Housing 4.0 Energy Updates

News from the three Irish pilots

The Ireland pilot of H4.0E will be located in South East of Ireland (Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford), with each region committing to the delivery of four zero energy homes (ZEHs) each — twelve in total. This pilot will develop and utilise digitisation, 4.0 technology and integrate renewable energies.

The main construction principles will be prefabricated Timber Frame and Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) with the aim to use renewable building materials. Innovative technologies for sourcing renewable energy will be Air to Water Heat Pumps, Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), PV and Thermal Solar Panels. Local Authority Social Housing tenants are the intended end users, with the aim of addressing fuel poverty.

At the moment all three pilots are roughly at the same stage, but there are different completion dates, as there are different buildings types and therefore the planning process differs from each other. All pilots have planning permission and are currently at pro-curement for final design teams. This process has tak-en longer than normal due to the additional targets and standards being addressed in the H4.0 project, which is over and above the standard requirements of the Local Authorities.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis there will be delays in completion. This will have influence on the timeline and deadlines, therefore the timeline will be subject to change. The current timeline for Substantial Comple-tion is that Wexford to be completed in May 2022, Carlow in the first quarter of 2021 and Kilkenny in the first quarter of 2022. This pilots will also be monitored for the uptake of low carbon and digital techniques, products, processes and services and the resulting reduction in embodied and operational energy.

 

Getting by in a time of crisis – 3cea Team working from home during Covid-19

Covid-19 has created an unprecedented economic and social shock for business and communities in Ireland. As the team here in 3cea rolls into our forth month of working from home, we rely on remote work tools and technology more than ever in order to stay connected.

The Covid-19 crisis has had unintended positive side effects such as reduced carbon emissions but let’s face it, we all have a role to play to stop the pollution returning to pre-crisis levels.

Working remotely has brought us to a new set of challenges that has led us to adapt quickly. Between event cancellations, travel restrictions, webinar overload, personal concern about contagion and more, nearly everyone has been affected by this crisis in some way. Many of us are trying to balance working from home with the responsibilities of care. Event though it is our home environment, it is very new from a work perspective. This is the first time where so many of us are having to collaborate, operate and communicate remotely through the power of technology.

Technology can only go so far, and working from home is not for everyone the team here at 3cea are managing this new normal very well. We wanted to take this opportunity and share how well our colleagues are coping!

Read more

In the Fast Lane with Biomethane in Transport Webinar

The EBA and NGVA are hosting a webinar highlighting biogas as an alternative to fossil fuels in the transport sector.

The European Biogas Association (EBA) and the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe) are inviting you to join their webinar ‘In the fast lane with Biomethane in Transport’. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, 8 July 2020 from 9:30 to 11:00 CET (8:30 to 10:00 Irish time).

According to the EBA and NGVA Europe, the decarbonising of the transport industry is essential in order for each member state to achieve the ambitious EU climate targets. The use of biomethane in transport would support Europe in it’s clean energy transition.

Biogas, or renewable gases, are the leading alternative fuel type which can significantly reduce CO2 in the transport sector, while reaching carbon neutral mobility. The webinar follows the recently launched new EBA – NGVA Europe leaflet which focuses on the current uptake and future potential of biomethane in a decarbonised transport sector. Click here to see the leaflet.

The invitation to the webinar will follow shortly and will include the detailed program and login details. For now, you can save the event in your calendar here.

For more information, find out about our own transport services.

EUCF Webinar for Irish Local Authorities

The EUCF Webinar successfully introduced the sustainable energy initiative to representatives from Local Authorities across the country

On Monday the 22nd June, 3cea in collaboration with Tipperary Energy Agency, hosted the EUCF Webinar for Irish Local Authorities interested in the European City Facility Initiative. The EUCF initiative is open for applicants and provides €60,000 for successful investment concepts for sustainable energy projects.

Local Authorities from across Ireland were invited to attend this webinar which Siona Daly, Ireland Country Expert, described the application process for interested parties in the EUCF initiative. 3cea were tasked with organising the webinar as the National Network for the EUCF.

The webinar was attended by almost all Local Authority representatives in the country, a highly successful turnout for what will be the first edition in the EUCF Webinar series.

The webinar was also recorded for any representatives who could not attend the online event.

Find out more information on the EUCF Initiative here.

To get advice on applying for the EUCF initiative, please contact Siona at siona@tippenergy.ie or Patrick at events@3cea.ie.

 

Housing 4.0 Energy Supply Chain Workshop

3cea will host a Housing 4.0 Workshop tailored for Suppliers, Manufacturers, Construction and Engineering Companies, Architects, Designers and other Industry Experts.

On Wednesday the 8th July, 3cea will be hosting a supply chain workshop which will discuss the Housing 4.0 Energy European project. With the help of industry experts across various sectors, the workshop will encourage participants to come together to share their knowledge and explore the aspects of sustainable energy solutions, building techniques, low carbon construction materials, sustainable manufacturing and supply chain.

In the Irish context, 3 Counties Energy Agency have teamed up with Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford County Councils who have committed to deliver 12 Zero Energy Homes in the South East region by 2021. The focus will be on delivering a sustainable and affordable housing model which can be replicated for future use across all Local Authorities in Ireland. The project will introduce a shift in the form of modern and innovative construction techniques, technologies, materials and processes used for building new homes.

The aim of this Workshop is to introduce the Housing 4.0 Energy Irish pilot and the Digital Platform that is currently being developed for suppliers, manufacturers, architects, developers, designers of modular build houses and for other industry experts to use. A group discussion will be held on how the project can be enhanced to achieve long-term sustainability and engagement within the industry. The intention is to create knowledge sharing networks between industry experts and allow better understanding of the project goals, understand and explain how the Digital Platform can work for you and what improvements can be made to improve the system and supply chain.

One of the main outcomes of the project is a Digital Platform that will help future builders and industry experts to optimise house designs used in these pilots. The platform will allow parametric models of the pilot technologies to be created, so that the cost of subsequently replicating each design can be radically reduced. This platform will also be able to take datasets and link these to the parametric models to support future optimisation and ultimately reduce building costs by 25% and CO² emissions by 60%. Additionally, an operational and embodied energy/CO² calculation tool will be integrated into the digital platform to help identify how much energy is being used by a given design tested within the project.

Alex Hamilton and Ralf Kampe of 3cea will host the Workshop on the 8th of July 2020. The Workshop will begin at 9:30am and will involve 6 supplier presentations with a virtual round table discussion to conclude.

Date & Time: Wednesday, 8th July 2020 from 9:30am-11:00am (Irish Summer Time)
Click Here to Register

Agenda:
-Welcome Address and Introductions
-Introduction: What is Housing 4.0 Energy?
-Guest Presentations (max 10 minutes per presentation)

1) Digitization of construction, John Whyte, BREgroup, research and advisory services
2) Mass timber building, design, supply chain, Merritt Bucholz, BMCEA, Architect/Designer
3) TF systems and supply, James Mason, TTCF, Timber Frame suppliers
4) TF systems and supply, Paul Glavin, Glavloc® Building Technology, Timber Frame suppliers
5) Modular homes standard, David, Gall, BREgroup, research and advisory services
6) Building material supplier, Joe Fitzgerald, Ecologicalbuildingsystems, low carbon material supplier
7) Insulated Concrete Framework ICF, Denis Weathers, Thermohouse, ICF and supply
8) GGBS concrete and ICF, Susan Mc Garry, Ecocem, technical aspects of GGBS concrete and ICF, embodied CO2

-Virtual round table discussion on how the project can be enhanced and the long-term sustainability & engagement within the industry
-Q&A and Close

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Workshop.

We look forward to your participation.

For any queries please contact Mari or Patrick on events@3cea.ie

New Online Training Courses and Webinars

Tipperary Energy Agency have recently launched two CPD accredited online courses and two webinars.

Specification & Design of Heating Systems with Heat Pumps Online Course

The course aims to enhance the knowledge base of the construction sector in Ireland with respect to heat pumps in homes and commercial buildings. The construction sector have to change their method and type of specifications and designs for heating systems from predominately high carbon heating systems to low carbon heating systems. There are a large number of different types of heat pump heating systems available with a myriad of emitters and controls that require more knowledge than before in appliance selection and design as part of an integrated design of renovations and low energy buildings. Full details here.

Solar PV for Homeowners Webinar

The Solar PV for homeowners webinar is aimed at homeowners who are thinking of installing Solar PV panels in their homes. It is free to attend and will provide attendees with the knowledge required to make informed decisions when installing Solar PV. Places are currently full but you can join our waiting list. We will also stream it live on our Facebook page and have a recording available afterwards. Full details available here.

Retrofitting Heat Pumps into Homes: Methodologies & Lessons Learned Webinar

Save the date! On Wednesday, June 24th we will host a webinar with Carbon Coop about retrofitting heat pumps into homes. More details will be available soon. Keep an eye on their website.

Introduction to Specification & Design of NZEB Homes Online Course

The course aims to educate the construction industry in the requirements of deep renovating homes in Ireland. It will cover all elements of upgrading the building fabric of an Irish building, it does not cover heating systems. It will cover wall, floor and roof upgrades, required regulations, ventilation, air-tightness, interstitial condensation. Full details available here.

3cea delighted to join the Irish Energy Storage Association

3cea have recently become members of the Irish Energy Storage Association (IESA).

The purpose and role of the Association is to represent and lobby on behalf of parties in the energy storage space across a whole range of applications including the provision of system services, exploitation of arbitrage opportunities in the energy sector and maximisation of the benefits of renewable energy on the island of Ireland. This would involve a wide range of technologies including batteries, flywheels, super capacitors, hydroelectric, compressed air and thermal storage. Read more

Remote Energy Audits

Glenmalure Sustainable Energy Community

Under the current restrictions and HSE guidelines, 3cea have had to get creative to continue with business as usual. One novel idea developed by the energy engineering team took on the concept of remote energy audits where 3cea staff could work collaboratively with homeowners to complete online surveys. This idea was undertaken as part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) project in Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow where several domestic and commercial audits were already complete in the Energy Master Plan before the lockdown, however, a number of these were still outstanding.

As a team, the energy engineers here in 3cea developed an online survey with specific energy questions for both domestic homes and non-domestic buildings. Adapting to the situation and deciding on the remote audit idea, the 3cea team contacted the 6 remaining homeowners and pitched the idea of a remote energy audit for their homes. The homeowners were delighted to continue with the progression of their SEC project and agreed to participate. They welcomed the sense of community spirit within this collaborative project, the first time such a project would be conducted since 3cea was established.

The process involved in the remote energy audit project required serious thought into what the desired outcome was to achieve, while also considering how each homeowner would be comfortable and ultimately efficient in conducting the measurements. To begin with, a blank survey was sent to each homeowner with specific questions about their house which included the building fabric, the heating system, the type of lighting, the measurement of walls, windows, and the overall area of the home.

Homeowner taking measurements

Following the survey, homeowners were asked to take a photo of each facade of their home and provide the drawings of the house. The final step of the process asked the homeowners to send the completed survey, photos and drawings to our energy engineers who then conducted the energy audit. At times it was necessary to get in touch with the homeowner through email or over the phone to confirm vital pieces of information, which to our benefit, the homeowners had no problem answering.

House drawings with measurements

After receiving the details and conducting the energy audit, the technical team were able to analyse the data and develop a two-page energy report for each house. The seamless interaction between the energy engineers and the homeowners was a real eye-opening moment as it raised the questions of what the future of energy auditing could look like. Using online tools and out of the box thinking, a practical and well-designed solution was possible, introducing an exciting prospect for future collaboration.

3cea would like to thank the homeowners in the Glenmalure SEC project for their patience and cooperation throughout the process. The level of understanding from the homeowners made the development of this innovative project a great success and one in which we hope to build on going forward.

Green For Micro Programme

Micro Businesses to Cut Emissions and Save Energy through New Programme

Businesses in the South East are being offered a chance to cut their emissions and ultimately save on their energy costs through a new scheme, the Green For Micro Programme.

The programme is aimed at manufacturing businesses with fewer than ten employees. It is an Enterprise Ireland scheme in order to aid businesses with their transition to becoming a low carbon business. The Green For Micro Programme is a pilot scheme, which if successful, may be rolled out nationally.

The Green For Micro Programme is a hands-on project which incorporates the five Local Enterprise Offices in the region; Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary. In collaboration with each of the LEOs, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) will provide guidance throughout the Green For Micro process.

3cea will act as a mentor for the micro businesses. The engineers in 3cea will audit the micro businesses’ energy, waste, water, procurement and transport outputs, while outlining how to transition to more environmentally-friendly choices.

Enterprise Ireland regional executive Brian Fives said micro businesses across the region are eager to play their part in developing a low-carbon economy.

“Green For Micro shows them the way. Auditing their energy consumption, mapping the results and monitoring their transition will provide an invaluable insight into how every enterprise can play its part in Ireland meeting its 2030 climate targets,” said Mr Fives.

Engineer with 3cea, Shane Faulkner, said each participating business will be given up to nine days of expert help including audits, reports and mentoring.

“The level of buy-in from manufacturers in the region is extremely encouraging and we are really looking forward to playing our part,” said Mr Faulkner.

Phase One

Phase one of the Green For Micro Programme involved a number of Breakfast Briefing Events which have been implemented to explain the programme to businesses in the region.

Aileen McGrath of Kilkenny Local Enterprise Office urged qualifying micro-businesses to attend the no obligation breakfast briefing, pick up an expression of interest form and see how small changes in their manufacturing processes and general business decisions can make a difference.

“While our primary target is manufacturing, micro enterprises in other sectors may also qualify and we encourage them to attend,” said McGrath.

The first of the Green For Micro Breakfast Briefing Events started on Tuesday 28th January, at the Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford. Two speakers, Philip Kehoe of Kehoe’s Potatoes and Nicholas Dunne of Killowen Farm, presented on the day to speak about their transition to becoming a low carbon business in the area.

The second of the Breakfast Briefings ran in the Tower Hotel in Waterford on 11th February. John Flahavan of Flahavan’s and Kevin Jephson from Ardkeen Quality Food Stores presented on their energy savings for their green choices.

Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny was the venue for the third installation of the Breakfast Briefings on 13th February. Rory Williams from Countrystyle Foods spoke to the audience about their greener company model, while Trudie Power of Trudies Kitchen also presented on the benefits of such environmentally-friendly focused decisions.

Jane Wickham (3CEA), Aileen McGrath (Senior Enterprise Development Officer) and Trudie Power (Trudies Kitchen) PICTURE: Vicky Comerford

The Anner Hotel in Tipperary on 18th February was the penultimate Breakfast Briefing Event where Con Traas from The Apple Farm gave a video presentation, with Ger Crosse of Wood Energy Solutions presenting on his biomass heating system in Philip Fryday’s Clune Mushroom Farm.

The concluding Breakfast Briefing Event took place in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel in Carlow on 20th February. Mary White of Blackstairs Eco Trails spoke first to the audience on the importance of sustainability in the Carlow region. She was then followed by Ray Flynn of Flynn’s Foodhall.

Jane Wickham of 3cea presented at each of the five Green For Micro Breakfast Briefing Events about the grants and supports, which 3cea will provide, to all interested parties in entering Phase Two of the Green For Micro Programme.

Phase Two

Phase two of the programme will involve the energy audits, conducted by 3cea, which will be carried out on ten micro, manufacturing businesses. Two micro businesses in each of the five participating counties will be chosen to proceed into this stage of the programme. At present, there is quite a number of interested parties. A welcoming sign that local enterprises in our area are thinking about a greener future.

Unfortunately, phase two of the Green For Micro Programme is currently on hold due to the Covid-19 Pandemic sweeping the country. A resumption date is yet to be decided on, however, applications are still being processed.

In phase three of the programme, the findings from the energy audits will be showcased at a regional conference. Finally, the concluding phase involves the installation of monitoring equipment in the selected micro businesses.

The Green for Micro Programme is one of three projects grant-aided to the tune of €345,000 by the Government and led by Local Enterprise Offices across the region.

For more information on on The Green For Micro Programme, please contact us on events@3cea.ie

 

Two years in the life of the 3cea electric car

In December 2017, 3cea purchased a Volkswagen E-Golf, the car was a demo model used by VW to promote their own electric vehicles, we decided to purchase the car with the aim of firstly reducing carbon emissions, promoting the use of electric vehicles and in turn this would also have the advantage of reducing staff travel costs.

 

Read more