Chair of post-Grenfell fire review “shocked” by construction culture

The engineer tasked by the UK Government with examining building fire safety regulation in England following the Grenfell fire has said she is shocked by construction practices. The industry urgently needs to change its culture, and “clearly identifiable” individuals must take responsibility for what is built, she concludes.

Secrecy of fire tests undermines public safety, Grenfell Enquiry hears

The commercial secrecy surrounding the fire-testing of construction materials undermines fire protection by potentially obscuring serious concerns, a major alliance of fire bodies has told the public enquiry into the Grenfell disaster.

Indoor air concerns about government’s healthy upgrade scheme

Questions have been raised about ventilation standards under the government’s new Warmth & Wellbeing scheme, which provides free energy efficiency upgrades to people over the age of 55 living in Dublin 12 and 24, who experience energy poverty and are also suffering from respiratory conditions.

Dublin City Council scheme first in Ireland to get Home Performance Index label

A scheme of social housing in Dublin has become the first to achieve the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC)’s Home Performance Index (HPI) label. The block of apartments at Rathmines Crescent was built by Dublin City Council and designed by its own architects. The label allows housing providers and private developers to highlight the quality and sustainability of their homes to occupants, investors and home buyers. 

Energy and enviro groups lobby government to keep EU targets

Thirty leading environmental and energy groups have written to the new secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Greg Clark urging the government to maintain its commitment to crucial EU targets on energy post Brexit — including the demand that all new buildings be ‘nearly zero energy’ (NZEB) from 2021. 

IGBC launches Ireland’s sustainable homes label

The Irish Green Building Council has launched a voluntary quality labelling scheme for new residential development in Dublin. The label, called the Home Performance Index (HPI), goes well beyond the existing building energy rating (BER) system to look at a wider range of issues that impact the quality and sustainability of new residential construction. 

SEAI announces 250,000 euro grants for large energy upgrades

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has launched the EXEED (Excellence in Energy Efficient Design) certified programme, a new management framework which complements the Irish Energy Efficient Design Standard IS399. Up to €250,000 per applicant has been made available in 2016 for businesses or organisations undertaking a building retrofit, facility or process upgrade which follows the EXEED principles to maximise energy efficiency. 

Dún Laoghaire votes emphatically for passive house standard

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council has voted emphatically to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings. At a meeting on Tuesday night, councillors voted by 26 votes to 13 in support of putting the clause in the local authority’s development plan for 2016 to 2022.

Business leaders support Dún Laoghaire Rathdown passive house plan

Leading businesses in the building materials sector — including semi-state timber company Coillte and insulation manufacturer Kingspan — have declared their support for plans by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings.