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January 17, 2008

Future proof homes and communities

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A spate of energy requirements is affecting property owners as legislation in this area takes hold. There are two main stipulations: one which says property owners must provide a BER (Building Energy Rating) certificate when they sell up, to show just how energy efficient – or not – the property is, while a change to the Building Regulations requires properties to be 40 per cent more energy efficient and produce less C02 than they did in 2005, to comply with Building Regs then. This will apply to new housing going for planning permission after this July and later on it will apply to existing buildings. In a few years’ time the government will look at stretching the requirements to a 60 per cent improvement. A number of studies have found that achieving the 40 per cent improvement can be done a number of ways and won’t require a substantial change in the way we build, whereas a 60 per cent improvement would. When it comes to creating more energy efficient buildings the weak points tend to be the quality of workmanship: airtight windows, for instance, can be let down by being badly fitted and having gaps beside them.

The Irish Times

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