We have been successful today in getting energy standards included in a local area plan in Balbriggan. The plan will involve approximately 1,500 apartments and houses to the south of the centre of Balbriggan. The energy standard is slightly different to that iincluded in previous Local Area Plans. Those plans set a (space and water) heating demand limit of 50 kWh/m2. This plan requires that the buildings have a heating energy demand 60% better than the current Building regulations. This works out at effectively the same limit, but the Architects’ Department prefers to have it expressed as a % improvement on the Building Regulations to avoid any confusion over measuring methods.
24th April 2005 News Release
Green Party delivers sustainable development in Balbriggan Local Area Plan
Green Party Councillors, Joe Corr, David Healy and Robbie Kelly have welcomed the decision to incorporate higher energy efficiency in the housing units to be constructed on the lands of the Balbriggan South East Local Area Plan.
The motion tabled by the Green Party Councillors was specifically to have the energy efficiency of the housing units increased to a standard which was 60% higher than current Building Regulations and 20% higher than Sustainable Energy Ireland’s “House of Tomorrow” standard.
During the meeting Councillor Corr referred to the study carried out by the Department of Environmental Studies in UCD, identifying the issue of “fuel poverty” experienced in particular by social housing tenants. He outlined the fact that the study identified tenants of social housing units as more likely to fall into rent arrears as the need to pay for Oil, Coal, Gas and Electricity for home heating and water heating understandably takes precedence over other bills as the requirement to keep homes heated during the winter months becomes essential to the quality of life for families in this situation.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Corr said, “We must address the issues relating to the massive increase in the cost of fossil fuels that is being experienced by families throughout the Fingal area. We have now been successful in four Local Area Plans in Fingal (Cappagh, Ballymun, Balbriggan North West and Balbriggan South East) and I commend the councillors from other political parties who have had enough vision to support this Green Party initiative on energy efficiency and reduce the hardship experienced by families due to the increased price in fossil fuels.”
He added, “As a councillor for the Balbriggan area, I am proud to say that Fingal County Council is showing leadership in how sustainable development can be delivered during what can only be described as a ferocious construction boom.
Councillor David Healy said, “I urge all councillors to follow the example set by Fingal and consider the ramifications for residents due to the massive increase in oil to 74 dollars per barrel, this is a huge burden to homes all over the country with no sign of abating in the near future. This is one of the essential steps to reduce our contribution to climate change”
For further information:
Cllr Joe Corr 087 681 5811
Cllr David Healy 087 617 8852
Notes to the Editor:
The UCD study can be accessed at http://www.ucd.ie/gpep/gpepinfo/publications/workingpapers/02-05.pdf