3cea Joins Engineers Ireland’s Sustainability Grand Tour

On February 25th 3cea joined Engineers Ireland’s Sustainability Grand Tour to present our Housing 4.0E initiative . The speakers for the event were John Carley, Alexandra Hamilton, and Ralf Kampe from 3cea, Sean Savage from Wexford County Council, and Colm Callery from Engineers Ireland.

The focus of the webinar was to discuss the aims of the H4.0E project, what it hopes to deliver, how it will achieve these goals, and to provide details from one of our sites in Wexford. One of the key objectives of this project is to reduce CO2 emissions in construction of houses by 60%. These Carbon emissions are known as ‘embodied’ and ‘operational’ CO2eq emissions. Operational emissions are those generated by running a building and “upfront ‘embodied’ emissions are generated by construction of a building. After a lifespan of 50 years, the upfront embodied CO2eq makes up 46% of the total CO2eq emissions and the operational emissions makes up 54% of the total CO2eq emissions. This shows that both categories are equally important and so we need to focus on the upfront CO2eq emissions as well.

Figure 1: Source: ©2016 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved. Data Source: Richard Stein, CBECS (2003).

To reduce these GHG emissions during construction, H4.0E looks to reduce carbon emissions by working with low carbon construction types and trying to use as much low carbon renewable building materials as possible. Factors such as low carbon design, logistics and procurement, materials, and insulation are all considered when designing these properties. By the project end, there are hopes that a digital platform will become available to perspective home builders to develop the plans for their property and estimate the cost and CO2eq emissions using the manufacture for assembly model. It is hoped this platform will also help reduce costs when building homes.

Engineers Ireland’s Sustainability Grand Tour is a series of webinars commencing on 20 January 2021 and consisting of approximately 12 webinars and panel discussions taking place throughout January to April. This series will seek to educate and empower engineers across all sectors to be drivers of climate action and will focus on topics ranging from road design to sustainable housing and energy efficient design. See below for a full list of the planned events and check out their YouTube channel for past events.

To learn more about 3cea’s activities in the Housing 4.0E initiative see here.

housing 4.0 energy

Housing 4.0 Energy Updates

News from the three Irish pilots

The Irish H4.0E pilot, overseen by 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), 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 utilise digitisation and 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.

Wexford County Council

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Gas Networks Ireland Innovation Fund Approved

The 3 Counties Energy Agency has had an application to the Gas Networks Ireland Innovation Fund approved.

3cea has recently been notified that an application for the Gas Networks Ireland Innovation Fund has been approved. The Innovation Fund approval provides 50% funding for 3cea to conduct a technical study around decarbonising the Gas Network. The study will be used to inform strategic decision makers on the potential of decarbonisation in the gas network, which supports many industries in the South East region. Read more

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.

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!

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Just launched! Introducing the new 3cea Website

3cea are delighted to announce the launch of our new website. Our new website is intended to provide support and assistance across all sectors for professionals, SMEs, local authorities, wider communities and homeowners to aggregate energy projects and deliver a low carbon region by 2030. Using less energy and using clean renewable energy are key to meeting our energy targets. As a trusted intermediary, our expertise and experience in the energy space will help you reduce your energy consumption and carbon emissions within the region.

Whatever the project may be, 3cea’s One Stop Shop model provides a single point of contact for the entire journey. Our promise is to offer our experience and partnership and to work with you to achieve your energy goal.

The new site provides useful information about:

  • Grants and funding supports available
  • Project examples with enhanced visuals across the main sectors we operate
  • Case Studies – Practical examples for organisations, homeowners and businesses in different sectors can range from conducting an Energy Audit to Retrofitting your home.
  • Information on energy efficiency & renewable energy support schemes
  • Events calendar – upcoming Webinars, Workshops and Conferences
  • Innovation – we are proud to be involved in major EU projects and have demonstrated success in accessing EU Funding Programmes
  • Advanced Feedback hub – we encourage people to reach out to us

Paddy Phelan, CEO in 3cea says: “We want to inspire people to take action and tackle climate change. Working in partnership with our members, we will continue to create sustainable, green jobs, more sustainable food production options, deepen our energy security, improve the quality of our lives and make our working and built environments healthier for the South East Region of Ireland. It has taken considerable effort and vision since 2002 to get us to where we are today, ready for the next level of challenges that lie between here and 2030 and the EU policy to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

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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.