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3cea Pilot State of the Art Energy Efficient Homes in Carlow & Kilkenny

Construction has begun 8 new energy efficient homes in Carlow & Kilkenny that are part of a NWE Interreg Housing 4.0 Energy (H4.0E) an EU project to lower embodied emissions in house builds and in time reduce the cost of construction by utilising a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) model and ensuring the houses are built to nZEB (near Zero Energy Building) standard by using prefabricated timber-frame closed panels or low-carbon GGBS cement composites and energy-saving efforts like installation of Photovoltaic cables and heat pumps. The 2 bedroom and single bedroom houses are located in St Mary’s court in Carlow town, in Mullinivat and Graiguenamanagh (at the old Fire Station)  in Co. Kilkenny.

Construction site for H4.0E houses in St Mary’s court, Carlow town.

Construction site for H4.0E houses in St Mary’s court, Carlow town.

“3cea were delighted to lead this initiative and to secure Irish funding of over 600K from a Europe-wide fund of 4.2 million made available by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interred NorthWest Europe scheme to make this pilot project happen,” said Communications Officer Colin Healy. “H4.0E-nZEBs or ZEB builds are a must for future construction to meet both Ireland’s housing needs and carbon mitigation goals. The Irish H4.0E pilots are not using full DfMA methods in the pilot project, but when they come fully on stream through the availability of the H4.0E Platform being developed by Open Systems Lab (OSL) as part of the H4.0E project we anticipate that building costs will be reduced by 25% using these methods. The H4.0E houses in the upscaling process will be far cheaper to run and substantial carbon emission reductions will be achieved both in embodied and operational carbon. Heating and domestic hot water are where most of the energy will be used and these are warmer better-insulated homes. All houses are fitted with heat pumps.

 

The houses, referred to as H4.0E houses are part of a plan to develop affordable zero-energy houses by applying new technology to building and running the houses. A carbon reduction of at least 50% to 80%, when compared to a standard concrete/brick build house,  will be achieved. All units will be completed towards the end of this year and will be used for social housing by Carlow and Kilkenny County Councils.

You can learn more about H4.0E and 3cea’s activities in the project through our H4.0E Webpage.

3cea Announce Our New H4.0E Ambassador

We are delighted to announce our new H4.0E Ambassador, Marion Jammet from the Irish Green Building Council. Marion has been an integral supporter of H4.0E since its beginning and will now continue in that capacity as an Ambassador. Marion will come on to the project as a Non-Technical Ambassador

Marion Jammet is the Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Irish Green Building Council. In her current role, she is responsible for developing a roadmap to address whole-life carbon in the built environment in Ireland – #BuildingLife campaign. She is also managing several programmes relating to energy renovation, including the H2020 Build Upon 2 project. Marion’s working background is in stakeholder engagement, policy development, and project management, with previous roles in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Eurochambres and the European Parliament. Marion holds an MSc in environmental sustainability from University College Dublin and a MA in European Affairs from Sciences-Po (France).

The Irish Green Building Council – IGBC, is a non-profit organisation that was launched in 2011 with organisations and businesses from the entire value chain of the built environment. Its members include universities, professional institutes, NGOs local authorities, contractors, architects, engineers, energy companies, leading national and transnational companies. 3cea is a member of the IGBC. All the members of the IGBC share the common goal of accelerating the transformation of the built environment, related industry, and supply chain to one that is sustainable through leadership, research, education, and providing policy input to national and local government.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce Portraits

“We cannot reach carbon neutrality without addressing the emissions associated with our homes. These include the emissions associated with lighting, heating and cooling, but also those linked to the production of materials and construction of new homes. I am thrilled to support a holistic programme such as Housing 4.0 Energy which through innovation try to address two of the most pressing challenges facing Ireland: the housing crisis and climate emergency.”

Marion Jammet

The H4.0E Ambassador Programme is an integral part of the long-term goals for the project. Ambassadors will help ensure the adoption of the H4.0E approach for future delivery and will engage with the project throughout the project’s lifetime and beyond. Our hope is that Ambassadors will be able to leverage H4.0E policy recommendations and traction amongst the industry and will help lead a change in the industry.

To read more on the Interreg NWE Housing 4.0E Project see our dedicated webpage here.

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.

sustainability tour

Engineers Ireland Sustainability Grand Tour – Design for Manufacture & Assembly – a digitised solution to low carbon modular homes

As part of the Sustainability Grand Tour series, this webinar will examine a digitised solution to low carbon modular homes for the Irish housing crisis and their delivery through Interreg Housing 4.0 Energy. In this session we will be joined by the 3 Counties Energy Agency who will outline H4.0 technologies and materials and provide information on pilot projects from Carlow, Wexford and Kilkenny County Councils. 3 Counties Energy Agency is a non-profit, independent energy agency working primarily in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. The event will conclude with a short Q&A session with the panel of speakers.

Event details

Date: Thursday, 25 February 2021 from 13:00-14:00

Location: Online event – Zoom

Register your attendance: https://www.engineersireland.ie/Events/event/7334

Agenda

  • 3 Counties Energy Agency’s Regional Energy Transition Strategy to 2030
  • Introduction to low carbon and innovative H4.0 technologies and materials
  • H4.0E Pilot projects from Carlow, Wexford & Kilkenny County Councils – The Challenge and Ambition
  • Q&A

CPD Details

  • CPD Award Hours: 1
  • CPD Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  • CPD Type: Prof Body Act
  • CPD Subtype: PB/Lecture
  • CPD Competences: T4. Personal and professional responsibility
affordable housing survey

Affordable Housing Survey – Have Your Say!

Housing 4.0 Energy Affordable Housing Survey

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 — 12 in total. This pilot project 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 and innovative technologies. Local Authority Social Housing tenants are the intended end users, with the aim of addressing fuel poverty.

The private housing sector in Ireland accounts for nearly one third of all CO2 emissions. The aim of this pilot project is to offer access to new and affordable energy efficient homes and develop a market for small, affordable and sustainable homes by adapting and applying sustainable and innovative technologies.

We have prepared an online survey to understand the current housing market and to help identify the ‘Needs and Expectations’ of potential future residents for these innovative low carbon homes. Any help in sharing the survey would be greatly appreciated and will contribute to this vital piece of study which feeds into a larger programme.

Note* This survey is anonymous but there is an option to be in with a chance to win a €100 One4All voucher. If you wish to enter the competition, leave your contact email at the end of the questionnaire.

Thank you for your support.

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

Read more

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.

 

Events

Housing 4.0 Energy Conference

Affordable zero-energy housing for small households

23-24 May 2022
Floriade Growing Green Cities – Almere, Netherlands

Europe is amidst a housing crisis, now combined with spiraling energy costs to heat and cool our dwellings. An increasing number of people in the EU are struggling with finding a proper home. Rapid construction is more urgent now than ever. Just building houses like we’ve done
for the past century won’t cut it. New homes need to be built with sustainable biobased materials, must have a low carbon footprint, and must be energy-efficient and affordable. Since 2018, the EU-funded Interreg North-West Europe Housing 4.0 Energy has worked on
finding solutions to these challenges. Partners and research institutions from Flanders, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have explored the possibilities of building affordable, zero-energy homes. Innovative techniques, material usages, and design and construction processes were developed. Pilots were carried out at four locations in North-West Europe, resulting in actual homes tested by various target groups, each demonstrating unique innovative design and construction solutions.

Register now for the Housing 4.0 Energy Conference

For more information on the European Housing 4.0 Energy project, you can watch our video here or see the Interreg NWE site here

Or see our own activities in the Housing 4.0 Energy project here.

Beyond the pilots, to a sustainable, green and affordable built environment

Progamme

During the conference on Monday, the 23rd and Tuesday, the 24th of May, we will share what insights the pilots have yielded. Be inspired by engaging keynote speakers, interesting debates and practical workshops. The fitting setting for the event is the Floriade Expo 2022 – ‘Growing Green Cities’, hosted by the city of Almere.

A few highlights of the Housing 4.0 Energy Conference

Ank Bijleveld (NL), Mayor of Almere, provides guests with a warm welcome

Jan Rotmans (NL), Professor of Transition Studies and Sustainability at Erasmus University Rotterdam, reflects in his keynote on why innovation is essential for current sustainability challenges and what transition means for the building-industry.

Joke Dufourmont (BE), expert on Circularity in Urban Regions at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, provides a keynote on how good governance and a holistic approach are indispensable in achieving a major green impact.

The Four Pilots. On the mainstage of the conference, the four H4.0E pilots and the key lessons learnt from implementing them will be presented. The challenges for the coming years will be set by Housing 4.0 Energy Ambassadors Chris Troniseck (BE), Marion Jammet (IGBC, IE) , Marnix Norder (Steenvlinder NL).

Florian Thoma (AT), Director of Thoma Holz100, implementing the Baden-Württemberg pilot, will call for healthy construction ‘without compromise’ and creating a more innovative and future-facing construction industry.

Alastair Parvin (UK), CEO at Open Systems Lab and co-inventor of WikiHouse, will demonstrate the open-source Housing 4.0 Energy platform, which aims to use digital manufacturing to radically democratise the development of cities.

Natasja van den Berg (NL), expert in citizen participation and sustainability, will be the event’s host. Van den Berg authored the book Practical Idealism, which explores successfully integrating idealism into people’s daily lives.

During the conference, we will discuss sustainable innovation challenges and possibilities with a wide array of international speakers with backgrounds in research as well as the public and the private sectors. Over the course of two days, Housing 4.0 Energy shall demonstrate solutions to the institutional, financial, legal and technical barriers to upscaling our model for small-scale, affordable, low carbon homes across Europe.

Together, we shall address the findings of the last four years of the Housing 4.0 Energy project: what is needed for large scale construction of affordable, low carbon housing, how the construction industry shall be stimulated to build more sustainable housing, and what is required of (local) governments to ensure that the market for affordable, low carbon homes is sustainable well into the future.