The short to medium term future of the Irish construction industry lies in the energy efficiency retrofit market. This is clearly evidenced by the high turnout of the ‘Energy Efficient Retrofit and New Build’ training from 6th to 10th December in Germany which was organised by the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce. 37 Irish participants attended an intensive Passive House Planning Programme (PHPP) workshop and updated their knowledge about energy efficient retrofitting. The training was free of charge as it is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology within the framework of the Energy Efficiency Export Initiative.
Over the course of the first two days the participants were given training in the fundamental concepts of PHPP application, passive housing and retrofitting by the Passive House Institute expert Susanne Theumer. During the following three day stay in the Energy and Environmental Education Centre in Springe, further experts shared their up-to-date knowledge about energy-saving retrofit components, such as interior and exterior insulation, windows and doors, ventilation systems with heat recovery and renewable heating technologies.
The training programme also combined the theory with a practical framework of site-visits: Participants could see the application of presented retrofit technologies by visiting an energy efficient retrofitted office building in Darmstadt which was still under construction.
Ireland is working hard to build more energy efficient houses as well as to retrofit its existing building stock.
The German-Irish Chamber will be organising further projects to support the energy efficiency and renewable energy markets in Ireland in 2011, such as the two conferences and trade missions ‘Energy Efficient lighting in buildings and public spaces’ in May and ‘Heating with Renewable Energies’ in the second half of the year.