I was so surprised at the news that the Irish Building Regulations have not been brought into line with the English Regulations, I felt compelled to put pen to paper.
The revisions that were implemented to the Building Regulations for England and Scotland made a move to tighten legislation around energy efficiency. I know this brought with it its own set of problems, debates and discussions but the objective of such a change is clearly to improve the overall energy efficiency of our buildings. Even if you don’t believe in climate change, with more expensive fuel and tightening specifications continuing to come into play, there is no doubt that more people are opting for the more energy efficient alternatives. So whatever we think about how the regulations were implemented in England or the process we need to follow to comply with them, we should be grateful that our regulations are forcing us to move in line with what the homeowner, specifier, architect and house builder want.
So why then in Northern Ireland, have they left the regulations unchanged at 1.8w/m2k for new fittings and 2.0w/m2k for replacement windows?
Despite the unchanged regulations, we will still be recommending to our fabricator customers in Ireland, that they follow the English regulation’s lead and achieve a Window Energy Rating of ‘C’ or above that will mean they more than comply with their own legislation. Now that the Government has shown its hand and decided not to help push our industry forward, the responsibility lies with us to ensure we do just that. We can do this by making sure our customers are getting the very latest technologies to future proof their homes and allow them to take full advantage of the energy savings they can achieve with a higher performing product. Sealed unit manufacturers or fabricators selling products to Irish companies also have an opportunity to highlight what extra they have to offer the market.