Improving energy efficiency has become a key issue for building owners and occupiers with rising energy prices and colder winters. There are many solutions available on the market but not all are cost-effective, as many come with a long-term payback.
Working with a registered RIAI architect will help you identify the most cost-effective and beneficial solution for your home. Architects are professionally educated in building design and designing for greater energy efficiency is an essential part of their training.
If your home does not already have a Building Energy Rating, you can commission a BER assessor. This will give you an indication of the overall energy performance of your home as well as identify areas of improvement within your home. Insulation and passive energy consultants also provide suitable work in this area.
What is a BER?
By law, anyone renting or selling a property must supply a Building Energy Rating (BER). A building energy rating calculates the energy efficiency of a property on a scale from A to G, with A1 being the most energy efficient and has the lowest energy bills. A BER covers energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting calculated on the basis of standard occupancy. A BER certificate is accompanied by an advisory report, which will identify how you might improve the energy performance of your home. There are exemptions for certain categories of homes, for example, protected structures and certain temporary homes.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a wide range of information and publications aimed at the homeowner on improving energy efficiency. SEAI also have grants available to retrofit homes for greater energy efficiency. Your architect will advise you on these grants and the options for improving the energy efficiency of your extension. They also provide a good reference document “A Guide to Building Energy Rating for Homeowners” Click here to visit SEAI website!