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 Member States must tackle the existing building stock by an increased rate of deep energy renovation.
In Ireland, deep retrofitting of our building stock is recognised as one of our biggest energy efficiency challenges and also as a major economic and employment opportunity: As many as one million homes are considered to be significantly energy inefficient and requiring upgrade work between now and 2050.
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. In particular, the introduction of skills cards for construction professionals was identified as key in supporting retrofit uptake in Ireland. According to workshop participants, this should 1. Incentivise construction professionals to upskill in the area, 2. Guarantee closer alignment between professionals, and 3. Allow end-users to clearly identify construction professionals who have upskilled in the area, thus ensuring citizens are at the centre of the transition.
Over the next few months, IGBC will run a comprehensive consultation process to create a customer-friendly accreditation system for construction professionals, ensuring citizens are at the centre of the transition – ECCoPro Project.
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.