Last week, H4.0E representatives from 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) attended the ‘’Achieving NZEB and Beyond’’ Conference, a one-day event that aims to make it easier for the building industry to understand how to achieve and exceed nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards. The event was organised by Passive Sills, the local Irish manufacturer of thermally efficient sills and mouldings, who hosted the event at their headquarters in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland on the 30th of May 2019.
Among the 20 trade stands, seven different manufacturers of NZEB-compliant building systems were in attendance on the day, including timber frame manufacturer Cygnum, light gauge steel frame builder Framespace, insulated concrete formwork supplier Amvic Ireland, as well as Quinn Building Supplies with their super insulated masonry system (SIMS).
Among the speakers at the conference includes Joseph Little of DIT, who spoke on how design professionals can upskill for NZEB. Raymond O’Reilly of Quinn spoke about achieving rapid-build NZEB and Passive House standards using single leaf masonry, whole Joe Fitzgerald of Ecological Building Systems discussed airtightness and active moisture management using intelligent vapour checks. David Murray of Medite Smartly presented on achieving NZEB and zero carbon standards using Irish wood products.
Various organisations and parties in the sector attended the event, ranging from designers, architects, tradesmen, engineers and so on. Shane Faulkner, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) H4.0 Project Officer, identified the event through market research and was keen to attend given the relevant organisations, potential stakeholders and products in attendance. The conference presented Faulkner with an opportunity to experience many topics and products under one roof whilst meeting industry professionals to listen to their experiences, good and bad.
The conference also served as a trade expo where various products were on showcase. Such products ranged from 'Single Leaf Masonry to electric car chargers to innovative insulation solutions. This gave the audience the opportunity to investigate the products in an environment where comparisons between similar products can be made.
Expert presentations were held in conjunction with the trade expo, covering topics such as Achieving A1 Rating using Steel Frame Construction, Sustainable Housing & Net Zero Carbon Building, Serious Upskilling in NZEB for busy design professionals and Air tightness & Thermal Imaging, and so on. This offered the audience expert dissemination of this topics and the opportunity to discuss in an open environment the trials, tribulations and opportunities that exist in the industry.
Several networking connections were made on the day which will feed in to future project success by developing relationships with experts in the field who can either advise or supply solutions to problems facing the housing industry.
Expert panel opinions on topics such as air tightness and cold bridging allowed for further clarity on topics to guide Housing 4.0 Energy decisions, not only in terms of design but also future practicality and risks involved.
Events like this are of such importance to the industry in order to gather the industry experts with end users in an open sharing environment, allowing for transparency, knowledge sharing and vital networking. 3CEA found the NZEB event and networking opportunity very useful given the strong link to Housing 4.0 Energy. The event also offered Shane Faulkner, H4.0E Project Officer, insight into various innovative products which could be trialled within H4.0E or future follow-on projects.