European Union (Construction Products)Regulations (S.I. 225 of 2013)
· CE marking of construction products covered by harmonised European Standards has been mandatory since the 1st July 2013. The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) aims to ensure that reliable performance-related data is made available, by means of Declarations of Performance, in relation to construction products being placed on the European market.
- Manufacturers, importers and distributors have new obligations and responsibilities when placing a construction product on the market.
- Designers, specifiers and builders must be aware and understand the new requirements on construction products.
For more information, the following information leaflet sets out the general objectives, requirements and implications of the Construction Products Regulation.
Further reading: European Union CPR S.I. 225 of 2013
Each new residential dwelling must now be provided with an energy-rating certificate, similar to that which is applied to household white goods. The certificate will contain the energy performance of the dwelling, rating it between A1 (most efficient) and G (least efficient).
Part L of the Building Regulations was revised in 2015 and the effects of this will make homes and buildings more energy efficient. It is the first step to making Irish homes and buildings carbon neutral.
Planning and Development Regulations introduced in 2007 provide exemptions on the provision of certain small scale renewable energy technologies eg. solar panels and wind turbines. Grant support from Sustainable Energy Ireland highlights the Government’s commitment to encouraging and facilitating greater uptake of renewable energy technologies even in a domestic context.
All of the above initiatives have been taken up at a National level. Locally the County Council has itself been proactive and set high standards by making a formal requirement for SEAI Energy requirement details to be submitted, before start of construction works, to this Council at Commencement Notice stage where monitoring works will be undertaken by Building Control Technical.
The current Development Plan which introduced an energy policy with standards that went well beyond those set out in the Building Regulations. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown is also the first Local Authority in the Country to take a policy decision to source most of it’s electricity from renewable energy at all of it’s non-domestic sites.
The shift towards more sustainable and energy efficient buildings is becoming more commonplace - both in the private and public sectors. A number of progressive ‘sustainable’ developments in the County have either recently been completed or are planned.
a mixed use development at Stepaside where heating and hot water for the apartment blocks and commercial units is generated from a communal biomass boiler system
The Irish Lights building in Dun Laoghaire, where an architectural feature has been made of its solar panels
The Council itself is soon to build a pilot sustainable social housing development at Blackrock. The scheme will embody many passive and active energy system including
High Insulation levels, Air Tightness, Passive stack ventilation and mechanical heat recovery, Condensing Boilers, Solar Panels, Grey water systems.
The scheme will be monitored over a number of years to establish how the new technologies perform.
Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
Climate change is becoming one of the greatest challenges facing society today, an issue which affects all citizens at a local, national and international level. Whilst Dun Laoghaire Rathdown is a very small cog in the context of global climate change it is, nevertheless, important that the Council, and its residents, act responsibly at a local level in order to assist in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions - which are created primarily by the use of non-renewable fossil fuels.
There are effective alternatives to fossil fuels that can meet the energy requirements of the Country while still reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Ireland has the potential to generate a significantly higher proportion of its power requirements from renewables like wind, water, tide, solar and biomass (wood pellets). Indeed, only weeks ago the ESB announced a huge investment programme to support renewable energy schemes with the objective of reducing its carbon emissions nationally by 50% by 2020.
What are the main environmental issues facing Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown ?
· What are the main environmental issues that currently face the County ?
· How can we be more proactive in encouraging more general application and usage of renewable energy sources?
· What would you think of a proposal to introduce wind farms in the Dublin Mountains?
· Are there any potential conflicting issues regarding the promotion of renewable energy sources e.g. solar panels / wind farms and the protection of the built and natural environment?
· Should the County continue to have its own Energy Policy separate from national standards?