The Irish Green Building Council presented today a new certification scheme to improve the quality and sustainability of Irish homes and communities.
As the frequency of climate change related events such as storm Ophelia increase, over 100 construction and property professionals gathered in Dublin today for the Irish Green Building Council’s first annual residential conference.
Addressing the event, Pat Barry CEO of the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) said: “It is important that we all work to a quality standard for new housing development. Beyond energy efficiency, we need to look at a wider range of issues that impact the quality and sustainability of our communities. The IGBC has developed the Home Performance Index to future-proof our homes and cities, thus protecting buyers, investors and the environment”.
Reacting to these comments, Jerry O’Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive of ESB said: “As Ireland’s population rises and more homes are built, it is vital not to lock more carbon into our built environment. The Home Performance Index recognises the immediate and lasting benefits of efficient electric heating and transport technologies, not just as a way of meeting carbon reduction targets but also in providing a healthy living environment that offers comfort, convenience and cost savings to our citizens.”
Adding to these remarks, Mick Forde Bradley of Danish architecture firm Zeso said: “My experience in Copenhagen is that younger home buyers are more sustainably conscientious in their choice of home and lifestyle. They have a keen awareness of the quality of materials incorporated into the home and their effect on health, well-being and the environment”.
Banks are also starting to encourage sustainability labelling schemes such as the Home Performance Index. The European Mortgage Federation is working with the IGBC to develop a green mortgage product which could allow Irish banks to offer discounted mortgages to home buyers of certified green homes. Mr Barry explained: “A certified home is a good indicator of the quality of the development. It adds to the home’s asset value and generally mean reduced energy and transport costs for the home buyer and so reduced risk of mortgage defaults”.
A series of reports were launched at today’s conference setting out the actions needed to ensure mortgage lending can support Ireland’s climate goals. The reports are available here.