26 Nov

VELUX and Federation of Master Builders support requirement for new homes to be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

NORTHERN Ireland is taking a serious step towards a greener built environment, by exploring how we make our new homes Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB).

The Department of Finance has issued a public consultation on proposals to improve energy efficiency in new buildings. VELUX and the Federation of Master Builders are calling for ambitious measures to be put in place to ensure new homes in Northern Ireland are as green as possible.

Coinciding with the consultation, on Friday 26th November 2021, VELUX and the Federation of Master Builders are hosting an important roundtable discussion on the issues involved in raising energy efficiency standards for new homes in Northern Ireland.

Chaired by respected business journalist and energy expert, Jamie Delargy, this roundtable will explore the steps the Northern Ireland home building sector will have to take to meet the NZEB requirement in our building regulations, and what the next steps for Northern Ireland should be.

Fourteen high level stakeholders are participating in the discussion including senior executives from some of the region’s larger and smaller private and social housebuilders, as well as home building professionals, academics working within the built environment space and experts from outside Northern Ireland.

William Moffitt, NI President of the Federation of Master Builders and Director of Moffitt & Robinson Construction which specialises in low energy buildings and passive houses commented:

“As Regional President of FMB NI and a contractor with over 40 years’ experience in home building, I believe it is vital that we see an improvement in the standards of home building going forward. I am a strong advocate for theneed to adopt a fabric first approach and a wider understanding of how Construction can meet the needs of a more sustainable means of living.

The roundtable will give clarity and focus to the issues facing not just the sector, but a framework for why these issues matter to your  home and our environment.”

Neil Freshwater, Public Affairs Manager VELUX GB and Ireland said:

“Buildings account for 39% of global carbon emissions. This is from energy consumed during a property’s lifetime and the embodied carbon used to build and demolish them. The built environment is therefore a crucial component in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The proposals in this consultation are an important step for Northern Ireland’s contribution to this, by adopting a ‘fabric first’ approach in homes to reduce energy demand. The greenest energy is the energy we don’t use, so it is important to respond to this consultation to ensure industry, consumers and government can get it right and work together to achieve net zero”.

The roundtable discussion on Friday is an opportunity to gather key members from the housing sectors to examine and feed into the proposed changes to building standards. 

The Department of Finance is currently seeking the public’s views on changes to guidance on the energy performance part of the building regulations and VELUX and the Federation of Master Builders want to encourage as many people as possible to engage with this critically important issue.