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Dry lining is a standard term defined according to its use of plasterboard on metal or timber frames. It is also commonly used as a substitute to the usual building practices where brick or block built with lath and plaster ('wet trade') would be specified.
Generally the term dry lining is the use of plasterboard as a replacement to cement, wet plaster or a sand finish to the internal block work. It is essentially a technique for finishing internal surfaces, providing an opportunity to incorporate insulation within a stud.
Dry lining has become mostly related with internal fit out through out buildings due to it rapid and ease of installation. It offers immense flexibility in a structure's design changes of upper floor plans, where standard block or brick may be deemed inappropriate on majority types of floors. Dry lining systems, by virtue of their light weight, may provide for cost savings in other aspects of the construction, such as foundations and other structural components.
Due to the significant amendments made to Part L of the Building Regulations, air tightness has become a fundamental product of it. Air tightness, also known as air permeability may be defined as a measure of the amount of resistance a building's structural envelope can penetrate or exfiltrate when subjected to inward or outward air penetration. Increased energy consumption is generally the result of excessive air leakage, which creates a draughty and cold environment within the building.
Air leakage is a result of the differential pressures across a buildings envelope due to cracks or gaps in the buildings fabric. In order to minimise air leakage in a building, particular attention has to be given to the construction details and the manner in which they are carried out. Air leakage may also be planned as per permanent ventilation requirements contained in older Building Regulations, planned and unplanned ventilation. Uncontrolled air leakage increases the quantity of heat loss as warm air is transferred through the envelope by colder air from outside. This causes discomfort from cold draughts. Air leakage of warm damp air through the building structure can also lead to condensation within the fabric which in turn causes fabric deterioration and reduces insulation performance.
For buildings with mechanical systems, air tightness is a vital component of sustainable design. Subsequently buildings that are not airtight will cause their mechanical ventilation air conditioning systems to struggle to maintain comfort conditions (apart from planned natural ventilated buildings). A leaky naturally-ventilated building will suffer poor control, draughty conditions, and in all likelihood excessive energy consumption for heating.
Climate Change is seen as the most serious and threatening global environmental problem. The release of Greenhouse Gases is causing the earths temperature to rise, further more the construction industry is responsible for a sizeable proportion of Irelands Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
The Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 and the proposed targets of reducing Greenhouse emissions by an average 5% compared with 1990 levels by 2012 and became legally binding for those parties with commitments under the Protocol (UNFCCC, 1997). Under a burden-sharing agreement for the 15 Member States in the EU when the Protocol was agreed in 1997, Ireland's target under the Kyoto Protocol is to limit Greenhouse Gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels. That level was reached in 1997. On the basis of current projections and given the full implementation of measures to reduce emissions included in the National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 (DEHLG, 2007)
Due to the economic downturn, Ireland's emissions will be much closer at the end of 2012 to the targets set out in the Kyoto protocol. As Ireland will not meet its required targets, it will have to purchase compensating carbon credits equal to the excess of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent which are used for carbon reduction elsewhere in Ireland or abroad. Last September it was projected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Ireland would have to purchase 3.6 tonnes of carbon credit per annum under the terms of the Kyoto protocol but now it is estimated that the purchase may be between 1.3 and 1.8 million tonnes of carbon credit per annum. (www.irishtimes.com)
Under the Kyoto Protocol, GHG emissions are measured according to tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). One tonne of CO2 will be known as an assigned amount unit (AAU) which can be purchased. Building energy efficient buildings will naturally assist in the reduction of GHG emissions, and therefore help Ireland achieve its Kyoto Protocol objectives.
The construction industry makes a vital contribution to the social and economic development of every country. At the same time, this sector of industry has major impacts on the environment. The construction industry is a large consumer of non-renewable resources, particularly energy. The construction industry needs to adopt a more proactive attitude in regard to incorporating environmental considerations into its work, and to understand that building green means good business.
Non Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure
The Non Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure (NEAP) is the methodology for calculating and assessing the energy performance of non domestic buildings, demonstrating compliance with specific aspects of Part L of the Building Regulations. NEAP also produces the BER and advisory report for new and existing non domestic buildings.
NEAP calculates the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with a standardised use of a building. The energy utilisation is expressed in terms of kilowatt hours per square metre floor area per year (kWh/m2/yr) and the CO2 emissions expressed in terms of kilograms of CO2 per square metre floor area per year (kg CO2/m2/yr).
NEAP permits the calculation to be utilised by approved software packages. Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is a default calculation tool and is used in conjunction with the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) standards and that have been expanded by Building Regulation Executive (BRE) on behalf of the UK Department of Communities and Local Government.
SBEM, accompanied by a basic user interface, iSBEM, takes into account and calculates monthly energy usage and CO2 emissions based on building geometry, construction, use and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and lighting equipment. SBEM and its interface iSBEM function are to create consistent and dependable evaluations of energy use in non-domestic buildings for Building Regulations compliance and Building Energy Rating purposes. (www.sei.ie)
Energy Performance of Building Directive
The EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) includes a range of provisions intended at improving energy performance of residential and non-residential buildings, both existing and new-build. This Directive was adopted into Irish law in 2006.
The EPBD obliges specific forms of information and advice on energy performance to be provided to building purchasers, tenants and users. This information and advice provides consumers with information regarding the energy performance of a building and enables them to take this into consideration in any decisions on property transactions. (www.sei.ie)
Building Energy Rating
As part of the Directive, A Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate, which is effectively an energy label, will be required at the point of sale or rental of a building, or on completion of new buildings. BER is an objective scale of comparison for the energy performance of a building, ranging from A1 to G, A-rated being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient. The BER will be accompanied by an "Advisory Report" setting out recommendations for cost-effective improvements to the energy performance of the building. There will be no legal obligation on vendors or prospective purchasers to carry out the recommended improvements. The energy performance is expressed as primary energy use per unit floor area per year (kWh/m2/yr) represented on a scale.
A BER is based on the characteristics of major components of the dwelling; wall, roof and floor dimensions, window and door sizes and orientations as well as the construction type and levels of insulation, ventilation and air tightness features, the systems for heat supply (including renewable energy), distribution and control, and the type of lighting. It covers annual energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation, lighting and associated pumps and fans, calculated on the basis of a notional standard family with a standard pattern of occupancy.
A BER is only an indication of the energy performance of a building. Actual energy usage depends on how the occupants operate the building. A BER does not cover electricity used for purposes other than heating, lighting, pumps and fans, i.e. does not include for cooking, refrigeration, laundry etc (SEI).
Implementation of the EPBD in Ireland was as follows:
BER of new Non-Domestic Buildings commencing on or after 1s of July 2008. A transitional BER exemption will apply to a new non-domestic building for which planning permission is applied for on or before 30th of June 2008 provided the new non-domestic building involved is substantially completed by the 30th of June 2010.