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All New Homes Will Be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB)

Amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations (relating to the conservation of fuel and energy in dwellings) will come into effect on 01 November 2019.

All new homes will have a typical Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 and will be 70% more energy efficient and emit 70% less carbon dioxide than 2005 performance levels.

What is a Nearly-Zero Energy Building (NZEB)?

‘Nearly zero-energy building’ means a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.

Are there any exceptions to the new regulations?

Yes, but only if planning approval or permission has been applied for on or before 31st October 2019 and substantial work has been completed by 31st October 2020.

“Substantial work has been completed” means that the structure of the external walls of the dwelling has been erected.

 What are the key changes to TGD L Dwellings 2019?

  • MPEPC (Maximum Permitted Energy Performance Coefficient)=0.30, in order to achieve the acceptable primary energy consumption rate.
  • MPCPC (Maximum Permitted Carbon Performance Coefficient)=0.35, to demonstrate that an acceptable CO2 emission rate has been achieved.
  • Where a dwelling undergoes major renovation, the energy performance of the whole dwelling should be improved to Cost Optimal level insofar as this is technically, functionally and economically feasible.
  • Introduction of a Renewable Energy Ratio (RER) of 20%.
  • Reduction of air permeability backstop from 7m3 /hr/m2 to 5m3 /hr/m2.
  • Table 1- Reduction of wall and floor backstop U-Value from 0.21W/m2K to 0.18 W/m2K.
  • Table 1- Reduction of window backstop U-Value from 1.6 W/m2K to 1.4 W/m2K.
  • Inclusion of guidance to avoid overheating in dwellings.
  • Par 1.3.2.4 – removal of variation of U-Value with percentage glazing.
  • Introduction of calculation of Ru value for corridors in apartments.

How can compliance be achieved?

The correct specifications need to be prepared by your Architect to your specific project. Compliance is then demonstrated using the DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure) software.

Below is an example prepared by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for a semi-detached dwelling with 126 sq.m. and with heat pump for space heating and continuous mechanical extract ventilation.

NZEB example specification
Semi-detached dwelling with 126 sq.m. and with heat pump for space heating and continuous mechanical extract ventilation

A nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB) future – Minister English reminds construction sector to be prepared for new building regulations on energy efficiency

What’s All the Fuss About the Revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Overview of Key Changes to TGD L – Dwellings 2019

Construction Costs in Ireland 2019

For the last 10 years we have been sharing useful information to guide you on the costs for your construction project in Ireland.

Calculating the construction costs for your project is not an easy task. Every year we publish some guidelines and average prices to help you getting an approximate figure.

You can check our other articles in this series here.

The big news this year is the publication of the Building/Construction Cost Guidelines 2019 by the RIAI. This was long due an update and it provides a good overview of the current construction costs.

Construction in Ireland continues to boom, with all sectors showing significant growth.

Tender prices are still increasing in 2019, with construction inflation levels running well ahead of general inflation rates. This is fuelled by increased activity, pressure on wage rates, increases in material prices and regulatory changes.

 

Linesight’s reported that this year prices will be back to where they were at the peak of the boom.

 

Linesight’s research shows that, on average, tender prices rose by approximately 7.5% during 2018 while construction input costs rose on average by 3.5%. Due to high ongoing demand this level of increase is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

During 2019 Linesight  predicts that tender prices will increase by 6.5% on average. Their report emphasises the importance of budgeting for future construction inflation when evaluating proposed construction projects.

The rate of increase is not the same around the country – construction prices in the Greater Dublin Area and other major urban centres are increasing at a faster rate than provincial locations.

 

Average Irish Construction Prices 2019

To provide clients with guidance on building costs, the RIAI (The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) has compiled the Building/Construction Cost Guidelines 2019. The information contained in this document is for guidance only using average costs for the building types as set out, current at April 2019.

The tables below are a summary of the RIAI Cost Guidelines 2019. The Guidelines highlight a number of exclusions and conditions and the summary below should be read in conjunction with the full document. The document can be downloaded here.  

(Click images to enlarge)

 

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

 

The table below shows the average construction costs as generated by Linesight’s Cost Database and sets out typical building construction costs:

(Click image to enlarge)

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

Average Irish Construction Costs 2019. Source: Linesight

 

 

Turner & Townsend‘s annual construction cost survey also provides an overview of construction costs in Ireland:

(Click image to enlarge)

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

International building costs per m2 of internal area, in 2019. Source: Turner & Townsend

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

Percentage change based on last year’s Turner & Townsend International building costs per m2 (Available here: https://isabelbarrosarchitects.ie/blog/building-costs-ireland-2018/)

 

 

Labour Rates and Construction Materials Prices

Turner & Townsend‘s annual construction cost survey provides labour costs and also the prices for some materials.

(Click image to enlarge)

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

Labour and Materials Prices, 2019. Source: Turner & Townsend

 

 

The latest monthly data from CSO recorded that building and construction materials prices showed a decrease of 0.7% in July 2019. The annual percentage change showed a decrease of 5.9% in the year to July 2019. (Price Index July 2019: 94.1; Price Index June 2018: 100).

 

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

 

The most notable yearly changes were increases in Sand and gravel (+5.9%), Cement (+5.7%),  Ready mixed mortar and concrete (+4.9%) and Timbers (+3.2%-7.9%) while there were decreases in Glass (-18.5%), Stone (-2.6%), and Bituminous emulsions (-1.9%).

 

Guide to Rebuilding Costs in Ireland

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) provides a House Rebuilding Cost Calculator here. This calculator can be used as a guide to give you a minimum base cost for your construction project.

Isabel Barros Architects Wexford

Table of Rebuilding Costs September 2018. Source: Society of Chartered Surveyors.

 

SCSI House Delivery Cost Calculator Tool

SCSI have developed a useful online calculator for developers to perform an analysis tailored to their own developments.

Private/individual users should use this calculator cautiously. Professional fees, for example, will be considerable higher for private developments than they are for developer built schemes where the level of repetition is often high.

SCSI highlights that the actual construction costs or hard costs made up less than half of the total costs. The online calculator allows users to adjust each elemental component of both the hard and soft costs for themselves.

 

Typical Exclusions

There are a number of other expenses that you should also consider when estimating your project. See some of the exclusions that may apply to your project here.

Architect’s fees will vary based on a number of factors ranging from size and complexity to level of the service required. These two articles provide some guidelines:

Additionally, you may also need to allow for:

  • Design Certifier Fees
  • Assigned Certifier fees

Check out our other articles in this series

Minimum BER Rating for New Houses Built in 2019

 

We are quickly approaching the introduction of Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) standard and once again we are asked to improve the energy performance of buildings.

 

What is a Nearly-Zero Energy Building (nZEB)?

‘Nearly zero-energy building’ means a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.

When will the new regulations be introduced?

Article 9(1) of Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings requires that all new buildings:

– shall be nearly-zero energy buildings by 31 December 2020;

– occupied and owned by public authorities shall be nearly zero energy buildings after 31 December 2018

A full review of Part L of the Building Regulations is expected to be published very soon, this will include the nZEB standard.

What are the transitional arrangements?

This will be confirmed when the reviewed Part L of the Building Regulations is published.

The draft transitional arrangements required the standard to apply to all new dwellings commencing construction from 1st April 2019 (subject to transition).

Transitional arrangements (draft) will allow Part L-2011 Dwellings to be used when planning permission has been applied for prior to the application date of 1st April 2019 and substantial work * is completed by 31st March 2020.

*The structure of the external walls has been erected.

 

How will compliance with nZEB be demonstrated?

For domestic buildings, compliance will be demonstrated using the DEAP methodology. DEAP is currently being updated to account for NZEB.

For non-domestic buildings, compliance will be demonstrated using the NEAP methodology.

 

Is nZEB standard only for new houses?

No, the new standard applies to Domestic and Non Domestic Buildings.

It also applies to existing buildings (Domestic and Non Domestic) where major renovations take place.

Major Renovation’ means the renovation of a building where more than 25% of the surface area of the building envelope undergoes renovation.

For Existing Non Domestic Buildings this will require that the building is brought up to cost optimal level, which is defined in the building regulations as:

  • Upgrade Heating System more than 15 years’ old
  • Upgrade Cooling and Ventilation Systems more than 15 years’ old
  • Upgrade Lighting more than 15 years old.

For Existing Domestic Buildings, it is proposed that major renovation is typically activated where external wall is renovated. The cost optimal level is a primary energy performance of 125 kWh/m2/yr when calculated using DEAP or upgrade of roof insulation and heating system.

 

What are the BER requirements once nZEB standards are implemented?

This is currently out for public consultation, refer to Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government website for proposed changes to the regulations and DEAP methodology.

For all new builds, it is proposed that nZEB will be equivalent to a 25% improvement in energy performance on the 2011 Building Regulations.

This equates to an energy performance and carbon performance parameter that is 70% better than Ireland’s 2005 standard.

A new Nearly-Zero Energy Building (Dwelling) will typically correspond to an A2 Building Energy Rating (BER).

 

 

Will a new house be more expensive to build from 1st April 2019?

The impact on design and cost is expected to be relatively small.

The projected increase is 1.9% over current construction costs depending on the dwelling archetype and design specification applied.

 

 



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