A nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB) future – Minister English reminds construction sector to be prepared for new building regulations on energy efficiency

The Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English, T.D., has called on the construction industry to be prepared for the latest building regulations that apply to all new dwellings commencing construction from 1st November 2019. The new regulations aim to make all new residential dwellings 70% more energy efficient than the performance requirements in 2005.

Minister English said: “The amended building regulations will mean a future of more energy efficient homes. They will help lower people’s energy bills, reduce the risk of fuel poverty and give people greater comfort in their homes. The new building regulations will place additional obligations on the sector. I would urge all in the sector, both economic operators and end users in the sector, to be prepared in advance of November 1st.”

Minister English also added: “Ireland has set an example internationally through its policies on energy efficiency in homes. International reports have shown this.”

The main benefits of these new regulations are;

Health benefits: The 2009 World Health Organisation outline that as a result of improved indoor air quality, better performing buildings provide higher comfort levels and wellbeing for their residents. The NZEB standard is achieved, in part, through improved air tightness. These new builds will require more effective ventilation systems to achieve this. Central Statistics Office also show that NZEB Regulations are eliminating the use of solid fuel in new dwellings and also benefiting outdoor air quality.

Savings: A typical A-rated 3-bedroom semi-detached house will likely to be approximately €800 a year cheaper to heat than a house like that built prior to the year 2005.

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: Approximately 40% of Ireland’s energy-related emissions are from buildings. Under the current regulations, a typical new dwelling is built to an A3 BER standard. The NZEB requirements will result in a typical BER of A2, which represents a 70% improvement in carbon emissions levels on the emissions levels of buildings from 2005.

For more information, contact our Brian from our Energy Team or visit here

E: b.collentine@ors.ie 
T: +353 01 5242060