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December 3, 2010

Energy Efficiency for Historic Homes

logo_dublincityHow to effectively conserve energy in the historic building of Ireland will be the subject on an event in Dublin next week. The event on Monday (December 6) will see Dublin City Council’s Conservation and Heritage department work with the Irish Georgian Society to host an Energy Efficiency in Historic Houses seminar. This half day seminar will provide practical, appropriate and easy to understand advice and guidance. It will show how to thermally upgrade historic buildings and reduce energy costs whilst ensuring that no damage occurs to their historic fabric and character.

Owners of protected structures, buildings located within architectural conservation areas and owners of any traditionally built houses will be interested in this seminar. Crucially, attendance will equip the homeowner with the knowledge of how to obtain the most return for the least cost by doing ‘as much as necessary and as little as possible’ to ensure a comfortable and sustainable home to live in. The seminar will also be of interest to architects and attendance at the seminar is recognized by the RIAI as a ‘Structured CPD Activity’ (2.5 CPD points).

‘With the cold and wet winter days here, for many historic homeowners this is the time of year they start looking for answers on how to keep their homes warm and dry and reduce their energy bills’, explains Emmeline Henderson, Irish Georgian Society Conservation Manager, ‘however, traditionally built buildings behave differently to modern buildings and the wrong thermal upgrading measures can not only lead to the erosion of the historic fabric and diminish its special architectural significance but can exacerbate problems with damp and make a building colder’.

On account of this Dublin City Council and the Irish Georgian Society have assembled a team of acknowledged experts on the subject to provide down to earth, low cost sensitiv solutions for improving the thermal efficiency of your historic home.

Grade I RIAI conservation architect Paul Arnold, whose practice researched and wrote the just published Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Advice Series on Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings (www.environ.ie ) will provide a conservation architects’ perspective. Peter Smith, a builder with extensive expertise in thermally upgrading old buildings will provide advice on the right insulating methods and materials. Respected historic buildings services engineer, Edith Blennerhassett is going to examine ways of improving the energy efficiency and run ning costs of an historic building. Katriona Byrne will deliver new research on the Building Energy Rating (BER) and how it applies to old buildings. While Dublin City Council’s Conservation Research Officer, Carl Raftery, will also be on hand to give important advice on the planning implications of carrying out works to increase the energy performance of a protected structure, as well as letting homeowners know about both conservation and energy grants.

The Dublin seminar forms one of five seminars held throughout the country, which the Society has presented in partnership with local authorities. These seminars have been made possible through the generous support of the partnering local authorities, Electricity Supply Board, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

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