Speech to Homes of the Future Industry Day

Patrick Durkan, MD Durkan Residential

Address by Mr. Damien English, T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

at the Silken Park Industry Day on Wednesday, 22 February at 11.30 a.m.

at the Silken Park Development, Citywest, Dublin 24.

Introduction

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to be here this morning to speak at the Durkan Homes Silken Park Passive Development launch.  As a Minister of State with responsibility for building standards and regulations, I am very pleased to be here at what is an exemplar development of passive houses constructed using modern, sustainable building techniques.
  • At the outset, I would like to thank Durkan Homes for inviting me here today and for their commitment to increasing awareness of energy efficiency.
  • I am informed that informed that the development is hardwired for electric vehicle charging point. The pre-cabling of dwellings for Electric Vehicles is a proposal in an amendment to the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive currently under review and these dwelling are cutting edge by including this feature.
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy are vital to achieving Ireland’s targets under the EU 2020 Climate and Energy strategy and the Paris Agreement and the enabling of electric vehicles and renewables in buildings is a key initiative in addressing the energy system holistically and will significantly facilitate the achievement of Ireland’s Renewable Energy targets.
  • It is important that developers show leadership and innovation in raising awareness of energy efficiency and making it affordable for ordinary homeowners.

Rebuilding Ireland

  • The Government and I have made it our number one priority to resolve the housing and homelessness crisis and under “Rebuilding Ireland” we have set out a broadly based and comprehensive set of actions to do just that.
  • In light of the topic of today’s event I should highlight that a stated core objective of “Rebuilding Ireland” is delivering quality and  energy efficient  housing in a way that meets current needs while supporting  sustainable communities and maximising the contribution of the built environment to addressing climate change

Nearly Zero Energy Buildings & Part L Review

  • The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive has set ambitious building energy performance standards which we are working hard to ensure that we achieve.
  • As you may be aware the Directive defines a Nearly Zero Energy Building or NZEB as a building that has a very high energy performance where the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.This definition was inserted into the Building Regulations in January of this year through the Building Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2017.
  • My Department intend to launch a public consultation this month in order to review and amend Part L of the Building Regulations to provide for nearly zero energy performance requirements in buildings other than dwellings.
  • This upcoming review of Part L in respect of buildings other than dwellings will clearly set out NZEB performance requirement for new non-residential buildings.  The new regulations will include a requirement for renewable energy on all new buildings. This process will be replicated to amend Part L of the Building Regulations in respect of Dwellings during 2018.

Conclusion

  • While there are many challenges currently facing the housing and the wider construction sectors, we remain fully committed to meeting our climate change and energy efficiency commitments.  Our intentions in this regard are reinforced under “Rebuilding Ireland” which commits us to maximising the contribution of the built environment to addressing climate change.
  • We are fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and intend that all new buildings will be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings by 31 December 2020 and that new buildings owned and occupied by public authorities will be nearly zero energy after the end of December 2018.
  • Ladies and gentlemen thank you for inviting me here today and I hope you enjoy the rest of the event.
  • Thank you.

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