realise our ambitious climate change targets for our built environment.”

DIT and Sirus have joined forces to introduce the inaugural Sirus Scholarship in Building Engineering 2017. The scholarship was established with James Byrne, a DIT graduate and his colleague Frank Caul, who joined forces in 1989 to form the very successful Sirus Group. It employs approximately 100 people, many of them building engineering student graduates from DIT, and operates across Ireland and mainland Europe.

The Sirus team specialises in the control and management of building systems across a diverse range of sectors including industry, education, retail, hospitality, healthcare, life sciences, data centres and airports. “Sirus is always looking for good people”, says Frank Caul, “and we prefer to employ the graduates from Building Engineering in DIT as they are able to hit the ground running and contribute to the company quickly. These graduates invariably climb the career ladder very quickly.”

The two talented students awarded this year’s Sirus Scholarship are Zoe Elliott, from Newtownmountkenndy, Co Wicklow and Pauric O’Connell, from Virginia in Cavan. Both are third-year students of Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Building Engineering (Course code: DT026) at DIT. DIT has an open access policy to education and allows students access the system at apprenticeship level, and without honours maths. “If you want in, there is a way in”, says Ciara Ahern. “Some of our best students are those who access the system at apprenticeship level and ordinary degree level”.

“Stick-with-it” attitude                                                                                                                                     James Byrne is an excellent example of this, starting off his career as an apprentice plumber in DIT. “This is why we set up the scholarship based on the attributes of grit and perseverance, rather than academic merit”, says James. “At the end of the day it is a ‘stick-with-it’ attitude that gets you through tough times in education, business and in life in general.”

To support the initiative Sirus also donated a state-of-the-art recirculating air conditioning teaching system to the college which DIT is excited to put into use.

Aircon delivers perfect data centre solution

Some of the Panasonic GHP units installed on the roof of the Concentrix building by
Aircon Sales and Service of Belfast.

Given this emphasis on quality, Aircon only partners with brand-leading product suppliers. Panasonic is a prime example of this and over the years Ian and Vincent Mahony from Panasonic have worked closely on securing and executing a broad cross-section of commercial projects.

One of the most recent is the Concentrix Call Centre in Belfast. This was a very challenging project but, by working closely together, consultants Beattie Flannigan, mechanical contractors Harvey Group and Aircon Contracts’ Manager Stevie McGarry devised and delivered the perfect solution.

The design brief was to provide cooling to a new call centre located on the old Maysfield Leisure Centre site in Belfast. Cooling was required because of the shortage of electrical power to the site. The electrical power requirement in the building was at a premium because of the nature of Concentrix’s business with an enormous power load needed for lighting, computers, servers etc. This requirement was further compounded by the high sensible heat gains generated by the large volumes of computers and lighting, not to mention a staff complement approaching 1500 people.

The solution the team devised was based on larger numbers of indoor units of a lower capacity being used due to the low ceiling heights, while just under 1.2MW of Panasonic DX gas fired cooling was provided, using somewhere between 20kW and 25kW of electrical input. Full details of the equipment specifi ed were:

• 155 Panasonic VRF cassette indoor units to serve all call centre and meeting room areas;

• 13 Panasonic gas heat pump 3-pipe VRF outdoor units serving the indoors;

• Five Panasonic gas heat pump 2-pipe VRF outdoor units to server AHU DX;

• Panasonic centralised and full Modbus BMS control;

• 19 Panasonic split Hi Wall systems to serve various small UPS and comms rooms;

• Panasonic Air Off Control employed to provide a very high sensible heat ratio, 90%+;

• All indoor units were sized to meet duty at medium speed.

The Concentrix was a very complex and challenging project requiring a sophisticated solution that was high-performing, cost-effective, energy-efficient and 100% reliable. Between them the collective supplier, design and contracting team came up with the perfect answer and saw to its seamless installation and subsequent commissioning.

Daikin Home Energy Innovators Forum proves huge success

Shane McCarthy, Daikin Ireland with Graham Wright, Daikin UK and John O’Shaughnessy, Daikin Ireland

Formal presentations were brief and focussed, the content and delivery style designed to educate, and to stimulate thought, ideas and discussion. They were also quite diverse and covered everything from nZEB through to innovative product development, new refrigerant gases and related legislation, and heat pump and boiler evolution.

The common theme throughout the day was Design Thinking, and Daikin had engaged a team of professionals in this field to coordinate the proceedings. While Design Thinking is now a very sophisticated concept that is being applied more and more across all business sectors, this was a first for a building services-related event in Ireland. Rather than dwell on the academic explanation of what Design Thinking entails, suffice to say that the embodiment of what it means is in the name … it literally does do – and did at this event – what it says on the tin.

From when delegates arrived they were encouraged to engage in a simple but very effective process that involved putting thoughts and ideas on post-its. These were then collected and collated and used to further stimulate and engage the delegates over the coffee breaks, the lunch, and finally for the final workshop session.

Here delegates divided into teams of five and “brain-stormed’ to come up with ideas, concepts and initiatives that could be rolled out to the public at large to explain the social, health, energy and lifestyle benefits of the products and systems now being introduced by the industry. On completion of this exercise a representative from each team had to present their idea to everyone present. Delegates then voted to select the best idea with the winning team securing a stay at Cliff at Lyons.

The whole concept worked extremely well with delegates seamlessly engaging and participating in the process, and with some excellent results. Even more beneficial is that, while the day itself came to a conclusion, Daikin regards it merely as the start of a process. The findings and suggestions from the day are currently being collated and evaluated, and they will shortly be shared online and through similar functions that will see the Daikin-led Home Energy Innovators Forum concept develop and grow.

Building Regulations Part B and Fire Rated Downlights (Updated 31.08.17

Mark Walshe, Technical and Quality
Manager, LED Group and Lighting Association
Ireland Technical Committee member.

When you consider the regular pattern of recessed luminaires that is likely to greet you when you cast your eyes up to the ceiling in many new homes, the concept of a fire barrier may lose much of its integrity. How many perforations does it take for a ceiling to lose its fire rating? Facetiousness aside, non-fire-rated downlights will not provide the same level of fire protection as the ceiling in the event of a fire.

Fire-stopping of any openings in a fire barrier is a serious health and safety concern, as outlined in the Building Regulations 2017 Technical Guidance Document B – Fire Safety Volume 2 Dwelling Houses, updated earlier this year. Section 3.7 and particularly Section 3.7.5 in Volume 2 deals directly with the requirements of fires in dwelling houses.

Although you won’t find downlights mentioned explicitly in the document, it is clearly spelt out that any openings in a fire barrier element must be fire-stopped to ensure that fire resistance is not impaired. This would imply that there is a requirement for recessed lighting to have integral fire protection, or for non-fire-rated recessed lighting to be installed in conjunction with a suitable fire-hood.

Technical Guidance Document B – Fire Safety Volume 1 Non-Dwelling Houses is currently under review and expected for release in 2018 so, for now, the 2006 version of Technical Guidance Document B remains applicable. This document again sets out the requirement for all openings in a fire barrier to be fire-stopped.

However, there is a caveat in the case of timber-frame apartment blocks. These may use a compartment floor where the ceiling is effectively a sacrificial layer and does not constitute a fire barrier. There was a time when LED fittings with integral fire protection were simply not conducive to this application due to high cost, low performance and poor reliability linked to over-heating, but that day is well and truly over. A good quality LED FRD (fire rated downlight) such  as the ROBUS Triumph would be an ideal choice in this instance as it, and similar high-quality products, tick all the relevant boxes. Features of the ROBUS Triumph include:

— Rated for 30/60/90 minute fire rated ceiling/floor constructions=> fire safe;

— It is eligible for the SEAI Triple E ACA Scheme => energy and cost incentives;

— It meets the acoustic testing requirements of the Building Regulations => insulates noise;

— It meets the air tightness test requirements of the Building Regulations => minimises air leaks;

— It has a quick-fix connector and insulation spacer guard => ease of install;

— It has a 5-year warranty => reliability and peace of mind.

Fire testing of LED FRDs to the relevant standard (BS476 Part 21) is an expensive business as it involves constructing suitable ceiling box samples (complete with fittings) to be tested in a furnace at up to 1000°C for 30/60/90 minutes duration. Then there is the specialist work of analysing the test results with consideration of load bearing in order to make a judgement on the overall fire rating of the fitting.

Proof of meeting these requirements should be requested as part of any fire safety certification or risk assessment. Generally, for new builds and refurbishments with material changes, the only situations where FRDs need not be considered as essential in the case of recessed lighting installations are in bungalows or in the roof ceiling of multi-storey dwellings.

It is the responsibility of the Assigned Certifier to ensure that a building meets the requirements of the Building Control Regulations as set out in the Building Control Act, 1990 by means of the signed Certification of Compliance on Completion. The most straightforward means to achieve this is to follow the appropriate Technical Guidance Documents, as otherwise, alternative evidence must be provided to prove that the regulations are met.

In addition, for non-dwellings the Building Control Authority must issue a Fire Safety Certificate. All stakeholders in the installation of recessed light fittings, from installers through to building control authorities, would do well to take note of the requirements as set out in Part B in relation to installation of recessed lighting.

If your home had a hole in the roof, you wouldn’t think twice about plugging it to prevent a leak. Shouldn’t the same consideration be paid to the holes in our ceilings in the event of fire?

New focus on health and ‘WELL Being’ in building design

Mona Holtkoetter, Arup

Most people can correlate to scenarios where buildings or surroundings have a negative impact on our health. Why are you feeling more stressed after sitting in a meeting room with bad  acoustics for several hours? Have you experienced the post-lunch coma and tried to fight against it with a large amount of coffee in the afternoon? Have you left the full-day conference in a room without access to daylight and then been blinded by the sun when leaving the building? Have you experienced back pain from sitting at your desk all day?

Then there are the not so obvious effects of the indoor environment to your health? What is the indoor air quality that we breath for 90% of the day? What is the drinking water quality from the kitchen tap? A large amount of research has been published to analyse these questions. This research has been transformed into a new building certification system, the WELL Building Standard, bringing the key items together.

So, what does the WELL Building Standard include and how can we, as professionals in the built environment, play a key role in enhancing the health and wellbeing of occupants? How can we contribute to tackle main lifestyle-related  health epidemics, such as stress, obesity and muscular-skeletal complaints?

The WELL Standard separates the opportunities to promote health and well being in buildings into the following categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

Air                                                                                                                                                                                  We breath more than 15,000 litres of air each day but outdoor air quality is deteriorating globally due to pollution from traffic, construction, agricultural activity, combustion and particulate matter. When considering the outdoor air quality, filtration of outdoor air by air handling units becomes a critical component for the HVAC design of a building services engineer. But which of the components mentioned above is captured by the F7 filter that we usually specify? Is this sufficient or do we need to re-think?

Further important aspects of indoor air  quality are ventilation levels, selection of combustion equipment, management of pesticides, cleaning practices to remove microbial pathogens and exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can evoke asthma, allergies and can impact on productivity.

Water                                                                                                                                                                            While the objective when considering water at design stage focuses on accessibility to drinking water to promote hydration, the main emphasis should be the water quality. As building services engineers we are responsible for planning the water installation, but testing the water quality is typically not within our scope. We are purely relying on the water supplied by the city council to be the correct quality. While the Irish drinking water is tested for compliance with the EPA standards, not all contaminants dangerous for the human body are covered by these tests.

Also, any impacts on drinking water quality through pipework distribution is typically ignored. WELL requires a broad assessment of the water delivered at the site and requires the installation of adequate filtration if needed.

Nourishment                                                                                                                                                                To avoid the post-lunch food coma and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, access to healthy and balanced food within a building or its surroundings is key. A healthy food offer goes hand in hand with healthy food advertising and information about ingredients, and can be advanced through the provision of gardening space. Imagine you are working late and instead of going down to the vending machine to buy a chocolate bar, you are going onto the balcony to pick an apple from the tree?

Light                                                                                                                                                                              The lighting codes we currently design to provide recommendations on illuminance levels to ensure sufficient light is provided for the task, to avoid eyestrains, to maintain productivity and to reduce headache. But light also influences our internal body clock that synchronises physiological function. Lighting exposure plays a key role for our sleep patterns and sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing. Do we need to go beyond code compliance to ensure our lighting design is providing a healthy environment?

Fitness                                                                                                                                                                Inactivity is now one of the biggest threats to public health, directly attributable to 9.4% of all deaths worldwide. While we as building services engineers have limited influence to the design for fitness, there are great opportunities to promote fitness within the built environment. This can go from the promotion of staircases, to the provision of bicycle parking, shower and changing facilities, gym or other internal or external fitness opportunities. Or, better still, how about combining fitness and work? Great innovations, such as sit-standing desks, treadmill desks or bicycle desks are already available on the market.

Comfort                                                                                                                                                                        Open-plan is the office layout of choice for most companies in Ireland. While it is great for collaboration with colleagues, the provision of quite areas to concentrate or make a phone call is important. As building services engineers, the selection of HVAC equipment has a great influence on the acoustics. Next to acoustic comfort, thermal comfort is important. While I typically sit at my desk with my jumper on, drinking a tea, my colleague next to me sits in a t-shirt and asks if we could open the windows as he feels too warm.

We are a key example for different temperature preferences. Why not be innovative with our HVAC design and provide different temperature gradients within a building?

Mind                                                                                                                                                                              Our minds and bodies are inextricably connected and play a vital role in our health and wellbeing. Buildings can provide spaces, such as balconies or green areas to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Workplace policies can have a positive impact on mood, sleep and stress levels, and can positively benefit our overall health and wellbeing. The reaction to indoor plants provided in the first WELL-certified office building in the UK was employees fighting about the plant positioning – they all wanted the plants to be located close to their desks. Maybe planting is not the best strategy for stress reduction after all!

CIBSE Ireland ‘Florida Scramble’ Success

Overall winners — Alan Hogan, Heat Merchants with Team Winthrop Engineering members Michael Murray, Donal Clavin, Barry Hennesy and Darren Kavanagh.

This year’s primary gold sponsor was Heat Merchants, with Wilo (longest drive) and Mitsubishi Electric (nearest the pin) the two silver sponsors, and a broad cross-section of the industry sponsoring all of the individual tee boxes.

The decision to have a holiday voucher to the value of €1000 for the hole-in-one competition made for great excitement as each of the 104 golfers on the day knew that one of them was going to go home very much in the holiday mood. As it happened, Brian Harrison was the lucky winner and Alan Hogan of Heat Merchants on hand to make the presentation during the after-golf meal.

Indeed, an additional benefit of the Florida Scramble format is that virtually everyone stays on for the meal and presentation of prizes so the atmosphere is electric right up to the departure of everyone at approximately 7pm.

Apart of their generous overall sponsorship, Heat Merchant’ prize selection was also excellent and went down very well with all the winners.

Given the beautiful weather and near-perfect condition of the course, scoring was high with Winthrop Engineering emerging triumphant to claim first prize and the much-coveted PJ Doyle Perpetual Trophy. Second was the Air Movement team with Unitherm coming in third.

Longest drive was won by Declan Sherlock of Team Air Movement while Mark Fallon of the Team Heat Merchants A  won nearest the pin.

All credit to the CIBSE Ireland team on the day for making it such a special occasion, and particularly Declan Kissane who handled the registration and scoring, and then acted as MC for the evening.

Adam Dent of the CIBSE Ireland Committee made the presentations as Chairman Paul Martin, who was present for most of the day, unfortunately could not make the presentations.

 

 

Crystal Air Wins Special Recognition Award for Zalando

The Panasonic PRO Awards were presented at the iconic Shard building in London where Crystal Air directors David O’Brien (left) and Domnick Ward (right) accepted the Award. In the centre is Vincent Mahony, National Sales Manager, Panasonic Ireland.

The overall project brief was to convert an existing 19th century docks warehouse into a funky office space in Dublin’s Silicon Docks district”, says Don Hoban of Crystal Air, “and our responsibility was to deliver a heating and ventilation solution that reflected this. The end user, Zalando – a fast-expanding online provider of shoes and fashion – found that rapid growth meant their existing Dublin base was too small so they needed new space, and quickly. They needed to provide for their current numbers as well as growth for new staff.

“Part of the attraction of the Silicon Docks for the likes of Zalando is its central location in the heart of Dublin, and also the proximity of major international technology firms (and talent) such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, AirBnB, etc. This, however, also meant that both the building exterior and interior, including the air conditioning and heating solution, had to reflect the ultra-modern iconic style of its neighbours”.

The brief for the project was extremely challenging as the building featured an exposed truss roof design – with the services needing to be exposed and kept above the bottom of the truss – wherever possible. This meant that all the workmanship had to be top quality because it was all on show to the client, and to their clients. In addition, this had to be done with minimal changes to the building fabric, and to a very tight schedule.

Working closely with Willie Bennett, Project Manager, FKM Group, Crystal Air opted for Panasonic because of the energy efficiency and flexibility of its 3-pipe air conditioning system. A key technical feature was the ability of the ducted units to have sufficient fan power to drive warm air to the floor without being too noisy for an open plan office. The Panasonic 3-pipe ECOi MF2 Series was the obvious choice.

Fresh air via energy recovery ventilators                                                                                                “Because of the limited availability of plant space”, continues Don, “it wasn’t possible to provide a central AHU externally or internally without losing space or a need for major support steelwork. So, fresh air needed to be delivered using energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). These we located in the roof space, so we saved plant area without compromising on building comfort.

“In addition to using two highl-efficient 3-Pipe ECOi VRF systems matched to a central controller, the ERVs are also connected to the central controller using CZ-CAPC2 modules. This allows us to use the scheduler facility in the central controller to maximise the free air cooling.

“During the summer months we can purge the building at night, thereby allowing the night air to cool the building for a fresh start to the day. Then during the day we reduce the number of ERVs running at lunchtime when there are less people in the offices

Central controller                                                                                                                                                “The central controller acts as a master scheduler for the entire office, including the cellular spaces. These spaces have local controllers to give full control, but we also use the scheduler to provide additional ‘stop’ points to shut off the meeting room in those all-too-frequent occasions when, after a meeting, the AC is left running. In addition, the cellular spaces have been fitted with ‘ECO NAVI’ presence detectors to reduce the energy consumption when the rooms are unoccupied.”

This is only one of five Panasonic PRO Awards presented throughout all of Europe in 2017. It speaks volumes for the efficiency and performance of the system, but also the quality of the installation. It not only delivers the optimum indoor working environment, but also complements and indeed enhances the interior décor.

For further information contact: Vincent Mahony, National Account Manager, Panasonic Ireland. Tel: 087 – 969 4221: email: vincent.mahony@eu-panasonic.com or Don Hoban, Business Development Manager, Crystal Air. Tel: 086 – 444 4588; email: don@crystalair.ie

Revision to EN 378 Now in Force

The Institute of Refrigeration Ireland (IRI) sits on the EN 378 Technical Committee and the Working Group, and both continue to meet two or three times per year to address outstanding queries and ongoing developments relating to the Standard. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Aachen in November 2017.

Familiarity with EN 378:2016 is crucial for companies who design, construct, install, commission, operate, maintain or use vapour compression systems for refrigeration, air-conditioning, heat pumps and chillers.

The Standard is published in four parts and, thanks to IRI’s active participation in the Working Group and its engagement with the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), it has secured a very significant discounted price of €155 for IRI members for the full set of four parts. As far as IRI is aware, this is the lowest price for the Standard in any EU member state, even with the IRI membership fee included!

It is worth noting that Part 2 (and the introduction, terms and definitions of Part 1) of EN 378 are harmonised with the Pressure Equipment Directive and the Machinery Directive. In fact, one of the drivers for the revision was to better align EN 378 with the Pressure Equipment Directive which has itself also been revised.

Members wishing to purchase a copy of the four parts of the EN 378:2016 Standard should contact the NSAI directly. Simply send an email with your name and IRI membership number to info@ standards.ie and quote “special IRI members’ discount for IS EN 378 Parts 1 to 4: 2016”. Alternatively call NSAI at 01- 857 6730.

JOIN THE IRI                                                                                                                                                             If you are not a member of the IRI and wish to avail of the offer then contact the Institute of Refrigeration Ireland. You can join by calling 0402 – 23586, or by emailing info@ instituteofrefrigerationireland.ie

Million Home Retrofit Opportunity

Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment with Jim Gannon, Chief Executive, SEAI and Ms Victoria Burrows, Project Manager, World Green Building Council.

To tackle this challenge and to support the learning process, SEAI has unveiled the Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme, with support funding from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment. This new multi-annual pilot programme – with an initial budget

of €5 million in 2017 – will focus initially on the residential market and reflects both the depth and scale of the challenge which will require a broad multi-disciplinary approach.

The pilot is the first of SEAI’s multi-annual pilots which will investigate the challenges and opportunities that deep retrofit presents to the pre-2006 domestic housing stock. The learning from these pilots will inform SEAI’s approach and support towards the large-scale deep retrofit of buildings in Ireland.

Funding will be provided to projects that demonstrate an integrated, comprehensive strategy for significantly improving home energy performance. Conor Hanniffy is the Programme Manager for the scheme. With a background in mechanical engineering, Conor has over 18 years programme management experience in private and public sectors. He previously managed SEAI’s Accelerated Capital Allowance Programme for energy efficient equipment, and the Building Energy Rating (BER) Programme.

To support the early development of the Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme, SEAI has published both a definition, and the guiding principles, behind the concept to assist in providing a clear market target. Guidance underpinning high-quality delivery of deep retrofit pilot projects will include Standard Recommendations 54 (SR 54).

What is deep retrofit?                                                                                                                                         Deep retrofit is the significant upgrade of a building toward nearly zero energy requirements where it is practically feasible and achievable. SEAI has also provided the following guiding principles to support this definition:

— Minimum A3 Building Energy Rating (A3) requirement with a minimum of 150kWh/m2/yr uplift in the BER energy value;

— Whole-house solution focused on a fabric first approach;

— Deployment of renewables transition away from fossil fuels. The pilot scheme will only support renewable energy sources as a method for heating and electricity generation.

Who is scheme aimed at?                                                                                                                                   With a target market of one million homes, the pilot scheme will target building archetypes which are representative of building stock. SEAI invites projects to be delivered via community groups, local authorities, energy agencies and private-sector deep retrofit service providers who can provide end-to-end project delivery.

How are the projects funded?                                                                                                                               SEAI will provide up to 50% funding of the total capital costs and project management costs (including design fees). For voluntary housing association homes, and the homes of those that are in energy poverty (defined as meeting the Warmer Homes eligibility criteria), SEAI will provide a much higher rate of funding, up to 95%. This is only available as part of a wider project that includes a mix of non-energy poverty homes (75%) with the energy poverty component subvention applied to 25% of the total number of homes in each project.

The pilot provides an opportunity to show how the deep retrofit of dwellings can be achieved using a “fabric upgrade first” approach (insulation, windows and doors) coupled with renewable energy technologies. It will also provide an opportunity to demonstrate the  importance of ventilation systems for ensuring sufficient indoor air quality where the building’s airtightness has been improved.

SEAI will also provide a significant contribution to a mandatory pre-works and post-works BER to demonstrate the upgrade, and an air-pressure test package to maximise the impact of energy efficiency works.

Toward zero deep retrofit conference                                                                                                               SEAI recently hosted its inaugural deep retrofit conference which brought together over 200 key stakeholders. This included policy-makers, state bodies, researchers, project managers, property owners and landlords, technology providers, financiers and contractors.

This event will act as an annual review and information sharing platform as to best practice and innovation, research findings and delivery of deep retrofit in Ireland across all demographic areas, technologies and building types.

A broad range of international and national speakers shared insights and experience from the following perspectives — vision and policy; behavioural insights; building capacity; and leveraging the opportunity.

All presentations and the recorded webcast are available at:—                               www.seai.ie/Grants/Deep-Retrofit-Programme/