BER: Energy Performance of Buildings

The European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations SI 666 of 2006
giving credence to the Building Energy Ratings provision (BER) effectively became
a law in Ireland on 1st January 2007.

After nearly 1 3/4 years, it is still doubtful whether the full implications have been clearly understood by the average public.
The BER comes in to being in the wake of a number of catastrophic occurrences in the world economy. The ramifications are still reverberating all over Europe as well as everywhere else. In this backdrop the BER is an important development in the local energy scenario.

The Regulation SI 666 of 2006 devotes its chapter 2 in full for;

  • Alternative Energy Applications in Large Buildings. A large building is defined here as a building with a total useful floor area in excess of 1000 m2.

(ref. Clause 4)

  • The regulations apply to the design of a Large Building for which the planning application has been made or a planning notification is published
    on or after 1st January 2007.(ref. Clause 4)
  • A person who commissions the construction of a Large New Building  has to ensure that “due consideration  has been given to the technical, environmental and economic  feasibility of installing  Alternative Energy Systems “ and also “that  the use of such system has  been  taken into account as  far as practicable in the design” (Clause 5 .1)
  • Regulations go to describe the Alternative Energy Systems to be considered for this purpose.(Clause 5.2)
    • Decentralized Energy Supply Systems based on  Renewable Energy
    • CHP Systems
    • District or Block Heating or Cooling if available, and
    • Heat Pumps

Incidentally Irish Combined Heat and Power Systems Association must be overwhelmed to see their cause included in the category of Renewable Energy (quite deservingly one feels!) unless of course the ministry refers to Biomethane CHPs! By definition district heating and cooling and heat pumps by themselves can hardly be classified as Alternative Energy Driven systems. (At best they would be contributors to sustainability. Of course all these systems admittedly deserve serious concessions and encouragement).

The regulation demands the building owner’s demonstration of the compliance with these requirements (Cause 5.3);

  • Either by a study published by the issuing authority (reference is to SEI  I believe)  which asses “the  appropriateness of the alternative energy systems technically, environmentally and economically feasible for large buildings or the particular type of  large buildings ” or,
  • By a feasibility study specifically done on the proposed building
  • If it is the former (ie. Based on a general study report carried out by the issuing authority) it may be in the form of a software based report. If it is the latter it will have to be done by a qualified person and should include clear cut recommendations for Alternative Energy utilization including the systems listed in this SI document.
  • The report of the study either specific or general should be incorporated as apart in a Building Design Report and be retained with the developer for at least 5 years after the completion for on demand production.

The regulations are now in effect and the Alternative Energy Reports and their incorporation in the building designs are mandatory. Failure to comply with the Alternative Energy utilization feasibility provisions is an offence and the relevant Building Control authority is entrusted with the legal procedures.

If you intent to construct a building it is worthwhile studying the IS 666 and BER system in depth act appropriately.
The incorporation of renewable energy  is certain to benefit the dwellers individually and the country as a whole.

Our BER Assessors
We employ  Building Energy Rating (BER) assessors registered by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), who carry out BER assessments on  existing and new houses, single or in developments.

Our assessor will assess the dimensions, fabric, ventilation, water heating and lighting systems in your building.
This will then be used to calculate an energy rating for the house. Energy ratings go from A to G, A being the most
energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient.

Contacting us
For information on BER call us on 1890 245 345