Global Warming Building
The introduction of building energy rating
As we have seen in recent years, high levels of greenhouse gases emitted by us is causing climate change at an alarming rate. If we carry on at this rate, in time there will be major social, economic and environment impacts as a consequence .
Builders now face the challenge of combating global warming by cutting the amount of carbon monoxide produced by Ireland's house. The most effective method of meeting impending building energy regulations is through the efficient use of electricity and fossil fuels and, of course, the ramped up use of alternative energy sources. (Sally Moynihan Construction CIF publication march 2006 pg 12)
2.1 The Kyoto Protocol
The main aim of the Kyoto Protocol is to increase energy efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gases which affect global warming. The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement which was written up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) on the 11th of December 1997 in Kyoto Japan. On the 16th of February 2005 the Kyoto Protocol was entered into force. 175 parties have ratified the protocol as of November 2007. From the 175 parties involved, 36 developed countries have agreed to lower their greenhouse gas emissions to there specified level within the treaty. If they do not meet the goals set out in the Protocol by 2012, these countries will face heavy penalties. Developed countries must collectively reduce their average greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below their 1990 levels. Overall European Union (EU) member states must cut their emissions by 15% of present emission rates which is 8% below 1990 levels. In Ireland we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels to meet the aim of the protocol.
India, China, Brazil and 134 other developing countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but these countries are not expected to lower there emissions as they emit very low greenhouse gases at present. They only concern is to monitor and report emissions.
"The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gasesby 5.2% compared to the year 1990 (but note that, compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without the Protocol, this limitation represents a 29% cut). The goal is to lower overall emissions of six greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons- averaged over the period of 2008-2012. National limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland. (Press release from the United Nations Enviroment Programme)
The Kyoto Protocol will expire in 2012, in January 2008 representatives of the countries meet in Bali Indonesia and agreed on a roadmap to negotiate a replacement protocol post 2012, this agreement is known as the “Bali Roadmap”
2.2 EU Directive (EPBD)
In order to address the Kyoto Protocol, the European Parliament and the council of ministers decided on a directive in December 2002. The directive which is called the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) was set up to promote energy performance of buildings within the EU member states. The directive which was adopted on the 16th of December 2002, and came into force on the 4th of January 2003,it consists of 17 articles.
Below is a summary of the main points of the EPBD.
Objectives of the EPBD
- There must be a general framework for a methodology of calculation, of the integrated energy performance of buildings.
- The application of minimum requirements on the energy performance of new buildings and large buildings that are subject to major renovation.
- The energy performance certificate of buildings.
- Regular inspection of boilers, air conditioning systems in buildings and an inspection of the heating installation of which the boilers are more than 15years old.
Adoption of methodology
- Each EU member states shall apply a methodology at national or regional level, for the calculation of the energy performance of buildings.
Setting of energy performance requirements
- Each member states shall take measures to ensure that minimum energy performance requirements for buildings are met.
- Member states may differentiate between new and existing buildings and different categories of buildings.
- The regulations shouldn't apply to the following buildings;
- A national monument, a protected structure, a place of worship or a temporary building.
- An industrial building not intended for human occupancy and where the installed heating capacity does not exceed 10w/m2
- A non-residential agricultural buildings, where heating capacity doesn't exceed 10 w/m
- A stand alone building with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2
(Building regulations part L set the minimum standard for Ireland.)
- Member states shall take measures to ensure that new buildings meet the minimum energy performance requirements referred to.
- New buildings with a floor area over 1000m2, should consider the following;
- Decentralised energy supply systems based on renewable energy
- Combined heat and power (CHP)
- District or block heating or cooling, if available
- Heat pumps, under certain conditions is considered and taken into account before construction starts.
- When buildings, over 1000m2 undergo major renovation, there energy performance is upgraded in order to meet minimum requirements in so far as this is technically, functionally and economically feasible.
Energy performance certificate
- When buildings are constructed, sold or rented, an energy certificate should be made available to the owner or by the owner, to the prospective buyer or tenant.
- The certificate shall not be valid exceeding 10years.
- Certifications for apartments or units designed for separate use in blocks may be based;
On a common certification of the whole building for blocks with a common heating system
On the assessment of another representative apartment in the same block.
- The certificate should be accompanied by recommendations for the cost effective improvement of the energy performance.
- Buildings occupied by public authorities, over 1000m2, display certification in a prominent place
- The EPBD gives information on the inspection of boilers and the inspection of air-conditioning systems
- Member states must ensure that the certification of buildings, the drafting of the accompanying recommendations and the inspection of boilers and air-conditioning systems are carried out in an independent manner by qualified experts
- Member states must take measures to inform the users of buildings as to the different methods and practices that serve to enhance energy performance.
- Parts 1 and 2 of the the Annex shall be reviewed at regular intervals, which shall not be shorter than two years
(The Annex covers the general framework for the calculation of energy performance of buildings)
2.3 Building Energy Rating (BER)
With the requirements set out in the EPBD, the Irish government set up Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) in 2002. SEI were set up to promote the development of sustainable energy in Ireland. SEI are also responsible for setting out the methodology in which an assessment of a building can be carried out. The Dwelling Energy Assessment Programme (DEAP) is the software in which a building energy certificate can be calculated from taken into consideration different factors e.g. heat losses, heat gains, thermal insulation, ventilation etc. Together with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DOEHLG) and the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) are all responsible for implementing the requirements set out in the EPBD.
To get an energy certificate for a dwelling, an energy assessor from a recognised agency will call to the dwelling carry out a number of measurements, and gather information about the house. Once an energy rating is established, the BER certificate will be saved by SEI and the owner of the dwelling will get a coloured energy certificate stating what energy rating the house is and what carbon emissions will be emitted from the dwelling in a year. An energy certificate has different energy bands which go from A to G (A being very high and G being very low) A energy certificate is valid for a period of up to 10 years. If there are changes to the dwelling then a new energy certificate will have to be issued but only if the house goes up for sale or is to be rented after first January 2009.
(A typical energy certificate is shown below and a full sized energy certificate is shown in appendix A at the end of this dissertation.)
A provisional energy certificate can be obtained, calculated from the plans and relevant information on the dwelling. A provisional certificate is black and white with provisional written across it.
(A typical provisional energy certificate is shown below and a full sized provisional energy certificate is shown in appendix A.) This certificate will last for a period of 2 years or once the house is completed, which ever comes first.
Non compliance with a BER assessor or with SEI can result in a fine of no more than €5,000 or a maximum prison sentence of 3 months.
If there are changes to a dwelling/building a new energy certificate will have to be calculated.
2.3.1 Implementation of the Building Energy Certificate
In order to ease the implementation of BER, different buildings are required to get an energy rating starting from different dates, the dates for implementation are as follows;
- If planning permission is received after the 1st January 2007, then a BER certificate is required before the house can be sold, rented or occupied.
- From the 1st of July 2008, a BER certificate is required for all new buildings, other than dwellings.
- From the 1st of January 2009, a BER certificate is required for all existing dwellings and existing buildings when they are offered for sale or rental.
2.3.2 Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP)
In order to achieve a energy rating the following information will need to be gathered and
entered into the DEAP software:
- Property and assessor details
- Building elements
- Water heating
- Lighting and internal gain
- Net space heat demand
- Distance system losses and gains
- Energy requirements
- Summer internal temperatures
Once this information is entered then a BER certificate can be obtained.
2.3.3 Regulatory energy rating
A house built to the current building regulations could expect to achieve up to a C1 energy rating, once the new building regulations come into force at the start of July this year a house built to the regulations should expect to achieve up to a B1 energy rating.
3.4 The technical guidance document part L 2006.
The technical guidance document part L 2006, deals with the conservation of fuel and energy for new buildings and to extensions and material alterations to existing buildings. The technical guidance document sets out maximum requirements that a building should be constructed too. This document aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings.
And to make sure that occupants have adequate lighting and thermal comfort. The design of the building, should aim as much as possible to help achieve this goal. This document was introduced in 2006, it has set requirements for new buildings. Later this year a new part L will come into force.
The new requirements for Part L are as follows:
- There must be an improvement in energy efficiency for all new dwellings
- There must be a reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions
- There must be a minimum of one renewable energy per dwelling.
- New minimum standards for heating systems to ensure they are highly energy efficient
- New minimum requirements for heating system controls to minimise energy through excessive heating
- An air permeability pressure tests must be carried out to ensure dwellings are not leaking heat excessively
- Guidance on ensuring a minimum quality of workmanship and construction on site
- Consumer information on the effect operation of the homeowners dwelling
- All new dwellings must be future proofed to be easily upgraded to higher energy and CO2 standards in the future
Again in 2010 a new part L will come into law and replace the 2008 regulations. This is a way of improving the energy efficiency in buildings over a short period.
3.4.2Summary of section 1 dwelling.
This section of the technical guidance document part L 2006 deals with conservation of fuel and energy for dwellings. The document is broken into four parts, part 1 deals with all aspects of limiting CO2 emissions in a dwelling. It gives guidance on the methodology for calculating CO2 emissions and the appropriate limit for these emissions as required. Part 2 deals with limiting the heat loss through the building fabric. Guidance is given on three main issues such as minimum insulation levels to be achieved by fabric elements, the limitation of thermal bridging and the limitation of uncontrolled air infiltration through the building's fabric. Part 3 deals with controls for space heating and hot water supply systems. The aim for part 3 is to provide an automatic control of space heating on basis of room temperature, to provide automatic control of heat input to stored hot water on the basis of stored water temperature, to provide a separate automatic timer to control space heating and hot water and finally to shut down the boiler or heat source when there is no demand for either space or water heating from that source. And finally part 4 deals with the insulation of hot water storage vessels, pipes and ducts. This section of part L is very important for building contractors to follow, especially now that building energy certificates are in for new dwellings.
Education and Training
4.1 The importance of education and training in the construction industry.
Over the years there has been many changes in the regulations and legislation associated with the construction industry. These changes mean that building's constructed to today's standards are superior in many ways to building's that were constructed a decade ago, its very important that building professionals are kept up to date with regulation changes and are made aware and informed of as soon as possible. There are many way in which building professionals are kept up to date with changes such as seminars organised around the country eg. Homebonds “Right on the Site” . This seminar helps to keep building professionals ahead of regulatory changes and new technologies being introduced into the construction sector. Training is very important in the construction industry, it has great benefits for both the individual involved in the training and the company who has organised a training course. The individual benefits as he'll/she'll have an recognised qualification, be able to complete tasks easier, faster and to a better specification. The company will benefit by having a better qualified workforce, they will have a better end product which will result in less rework and an increase in profits. The national awarding body in ireland is FETAC (Further Education and Training Awards Council). FETAC offer people the opportunity to receive recognition for completing training courses in education or training centres, or in the workplace. FETAC are responsible for creating and promoting awards, monitoring the quality of programmes, validating programmes and determining course standards. A FETAC award can be got by completing a chosen Programme/course. These courses are available nationwide, and are offered by a whole range of providers such as VEC's, Teagasc centres, BIM, adult and community education and training centres, Fáilte Ireland, in the workplace and Institutes of technology
4.2 The need for seminars/events to educate building contractors.
As construction legislation is constantly changing there must be some way in which builders are made aware of these changes. There are a number of construction organisations who try and make building contractors aware of regulatory changes and the introduction of building energy rating.
Homebond carry out "right on the site" seminars around the country, these seminars are open to the general construction sector and keep building professionals up to date with regulation and construction related changes. Homebond also have a manual and a technical guidance folder which builders can buy from them these publications deal with all aspects of building technology and regulations involved in construction. They also have a newsletter which is published every four months called “Housing times”.
The Irish Home Builders Association (IHBA), the constituent association of the CIF with responsibility for housing, planning and development, informs all members on a regular basis of current and future regulatory changes with regard to planning and building. The IHBA communicate via different media, including all member circulars, an electronic e-zine, a quarterly newsletter “Homebuilder”, and most importantly regular committee meetings at national, branch and local county level. Issues such as the introduction of the BER together with new requirements under Part L of the Building Regulations have been comprehensively addressed to all members.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) engages with government, professional groups and other social partners on members' behalf. The CIF continuously monitor ongoing issues and trends in the industry.
Furthermore, the IHBA/CIF deliver seminars directly following each ‘Right on the Site' presentation this year. Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) were also heavily involved in these presentations and the IHBA/CIF continue to work with and refer to SEI concerning the BER, and the register of qualified BER assessors etc.
SEI have launched an advertising campaign for the first quarter of 2008 to raise awareness of the BER amongst consumers which will also be supported with information campaigns to key intermediary groups, particularly the legal profession and estate agents. These activities are intended to drive demand for and compliance with the requirements of the legislation.
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) are corresponding with the Law Society to raise awareness of mandatory BER amongst solicitors which should also improve compliance. The information campaign is designed to increase awareness of and demand for the BER certificates at transaction time hence creating a pull. Matched with DoEHLG interventions with the legal profession, to create a push, we can expect to see the volume of BER assessment activity increase very significantly. These organisations help to make building contractors aware but there is no course designed to raise awareness among building contractors of BER legislation.
4.3.1 Training programmes for energy assessors.
To become an energy assessor for SEI, the individual must achieve a minimum of 70% mark on all assessments. The courses range in price from €1,275 to €2,000, and range in course duration, contact time and learning hours. Each course has different minimum requirements as the course vary in duration. There are two method in which a student can do this course, either online though the internet, or to attend the course on numerous days at the course location. The online course consists of the student interacting with the trainer through the internet, the student must communicate through e-mails with the tutor and complete three different assignments. They must then go to an examination centre of there choice and complete and examination. The lecture method consists of the students attending a class on certain times for a period which varies from each course provider. The lecture courses are very personal as the student to tutor ratio is so small. This give the students a great chance to get queries they may have answered on a one to one basis. Overall the examination policy varies for each course provider, but generally three assignments are to be handed up during the course and worth a total of 30% of the final result. The students must complete one or more examinations at the location of the course provider, this exam/s will be worth 70% overall. Any student who fails to pass the course may repeat the examination in which they failed to pass but then the student can only achieve an overall result of a pass.
Definition of Small & Medium-sized Enterprises
The current EU definitionof micro, small & medium-sized enterprises may be summarised as follows:
- A medium-sized enterprise has less than 250 employees and has an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million;
- A small enterprise has less than 50 employees and has an annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €10 million;
- A micro enterprise has less than 10 employees and has an annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €2 million.
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