Minister Damien English “have to get construction right – this time”

by Bregs Blog admin team


By Bregs Blog on October 19th 2014

Minister Damien English (pictured above) at Nzeb conference last week called for the passive house standard to be introduced in housing and suggested moves be made by the construction industry to address skills shortage problems in construction. He suggested we could have a lot of jobs associated with new technical standards that we can’t fill unless the industry gets moving to upskill. Link to conference programme here

Minister English, who told the Conference that he had built his own passive house said that …”we have to get construction right – this time“.

He called for higher construction standards so that houses are cheaper to run. He also gave a timely warning that if the construction industry doesn’t upskill “we could have a lot of jobs we cant fill

In the article in the from 15th October 2014  “Pressure is on to get building, but those in construction need to learn new skills“, the message from the Better than Best Practice building-skills conference was that construction professionals and contractors needed to ‘up their game’ in the face of increasing building performance requirements.

Extract from article:

“BUILDERS, ARCHITECTS AND engineers are under huge pressures to get building as the country is in the midst of a housing crisis, says the Irish Green Building Council.

However, they said that the game has changed for many developers since the boom, and there are a lot more stringent checks and balances that need to be met.

Under new rules, the construction sector must meet the EU Near Zero energy requirements for buildings by the year 2020, with the council stating that buildings “effectively have to start paying for themselves”.

Learn new skills 

To achieve this many builders will need to learn new skills, something the government addressed in its Construction 2020 document published earlier this year.

The report states: “Address skills gaps relating to the ‘greening’ of construction … including the piloting of training initiatives.”

A spokesperson for the council said that Ireland is undergoing a “revolution in standards and regulation” adding that everyone involved in the building industry have to meet stricter and more stringent regulations than they did a few years ago.

Due to the building catastrophes like pyrite and the likes of Priory Hall, all eyes are on the construction industry to not only build sustainable and “green” buildings, but safe ones too.

Signing-off on builds

“The laws have tightened and there are a lot more regulations to meet than there were five years ago. Now architects and engineers have to sign-off on buildings and make sure that builders do it right. There is huge pressure out there for people to get building and we can’t have the case where people flout the regulations and not bother with the rules. Architects and engineers are not going to sign off on buildings that are not done right, so we are going to need more professionals in the industry and upskilling will be needed, ” said the council spokesperson.

The Better than Best Practice building-skills conference opening today, aims to address one of the biggest challenges facing the Irish construction industry.

Pat Barry, Executive Director of the Irish Green Building Council, said:

We are in a totally changed regulatory environment to that existing in 2006. It is now all about quality and attention to detail.”


Other posts of interest:

Notes from the (thermal) edge: Part L Compliance (2 of 2)

Part L compliance issues – S.I.9 (1 of 2)

Part L- is compliance worth the paper its written on?

Design Certifiers – 3 things about certifying Part L… 

Why the design certifier and architect need third party building fabric assessments

Opinion piece: new building regulations and materials risk analysis

SI.9 and Part L | Specialist ancillary certifiers Part 2

SI.9 and Part L | Are specialist ancillary certifiers needed? Part 1 

BC(A)R SI.9 or… green alternative No 1