An Post to enter retrofit market

An Post has announced the launch of a new "green hub" providing end-to-end project management and money-saving advice for all levels of home retrofitting, along with a low-cost loan rate. The state-owned company said that this one-stop-shop approach will cover loan-only or full retrofit services, from initial home assessments to completed works, along with SEAI grant application and payment process.

More UK councils adopt passive house standard

Local authorities across the UK are starting to embrace the passive house standard by formally encouraging its use in their planning policies and local area plans. This follows confirmation from the government last year that councils were entitled to set higher building energy efficiency standards locally than is mandated by Part L of the building regulations.

Office-to-flat conversions “deeply worrying”

Rights allowing the conversion of commercial buildings into dwellings, without planning permission, are potentially creating unhealthy living conditions.

BER data indicates national house building growth – except for Dublin

Significantly more new homes (16.5%) were built in Ireland in the first eight months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 – with double digit declines in Dublin cancelled out by strong growth in the rest of the country, new analysis by Passive House Plus indicates.

Blind & shutter group calls for Part B changes

The British Blind & Shutter Association (BBSA) has challenged what it described as the defacto banning of shading on tall glass buildings in Part B of the building regulations, and is seeking a judicial review on several points, principally that the regulation is misconceived as it focusses on combustibility rather than flammability

New authority to oversee safety in high rise apartment blocks

It is being suggested that the creation of a Joint Competent Authority – as called for by Dame Judith Hackitt in her review of the building regulatory system, after the Grenfell tragedy – is due to be announced by the UK Ministry of Housing very soon. And a new industry initiative is calling for Dame Judith’s recommendations to be implemented in full.

BER data: sick buildings risk while new build surges

Over a third of new homes may be sick buildings which fail to comply with minimum ventilation requirements under Part F of the building regulations, new analysis by Passive House Plus has indicated.

Green finance must be longterm & sustainable — Ecology

Leading green lender Ecology Building Society has welcomed the publication of the Green Finance Taskforce’s report to the UK government on boosting green finance, but warned that any measures to stimulate green lending must be long-term and sustainable.

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.

SuperHomes retrofit scheme opens for 2017

The SuperHomes Ireland retrofit scheme is open for applications for 2017. The scheme is designed to help homeowners retrofit their properties to an A3 BER standard.

Codema launch energy saving kits in Dublin libraries

On Tuesday 7 March environment minister Denis Naughten launched the next phase of Codema’s popular home energy saving kit initiative in Pearse Street Library, Dublin.