A host of sustainable building experts will descend on Enniskillen this September to attend the Passive House Association of Ireland’s annual “See the Light” conference being held at the recently opened CREST Passive Pavilion on 24th September.
The conference is usually held in Dublin, but this year will be held north and south with two connected events at CREST in Enniskillen and at Cork Institute of Technology. It will be the first time that the event has been held outside of Dublin, and also the first time it has been held in a venue that is certified to the Passive House standard. The southern event will take place on 13th November.
The Passive House concept which results in highly energy efficient buildings with exceptional comfort conditions is making waves in the world of construction. Recently, the Brussels Capital Region in Belgium adopted the Passive House standard for all new buildings across the country. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council in Dublin has proposed the same in the district causing a stir in both Irish government and construction industry circles.
In Northern Ireland, the adoption of the standard remains a niche activity with some pioneering builders, architects and academic institutions leading the way.
CREST at South West College has been driving forward mainstreaming of the Passive House standard in Northern Ireland through offering Passive House Designer and Tradesperson courses. It is also facilitating networking and has already hosted several technical events to build knowledge in the region relating to the Passive House concept. Tim Stokes CREST Manager said,
“In a short period of time, CREST has established itself as a significant regional player in the field of Passive House, construction. We are helping construction professionals in the region to adapt to legislative changes and to the increasing demands of customers requiring ever higher levels of energy efficiency and standards of workmanship.”
Willie Moffitt of Moffitt and Robinson Construction Ltd constructed Northern Ireland’s first Passive House in Omagh in 2012 and will be speaking at the conference. Mr Moffitt said,
“Imagine you were offered a car for very little additional outlay which would do 8-9 times the mpg than that which you were driving and would last you the rest of your life. Not to mention superior indoor air quality and comfortable to use. Would you not jump at this opportunity? Why not apply the same principle to your home, where you may spend most of the rest of your life?”
The conference is expected to have a distinctly international and cross-border flavour with speakers originating from the Netherlands, UK, Ireland and Germany. Northern Ireland based speakers will include Willie Moffitt and Paul McAlister. The main themes covered will include passive house policy developments across the island of Ireland, new build case studies and the challenges of retrofitting the existing housing stock to very high levels of energy efficiency required by the Passive House standard.
Malachy McAleer, South West College’s director said, “This conference represents a major coup for
South West College. We’ve been helping to bring innovative sustainable technologies to Northern Ireland for a number of years now, through the work that our innovation centres do with industry. Our latest centre, CREST, is leading the way in bringing Passive House concepts to the region.”
In the morning of the conference, CREST is laying on a short, free Passive House introductory event for those who currently have little knowledge of the concept but would like to learn more. It will include a session on “frequently asked questions” in relation to the Passive House standard and a tour of the recently opened CREST Passive Pavilion which as the name suggests is a Passive House building and one of only a handful of non-domestic buildings to have attained the standard in the UK.
The main conference sponsor is Kingspan Insulation a leading manufacturer of premium and high performance insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications. A spokesperson from Kingspan said,
“Our products are the perfect fit within a Passive House design. We have developed a wide range of products which are specifically designed for a fabric first approach, the fundamental principle on which the Passive House standard is based. They are uniquely engineered for a number of applications and are manufactured to the highest quality. The Passive House approach is the best combination of energy efficiency and occupancy comfort, ideal for the Irish and Northern Irish environment. ”
Anyone wanting to find out more about the “See the Light Northern Passive House Conference” can call CREST on 028 6634 2301.