23rd January 2022

WICKLOW’S SOCIAL HOUSING SCHEME
ACHIEVES HIGHEST GREEN HOME CERTIFICATION

The IGBC has awarded the Home Performance Index (HPI) Gold Certification to Kilbride Court social
housing development in Bray

Designed by COADY Architects, the Wicklow County Council’s scheme is the first multi-units’ development to be awarded the Home Performance Index Gold Certification. The HPI was developed by the IGBC as the first comprehensive sustainability certification for new Irish homes. The certification goes well beyond the Building Energy Rating (BER) and addresses all the environmental impacts of new homes and encourages home builders to improve the health and wellbeing of occupiers.

WICKLOW'S SOCIAL HOUSING   

Pat Barry, CEO of the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) said: “This rating highlights the very high sustainability credentials of the development. These homes are not only highly energy efficient. They were also designed with care and tested to verify their environmental impact across their whole life cycle, which is critical if we are to reach our climate targets.”

New homes built to the current building regulations must reach a minimum Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2. They are energy efficient, but this only tells part of the story. There are emissions associated with all stages of a home life cycle. Emissions associated with the production and transportation of building materials and with the construction of the home (embodied emissions) account for almost 50% of lifetime emissions of a typical home built in Ireland in 2021.

Simon Keogh, Senior Architect at COADY Architects said: “Taking a holistic and whole life approach to the way we design and test our homes is urgent. For this project, we measured the overall environmental impact of the development in a robust way and included metrics, such as embodied carbon and change in ecological value that are still rarely considered. If we don’t measure something, we cannot improve it. Developing high quality data is a critical first step in building more sustainable homes.”

The Life Cycle Assessment involved a calculation of the embodied carbon impact and other environmental impacts across the homes’ life cycle according to EN 15978-2011 standard. To support this assessment, 59 Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) were gathered from product manufacturers and suppliers. An EPD is a standardised report which publishes data about the environmental impacts of a product or material over its lifetime.

The homes were also designed to have exemplary levels of water efficiency, meeting the recently published RIAI Climate Target four years ahead of time and just short of the 2030 targets. Cllr Shay Cullen Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council said Wicklow County Council is very proud of what has been achieved in Kilbride Court with 42 families now living in these highly energy efficient homes and went on to wish all the residents the best of luck in their new homes.

Frank Curran Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council added: “Wicklow County Council is delighted to deliver these forty-two, much needed homes in Bray to the highest quality standard. To achieve the gold category of HPI certification from the IGBC for Kilbride Court demonstrates our commitment to deliver high quality energy efficient homes and to lead by example to tackle climate change in line with Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2021. COADY Architects and their team, along with contractor MDY, are to be complimented on their achievements.”

John Paul Construction striving for a more sustainable built environment
John Paul Construction has joined The Irish Green Building Council as a gold member. The new partnership will see leading international construction specialist, John Paul Construction supporting the IGBC in developing new programmes to decarbonise the Irish built environment. The partnership is being launched during World Quality Week #WQW21 which this year focusses on sustainability.

Liam Kenny, Managing Director, at John Paul Construction said: “The construction industry has a significant impact on the environment. Globally, our sector consumes almost half of the non-renewable resources used. John Paul Construction is committed to improvement and ongoing upskilling to ensure high-quality, sustainable buildings are delivered. We also believe that the best way to achieve this is through collaboration. That’s why we are delighted to work with the Irish Green Building Council and fellow members to transform the Irish construction industry”.

As part of the partnership, John Paul Construction has joined the Irish Green Building Council’s EPD campaign. The campaign aims to encourage manufacturers to measure the impact of their building products by producing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). By signing the commitment, the Company pledge to prefer products with EPDs where possible, within procurement restrictions and to raise awareness among their staff, design teams, and trade partners. Launched in 2018 by the IGBC, the EPD Campaign counts more than 40 signatories to date.


Pat Barry CEO at the Irish Green Building Council added: “Carbon emissions associated with the construction, building, and infrastructure sectors account for approximately a third of Ireland’s emissions. Overall, these emissions are predicted to follow a downward trend till 2030, but construction related emissions are forecasted to increase. To address this and reach carbon neutrality by 2050, we need the collaboration of all involved in the industry. Having a leading construction company such as John Paul Construction on board can really push this agenda forward”.

Cork’s ‘Shakey’ Bridge Commended at 2021 Structural Awards
The Institution of Structural Engineers has announced the winners of the Structural Awards 2021. Now in its 54th year, this hotly contested programme celebrates the very best work across the global structural engineering community. This year’s entries perfectly underline how structural engineers around the world are responding to emerging issues in construction, particularly the climate challenge.

Many of the shortlisted and winning projects showcase adapted approaches, designed to deliver the same exceptional work in a more eco-friendly way. The winners were chosen from a list of 53 pioneering projects and judged according to their creativity, quality and sustainability as well as the ingenuity of the engineering team behind them.

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Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine

Email: denise@mcdmedia.ie      WWW.MCDMEDIA.IE