Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts (mostly rants actually) concerning the appalling non compliance to the Building Regulations of the majority of one-off houses in Ireland.
Here we go then, Part 1. Part L Conservation of Fuel and Energy:
Part L of the Building Regulations requires you to:
“Limit the calculated primary energy consumption and related CO2 emissions… using the Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure…published by Sustainable Energy Ireland”
The current threshold is a B1/B2 on the scale, More information on BER certificates Therefore, this means:
1. You will need a BER assessment/certificate before the architect can ‘sign off’ your house as compliant with the Building Regulations!
My guess is that obtaining this cert is a rare occurrence for most self builders. The only time it is requested is at the house sale, not when the property is occupied. The banks never ask for it, neither do the solicitors and the architect (as far as I’m concerned is negligent if he/she ‘signs off’ the house without it.
2. To get a good rating means you need to think early about orientation, design, glazing etc… This means that as well as getting a BER cert at the end your architect should be using DEAP during the design process.
3. The Building Regulations also state “…a proportion of the energy consumption…is provided by renewable sources”.
This means that a renewable resource is compulsory on new houses, these include:
a. Solar Panels (evacuated tube or photovoltaic)
b. Geothermal heating
c. Wood pellet heating
d. Wind turbines
e. Air source heat pumps
(Let me know if I’ve missed anything)
Heat recovery systems do not count as they are only extracting existing heat from the building.
My guess (again) is that there is a lot of houses signed off without any renewable resource, let alone meeting the minimum recommendations set in the Building Regs.
I use the DEAP software at an early stage analysing the designs and can make decisions regarding windows etc earlier.
I also insist on a BER certificate as part of the ‘signing off procedure’
Next rant will be on airtightness (photo below from today’s airtightness test). Comments again welcome.
Blog posted direct from iPhone