Author Archives: Pat Lehane

Go Green … try ‘Decaf Gas’

Professor Paul de Leeuw, Energy Transition Institute, Robert Gordon University

With around half of the world’s population still in either full or partial lockdown, it is no surprise that the crisis continues to have a material impact on the global energy markets. Worldwide oil demand this year is expected to fall by up to 8% (or almost three billion barrels), equivalent to almost seven times the UK’s annual oil production. This is likely to be the largest global annual demand reduction on record.

There are clear parallels between the COVID-19 crisis and the climate change emergency. Both are global problems requiring global solutions. Both require a level of global cooperation that is often difficult to achieve, and both highlight the importance of scientific input into global decision-making.

As countries emerge from lockdown, there is now a real opportunity for governments around the world to put climate change and energy transition at the heart of their economic recovery plans. Doing so will be a powerful mechanism to demonstrate their commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

See pdf of full article at

Lighting Key to Green Deal Success

Paul O’Connor, Chairman, Lighting Association Ireland

Many perceive lighting mainly as a driver for energy efficiency and this indeed remains one of the core values for the lighting industry. The now mostly-accomplished transition to LED technology has led to up to 90% savings for European a comprehensive light management year as of 2030 (Lot 37 Ecodesign Lighting Systems <http://ecodesignlightingsystems.

However, the benefits from lighting for the health, well-being, productivity and safety of people are rarely seen as added value. At best, they come for free as part of the energy savings. These benefits received more attention in 2017, when three biologists were awarded the Nobel Prize for helping to explain how the human circadian rhythm works, including how light affects our daily biological cycle.

With the EU Renovation Wave initiative, the discussion must move beyond energy savings to also address healthier buildings, peoples’ quality of life and a lower level of inconvenience. We spend 90% of our time indoors and the quality of our indoor environment has a direct and indirect impact on our health, well-being, and productivity.

See full article at link below.

Renovation Wave and Green Deal Objectives

According to one of the most recent releases from the EU, a refurbished and improved building stock will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system. Currently, roughly 75% of the building stock is energy inefficient, yet almost 80% of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050. Hence the EU’s Renovation Wave initiative.

The construction, use and renovation of buildings require significant amounts of energy and mineral resources (e.g. sand, gravel, cement). Buildings also account for 40% of energy consumed yet, in parallel, 50 their homes adequately warm. of the building stock varies from 0.4 to 1.2% in the member states.

This rate will need to at least double to reach the EU’s energy efficiency and climate objectives. Renovation of both public and private buildings is an essential out in the European Green Deal as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency in the sector and deliver on objectives.

The so-called “Renovation Wave Initiative” will address current low decarbonisation and renovation rates across the EU, and tackle the underlying barriers for improving the energy efficiency of the EU building stock. See full article at

SEAI Online Training Academy

With the increasingly societal focus on climate change, and the launch of the Government’s 2019 Climate Action Plan, many businesses are seeking to play their part in reducing their climate impact. The SEAI Energy Academy is an ideal starting point and allows employees to up-skill on energy efficiency and avail of tailored online training that can lead to important business cost savings.

Commenting on the launch of the SEAI Energy Academy, William Walsh, CEO of SEAI said: “We realise that businesses are facing very significant challenges right now with many looking for opportunities to reduce their cost base. Reducing energy use can be a great place to start. SEAI is here to help businesses on their energy efficiency journey, helping them identify energy saving opportunities and to implement those changes.

“We planned the SEAI Energy Academy as an online resource so it is available to all businesses when be additionally beneficial for those working from home, or who are planning for the resumption of normal activities, hopefully in the not too distant future.”

See the full story at buildingservicesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/SEAI-Online-edit-3.pdf

Humidity & Respiratory Wellbeing in wake of Covid-19

Dr Stephanie Taylor, MD, Infection Control Consultant at Harvard Medical School, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer and Member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Group.

As Covid-19 continues to put pressure on health systems and the economy globally, the group calls on WHO to review the extensive research that shows an indoor humidity level of between the 40% to 60% relative humidity (RH) is the optimum threshold for inhibiting the spread of respiratory viruses such as influenza. This is a threshold that many public buildings drop significantly below every winter. Health care workers have a biggest issue to have PPE, Mask, and Sanitizer, glasses, isolation kit and other PPE. The production is the biggest issue, each country needs them, the demand is very high against the productivity, most of the countries, flight operations are also halt to minimize the spread, this PPE issue also a fear for Doctors, Nurses, and other paramedics to work in the health system, as this deadly disease already affect healthcare workers and eaten many life’s of the healthcare heroes. We need to keep supply the PPE to our health care heroes so they can fight against this pandemic disease.

Professor Dr Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, The Waldemar Von Zedtwitz, professor of immunobiology and professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale, and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute said: “Ninety percent of our lives in the developed world are spent indoors in close proximity to each other. When cold outdoor air with little moisture is heated indoors, the air’s relative humidity drops to about 20%. This dry air provides a clear pathway for airborne viruses, such as Covid-19. It will be important for anyone who is dealing with any laboratory or industrial tasks to use proper face shields for a job. A good shield will help to keep a person’s face protected from many different things in a workplace. It is smart to see how this can work when getting a shield ready. Here are three important factors that should be reviewed when trying to get one of these face shields ready for different jobs. You can check here discount bulk face shields.

Any workplace that involves working with hazardous materials should involve its employees working with proper protective materials. Face shields are some of the most useful of these protective materials for people to use. Here is a look at how these can work. Minor setbacks, trials, and even major problems come into every life. Yet nothing of this magnitude could have been anticipated mere months ago. Who would have ever thought that the economy would be basically shut down except for some essential services. No one expected that people would be told to stay at home and shelter in place to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus or unknowingly spreading it to others. Millions of people have lost their means of income, and millions of others are working from home. These are unprecedented times, but this too shall pass. Covid19 will not take over our lives forever. Eventually, things will get back to some semblance of normalcy. It might be a “new normal” which occurs, but normal life will resume at some point. Many of the Hospitals and Health care system are not trained nor built to handle sick and coronoid patients, due to fear of spread into their system and affect others, those who can accommodate sick patients they have less resources because they need isolation area to separate one from another which require huge place, temporary hospitals built, town halls and other areas convert into hospital setup, which is not enough to cater the big numbers.

That’s why I recommend humidifiers during the winter, and why I feel the world would be a healthier place if all our public buildings kept their indoor air at 40% to 60% RH.” Covid-19 Pandemic is showing its aggression on daily basis, more victims more casualties more death and more fear globally. Spread rate is multiply every single day, even death tolls are increased but some of the nations have to hide the actual figures of deceased persons, the purpose of this writing is to identify why that tool as a major indicator is not very correctly mentioned around the globe.

See full article at Humidity & Respiratory Health in wake of Covid-19

Bob Gilbert — An Appreciation

Bob Gilbert

While there has always been a strong team at Manotherm, it is recognised across the entire industry that Bob was at its core. He was “Mr Instruments & Controls” in Ireland and his recent passing leaves a void that cannot be filled.

Apart from his in-depth knowledge and vast reservoir of experience, he was equally renowned as a very honourable man who, despite his strength as a tough negotiator, was also very fair. Indeed, there were many instances over the years where customers and individuals within the industry fell on hard times and he very quietly and discretely helped them out.

However, his somewhat serious and reserved business persona belied his sense of fun and adventure, his lust for life and new experiences, especially when it came to food. He had a unique personality and it was that, as much as his knowledge of the industry, that helped him accumulate an enviable portfolio of world-leading brands.

Bob was a devoted family man, he and his wife Amy being inseparable. Right from the outset they worked in the business together and today, 62 years later, Amy is still working in the business. That “family” ethos was extended to all employees with Bob spending a great deal of time mentoring individual staff members, no matter what their role.

He also encouraged them to go on training workshops and educationals with the various brands represented, so many got to enjoy travel to all corners of the globe, some at a very tender age. On such trips they were also encouraged to sample the culture, sights and culinary delights of whatever destination they found themselves in. He was a very generous host to them on such occasions, whether he was actually present or not.

See the full article at Bob Gilbert

BIM – Automate the boring stuff with AutoM8

AutoM8 developer Paul Flanagan

In order to meet tight project deadlines, while also allowing adequate time for necessary document reviews and checks, it is paramount to leverage modern technology to work efficiently. Automation is key to meeting this challenge and Paul has been working to develop tools to leverage data which model. AutoCT, the first add-in available in the AutoM8 suite, is designed to route circuits along check electrical cable tray and ladder sizes to ensure there are no undersized, oversized or unused routes.

Traditionally, carrying out checks for containment size is a time-consuming, manual task. To do the calculation circuit routes need to be identified and assigned to each run of containment. Then the cable characteristics, including size, type, number of cores, supports and installation methods, all need to be accounted for. While a single calculation by itself is simple, large projects having thousands of cables easily become very complex.

As a project progresses through detailed design stage, multiple recalculations can be required if the cable configuration or routes change. Very often the minor circuit routes are never accounted for due to the quantity of calculations required.

See full story at AutoM8

CIF Tackling skills shortages

Speaking at the official introduction of the programme recently Liz Carroll, Network Manager, CPSkillnet said: “The current skills shortage is a major challenge for the sector and the objective with CPSkillnet over the next 12 monthsis to develop a cohesive programme that addresses the problem.

“Our intention is to deliver much- needed training via tailored – and subsidised – courses that, in addition to upskilling across all aspects of a business, also provide networking and business development opportunities.”

Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF said: “Construction companies are now operating in a high-pressure environment with contradictory forces. On one hand we are in a cyclical industry that is currently under huge pressure to deliver up to 45,000 houses per year, 115 billion in infrastructure projects, and to retrofit 500,000 homes. “On the other hand we are under pressure to be more productive and deliver all of this activity more efficiently. It’s essential, therefore, that our companies invest in upskilling and training their employees and management so we can deliver on these incredible societal challenges.”

Dave Flynn, Executive Director at Skillnet Ireland, said: ”We are delighted to partner with the CIF to support professionals in the construction sector through our new Construction Professionals Skillnet. There are over 45,000 SMEs and micro-enterprise operating in the construction industry and uptake by even a fraction of those will result in an uplift in productivity and competitiveness. This will have a huge impact on housing, retrofit and infrastructure delivery, and provide multiple benefits for individuals, communities and the Irish economy overall.”

To learn more about CPSkillnet – or to suggest courses or topics to be included in the programme – contact Liz Carroll, Network Manager, Construction Professionals Skillnet. Tel: 087 – 932 3749; email: cpskillnet@cif.ie 

Grant — ‘Holistic approach more essential than ever’

Representing an investment of €14 million, the new facilities include an R&D innovation centre, a customer services centre, a dedicated training academy featuring an auditorium and training suite, and an extension to the existing manufacturing facilities which has also seen further investment in robotics and automation.

The official opening was performed by An Taoiseach, Mr Leo Varadkar, TD, who said: “My vision for the future of the Midlands begins with companies like Grant Engineering. They have developed a state-of-the-art facility to develop and manufacture environmentally-efficient heating products for the 21st century. With this type of vision and investment, the future for the Midlands is bright.”

Grant Engineering’s expansion plans were first announced in 2016 in response to increased demand for the company’s heating products on a local and international level. In recent years Grant has enjoyed considerable success in Ireland, the UK and further afield including France, Greece and New Zealand. It has

also diversified its product portfolio to meet the changing needs of its customers around the globe.

Grant Engineering founder Stephen Grant told Building Services News: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to innovation, growth and to the local economy. In recent years we have expanded into new markets and developed new products to meet the needs of our customer base. Our focus on sustainability continues to grow and to help achieve decarbonisation. Home heating fuel needs to follow in the footsteps of transport and transition to electric or 100% biofuel heating.

“This is impossible to do in the short to medium term in an affordable way. However, the introduction of a ‘Biofuel Obligation’ for home heating could enable homes to become sustainable. We have future-proofed our products over the last five years so that they can operate using biofuel but, to aid transition and further reduce emissions, we need the support of fuel suppliers and government.

“Accelerating the electrification of heat is another way to aid transition and this is helped by current building regulations with new houses being predominately fitted with a heat pump. We have been supplying air to water heat pumps for nearly 10 years and these appliances are ideal for new-build homes where the house design is specifically matched to the heat pump.

“However, there is a huge issue for deployment of heat pumps to the retrofit market which is based on the affordability of deep retrofitting which can cost up to €70k. Together with my R&D team, I am excited to announce that we have developed new hybrid technology called EVOLINK which will be available later this year”.

BPMA CE Marking Guidance Course  

Non-compliant pumping equipment remains a major problem and the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) is keen to ensure that all assembled equipment, with liquid pumps associated within the build, are placed on the market and put into service correctly. Companies that build pumping equipment, such as pressurisation units, booster sets, rainwater harvesting tanks, sewage stations or bespoke equipment must be able to demonstrate that the products meet applicable EU requirements, are correctly CE marked, and are placed on the market with the correct Declaration of Conformity.

Concerned that many companies still do not meet these obligations under current legislation, the BPMA configured this training course to specifically address this key issue. This course seeks to provide the information and skills required to understand Self Cert CE Marking Essentials and enable compliance with a range of Directives, Regulations and EN Standards. It will also cover other related product certification and documentation issues.

Rainwater tanks are real boon to mankind. It is a dual blessing for nature and man as it works to the benefit of both. In a time where we have to preserve every possible resource, rainwater tanks do just that. Before considering the size and type of these tanks, let’s find out how they work.

Rainfall is collected in water bodies and absorbed by the surface, even with all the development we have made, mankind still depends on rainfall to replenish water supply ever year. Rain fall is erratic – sometimes it is excessive and sometimes extremely scanty. To make sure we can retain as much of the rainwater, harvesting it has added importance. You can found a great range of slimline water tanks.

Rainwater tanks play a vital in role in rainwater harvesting. A special system is installed in the house depending on a number of factors. When rain falls, special catchment areas of the roof retain the water. This water is then transported to the rainwater tanks installed above the ground or below through special gutters installed around the roof area. Roofers Glasgow are the specialist for roofing and guttering services as well as best for maintenance. This water is collected in the water tank through special pipes and is stored for use around the house.

Water collected in these tanks can be used for multiple purposes. You can top up your swimming pool, wash your car and clothes, use it to flush toilets. It is perfect for your garden; you can actually develop your very own garden irrigation system with a suitable filtration system.

Water tanks have proven their importance by offering a means of storing rainwater for daily use. Global warming has raised many problems; one of them is water scarcity. Specially, in countries where water scarcity is a large problem, these equipments solve this problem through restoring rainwater.

Many people are buying these storage equipments by looking at several benefits offered by them. People may get confused as there are a variety of storage options available in the market.

The Course will be held at the BPMA offices in West Bromwich in the UK on Tuesday, February next, and will run from 10:30am to 4pm. Attendance is open to both BPMA Members and Non-Members.

To find out more about the course, or to book a place, call Steve Smith on +44 (0)121 601 6691 or email him on s.smith@bpma.org.uk.