Author Archives: Pat Lehane

Compliance modelling not fit for climate challenges

Globally, commitments are being made by organisations to decarbonise their building assets by 2050. In parallel with this, legislators and green building councils are drawing up plans to set out roadmaps to achieve all this, which is set to become one of the greatest challenges the built environment has ever had to deal with. We know that buildings are responsible for 30% to 40% of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and so all of us working in this industry have an obligation to dramatically reduce the impact that the built environment has on climate change.

John Treanor, Sustainability Engineer & Energy Analyst with Passive Dynamics Sustainability Consultants

The market demand for sustainable net zero carbon buildings is now increasing significantly and it’s not just coming from the senior executives – it’s now coming from the CEOs. At Passive Dynamics we believe that the regulatory environment is not pushing the agenda fast enough, and therefore it is up to the industry to take the lead.

While currently much of the focus is to comply with NZEB, it is very clear that this methodology and the modelling software assessments don’t go far enough to deal with the climate challenges that we will face before long. We need the regulatory bodies to clearly set out how future revisions of Technical Guidance Document Part L will go about addressing the net zero targets with key milestones every five years up to 2050.

Here we outline some of the key criteria that we feel needs to be addressed for future revisions.

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Change must embrace diversity

It is a great honour to be the second Irish CIBSE President. Eoin Kenny was the first in 1986. I believe my presidency has come about in recognition of the great work of CIBSE Ireland over many years.

Kevin Kelly, CIBSE President

What is clear in this era, and going forward, is that the only constant in our lives will be change. The last 15 months have seen quite profound change and many new challenges for The world. The Covid-19 pandemic hit everyone like a hammer-blow but our industry responded extremely well and served at the forefront in delivering helpful solutions.

While many people have tragically lost their lives, everyone has been affected. This is what our future may look like with a continually changing health environment and challenges we have not faced before. The effect on The economy is also very significant.

The development of the vaccine is both an interesting and inspirational example of what educated, talented researchers can achieve when faced with such a sudden and devastating event. However, Covid-19 did not come out of nowhere. SARS, MERS and Ebola all came before it. We had earlier warnings from The World Bank and even Bill Gates to prepare for a pandemic.

This reminds me of the example of reactions to change and the analogy of placing a frog in boiling water – it jumps out, or so it is claimed. Alternatively, if the frog is placed in a pot and the water is slowly boiled, then the frog will go to sleep and not respond adequately to save its life.

This clearly illustrates how it is often more difficult to respond to a slower-changing environment than a fast-changing one. Covid-19 required such a response from governments who took urgent action, while everyone promptly changed their behaviour.

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ARISE and Embrace CERTcoin

This new project is an evolvement of the last BIM (Building Information Modelling) project and its BIM modules that Belfast Met also took the lead on (see page 38 of May/June 2021 issue). ARISE’s mission is to support the twin transition of the construction sector and to contribute to the European Recovery and Resilience Plans 2021-2027, by providing the construction sector workforce with the digital and sustainable energy skills of the future.

Paul McCormack, Belfast Met Innovation Manager and ARISE Programme Manager.

ARISE will revolutionise the learning process by monetising skills development and learning exchange with a digital system based on skills recognition rather than accreditation. The training and transaction system developed by the project will reward learners as they achieve competence at a certain level with the crypto currency for skills exchange – CERTcoin – the innovative currency of skills and learning of the construction sector embracing today’s digital transformation benefits.

This reward based on skills and time credits will be stored in an Individual “Learning Account” and can be used, for example, as digital points accumulation in a skills barometer or for exchanging into valid certificates. It will be an easier, accessible, less time-consuming and still competitive way to up-skill blue and white collars, as well as the market demand side in public administration, clients and owners.

CIBSE Awards — Lawler Walks The Talk!

A strong focus must be placed on measured building performance, and Lawler Consulting has adapted its service offering to reflect this, using its 40-year design experience to offer turnkey energy and sustainability projects. It now uses new energy performance business models to finance energy investment from energy savings, while also maintaining savings through a strategic long-term site partnership approach.

Daniel Ring, Managing Director, Lawler Consulting

The judges commended the Kilkenny-based practice on its outstanding contribution to the delivery of buildings with high levels of measured energy performance for work done and achievements to date on a number of projects, including the following:

• Dublin City Council, Energy Performance Contract 1 (2016- 2024): Three leisure centres contributing to annual energy savings of 41%;

• Dublin City Council, Energy Performance Contract 2 (2019-2028): Seven leisure centres contributing to annual energy savings of 35%;

• Office of Public Works (continuous): Lighting upgrades to government offices contributing an electricity reduction of more than 50%;

• Meubles (2019): Lighting upgrade at furniture store contributing to 61% savings on electricity costs.

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How many presidents does it take to change a light bulb?

Jump forward 30 years and I was running the British arm of a German exterior lighting company. On average our fittings

Bob Bohannon, President, Society of Light & Lighting

lasted 15 to 20 years in use and on the rare occasion somebody had a problem, we maintained a stock of spares and would do all we could to repair things … often for free as part of our commitment to the product. In the office, if a fluorescent tube failed, we would reach up and put a new one in with little thought, cleaning, repairing and re-lamping – all forms of life extension; keeping things in use was natural then.

Move forward another 15 years to around 2015 and now the lighting industry was driven by a laser focus on luminaire energy efficiency. While officially predicated on a need for carbon reduction, the true driver was the return on investment possible by replacing legacy luminaires with ultra-efficient LED versions. As with any business case, the lower the capital cost the quicker the return on investment and this, coupled with an offshoring of manufacturing, created the low-cost LED luminaire.

But here’s the rub, the old joke about how many (fill in your stereotype) does it take to change a light bulb doesn’t work anymore. The LED and the driver is often integral to the fitting, so if one were to fail you have to replace the whole thing – you simply can’t repair it, life extend it, even if you wanted to. We’ve become used to this throw-away economy, only pausing to grumble that our washing machine/TV/whatever doesn’t last as long anymore, while we order a shiny new one.

By now  you are most probably thinking that this Bob Bohannon bloke is a bit of a luddite, stuck in that pre-LED world where everything looked better through

(2700k tungsten) tinted spectacles. LEDs are more energy-efficient and they are also part of our green jobs revolution that drives economic growth. All that is true, but it is not the whole story …

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Commercial heat pumps — call for all-industry forum

The Climate Action Plan 2019 sets an ambitious target of installing 600,000 heat pumps in domestic and non-domestic properties by 2030. It also has ambitions for the electrification of heating systems by way of decarbonisation of the electrical grid by 70% through wind and other renewable technologies.

Michael Curran, CIBSE Ireland Chairman

A lot of work and research has led to the uptake of domestic heat pumps in Ireland and the increasing figures show that additional funding models have helped Initial trouble-shooting and technical capabilities have been resolved and more reliable systems are now available.

While the domestic market is stabilised, the non-domestic heat pump market is not as well served. Project reviews and queries in relation to the provision of heat pumps as replacements for large gas/oil fired boiler houses are leaving designers nervous.

Research and pathway projects are looking at heat pump technology to serve The non-domestic market, and to meet the demands of thermal comfort in larger buildings. Air-to-water heat pumps are currently the favoured technology in some new and retrofit projects, although questions raised can be considered for all heat pump technologies.

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The end of the beginning

In October 2020, The European Commission published a far-reaching strategy known as the Renovation Wave. In working to achieve this objective the EU expects to address many serious societal questions, including how to address the negative impacts of climate change, how to reach the long-term goals of creating a climate-neutral economy, and how to alleviate energy poverty in the process. In the business sector that I represent we welcome this strategy as a step change in the way that the European Union regulates our sector. However, it is only the end of the beginning! … writes Adrian Joyce, Secretary General, EuroACE and Campaign Director, Renovate Europe.

Adrian Joyce is Secretary General of EuroACE
and Campaign Director of the Renovate
Europe Campaign since August 2011.

Let me explain. Of high interest within the strategy is the proposal to review the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) during 2021. This, on its own, is a courageous proposal as the last revision of the EPBD was completed just two years ago. Several member states are not yet in full conformity with the revised requirements of the EPBD, so re-opening it now is a brave move.

Among the elements that the Commission intends to propose as changes to the EPBD, we find the following key topics:

An examination of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) as a potentially powerful tool to stimulate energy renovation within the EU;

A review of the methodology for the preparation of energy performance certificates as valuable information tools that can motivate building owners to undertake renovations;

A stronger financing and funding requirement that will be more strongly tied to achieving measurable results.

All of these measures will have to be carefully designed to ensure that they assist member states in rapidly achieving an increased rate and depth of energy renovation of their building stock. This will inevitably require policy innovations in most member states, especially in relation to the design and phased introduction of MEPS.

UV-C disinfection to combat Covid-19

UV-C is an established technology for disinfection. It has been applied extensively since 1910 when it was found to be an effective tool in preventing the spread of disease.

Today, UV-C disinfection technologies are assisting the battle against the current pandemic, Covid-19. More generally, the technology has been proven to bacteria and viruses against which it has been tested, including those causing tuberculosis, influenza, the common cold and SARS.

The European lighting industry is a leader in producing high quality safe UV-C disinfection technologies and products (lamps, lighting fixtures, cabinets and connected systems). They are used to disinfect water, air, and surfaces in industrial, commercial, medical, public and residential environments. UV-C de-activates viruses and microorganisms such as bacteria, moulds, spore, fungi and yeasts by destroying their DNA/RNA.

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Energy Efficiency — Pumps Ahead of the Curve

Dr Sönke Brodersen, President, Europump

It also presents an ideal time to recall the pump industry’s early and continued contribution to energy savings, which has not only been significant to date, but is also realistic and achievable over the short-term, writes Dr Sönke Brodersen, President, Europump.

By way of example, water pumps have the potential to save 50TWh of electricity across Europe, which is equivalent to the power plants. Even though the pump industry’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is smaller than other sectors, by comparison, the energy consumption of pumping systems is much higher. It ranges from 10-15% of throughout Europe. That is why the energy saving potential of pumping systems is extremely high at absolute level and why pump manufacturers place a great deal of importance on it.

Energy efficiency is, and always has been, a major part of the business model adopted by pump manufacturers. So, it is no wonder that the EU Commission, in its efforts to reduce energy consumption, considered regulating pumps at an early stage in the process.

See the full 4-page pdf at

Covid? … what I’m actually suffering from is NPHETitis!

Exasperated Pat!!!!!

Why am I confused? No social/family gatherings should take place, with exemptions to this for weddings and funerals – Since when is a wedding or funeral not a social gathering?

Public transport will operate at 25% capacity for the purposes of services to get to work – If they are providing essential services surely they should have 100% support, not a drastically-reduced service!

There should be no organised indoor or outdoor events – Except of course for weddings or funerals!

Bars, cafes, restaurants and wet pubs may provide take-away and delivery services only. Wet pubs in Dublin remain closed – Can someone please explain the difference between a wet pub in Dublin and a wet pub located outside of Dublin?

There will be a penalty for any movement outside 5km of home – Unless, of course, you happen to be attending that wedding or a funeral!

See link to full pdf below