Building-related emissions will play a critical role in achieving the goal stated by the Paris agreement to remain between 1.5 and 2 degrees above the pre-industrial level. In Europe, a long-term objective of decreasing the CO2-emission levels for the building sector by 88%-91% in 2050 compared to 1990 levels was established in 2011. While all new buildings must be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB) by 2020, the long life of building sector assets means we must tackle our existing building stock by an increased rate of deep energy renovation.
Against this background, the IGBC, in conjunction with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment – DCCAE, ran a comprehensive consultation process in 2016 to co-design an ambitious national renovation strategy for Ireland – Build Upon Project. During that process, workshop participants highlighted that, depending on training and engagement, construction workers and building professionals can act as advisor or as negative influencer; hence the necessity to better incentivise them to up-skill in energy efficiency.
The objective of the ECCoPro project is to explore the opportunity of introducing an environmental certification system for building professionals in Ireland. According to Build Upon workshop participants, this should 1. Incentivise building professionals to upskill in the area, 2. Guarantee closer alignment between professionals, and 3. Allow end-users to clearly identify building professionals who have upskilled in the area, thus ensuring Irish citizens are at the centre of the transition to a low carbon society.
The Dialogue Journey
In September 2017, the Irish Green Building Council released the “Construction Professionals’ energy efficiency knowledge and upskilling – A short review“report. The document is intended to be used as a source of reference by all organisations involved in the development of a customer-friendly environmental accreditation for building professionals in Ireland.
A copy of the interim report – Initial Set of Recommendations for a holistic energy efficiency certification of building professionals is available here. Interested parties are invited to send their feedback on this document to Marion@igbc.ie by Tuesday 20th February 2018.
The IGBC is now hosting a series of workshops focusing on the potential design and delivery of this certification system.
- 19th Oct.: Workshop 1 – Defining Industry Skills Needs – A copy of the Workshop report is available here
- 5th Dec.: Workshop 2 – Defining a framework for holistic energy efficiency training of construction professionals – A copy of the Workshop report is available here.
- 25th Jan.: Workshop 3 – Putting end-users at the centre of the transition – A copy of the Workshop report is available here.
- 13th March: Workshop 4 – Making Environmental Certification for Building Professionals a reality
Organisations and individuals interested in learning more about this process should contact Marion – Marion@igbc.ie or call 01 681 5862.
This project is partly funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland – SEAI.