Five construction industry bodies have asked the Ministers for Finance, Housing and Climate Action to take a more holistic approach to energy renovation.
The Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland -ACEI, Engineers Ireland – EI, the Irish Green Building Council – IGBC, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland – RIAI – and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland – SCSI – have written to Ministers Donohoe, Murphy and Naughten to express concern at the lack of coordinated approach to renovation and urban regeneration.
The organisations urge the government to bring abandoned and underutilised buildings in town and city centres into use through high quality renovations. Pat Barry, CEO of the IGBC explained: “Quality energy upgrades of these properties can cut Ireland’s buildings and transport related emissions. People living in central locations are usually less reliant on cars.”
Kathryn Meghen, CEO of the RIAI said: “A new approach is needed to meet our changing challenges – with an increasing and aging population it is essential that we utilize our existing buildings to create vibrant cities, towns and villages that are economically, socially and culturally sustainable. Much of our existing building stock can be revitalized to meet these needs.”
The open letter identifies critical actions in supporting and implementing this approach.
Large amounts of empty and underutilised properties are evident in most Irish towns and cities. However, comprehensive data on the scale of the issue and on why these properties are vacant or underused is missing. The 5 industry bodies suggest carrying out a comprehensive study to gain a better understanding of the situation.
Retrofitting houses with energy efficiency measures can create warm and healthy homes. Retrofitting whole neighbourhoods can create healthy sustainable communities. The organisations hence recommend setting up a task group with representatives from government, industry and local authorities to examine how high-quality home retrofits can drive the regeneration of Ireland’s inner towns and cities.
Caroline Spillane, Director General, EI added: “Each project is different and should reflect both the place and its people. Highly skilled professionals have a key role to play in ensuring we not only achieve more energy efficient buildings, but buildings that meet our communities’ needs and improve occupants’ health and wellbeing”.
According to Áine Myler, Director General, SCSI: “Many building professionals are investing time and energy in delivering high quality, innovative renovations. They are keen to work with government to tackle the housing crisis and ensure we reach our climate targets”.
Sarah Ingle, Secretary General, ACEI added: “The industry needs clear signals from government that retrofit-led regenerations are encouraged and fully supported using a variety of means”.
A copy of the full letter is available here.
For further information, please contact:
Marion Jammet | Media Relations | Irish Green Building Council | email@example.com | 087 7621047
About the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland:
ACE is a voluntary, self-regulatory professional body representing the business and professional interests of firms and individuals engaged in consulting engineering, primarily in the built environment. As the voice of the Irish consulting engineering profession, it assists in resolving issues of importance for clients and consultants alike and contributes to the development of relevant public policy. Key responsibilities of ACEI are to set benchmarks for the consulting engineering sector in Ireland and support member firms in achieving high quality, cost effective engineering solutions for the benefit of their clients and society. www.acei.ie.
About Engineers Ireland:
With over 25,000 members across the island of Ireland and overseas, Engineers Ireland is the representative body for engineers and the voice of the profession in Ireland. Members come from all disciplines of engineering and range from engineering students to fellows of the profession. EI aims to promote awareness and knowledge of engineering, advance the profession and its members’ interests, set standards for admission to membership, provide CPD courses of study and uphold proper standards of professional practice and conduct. The organisation’s STEPS programme promotes awareness of the exciting world of engineering to children, parents and teachers. The organisation maintains the Register of Chartered Engineers in Ireland and is the competent authority for engineering under the EC Professional Qualification Directive.
About the Irish Green Building Council:
The IGBC is Ireland’s leading authority on green building best practices with a network of over 100 green building organisations spanning the entire built environment industry. The IGBC is affiliated with the World Green Building Council. This is a network of over 80 national Green Building Councils worldwide with a total membership of over 27,000 of the most progressive international organisations and businesses making it the largest organisation globally influencing the sustainable building market. www.igbc.ie.
About the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland:
The SCSI is the independent professional body for Chartered Surveyors working and practising in Ireland. Working in partnership with RICS, the pre-eminent Chartered professional body for the construction, land and property sectors around the world, the Society and RICS act in the public interest: setting and maintaining the highest standards of competence and integrity among the profession; and providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues for business, society and governments worldwide. http://www.scsi.ie.