Free energy workshops to upskill construction sector on energy efficiency

11 Oct 2012

A series of free workshops will be taking place around Ireland later this month, targeted at upskilling the construction sector around achieving energy efficiencies when retrofitting buildings.

Build Up Skills Ireland (BUSI) is organising the workshops entitled ‘Energy in Buildings: Preparing Construction Workers for the Future’ as part of its development of a roadmap to upskill and train construction workers in Ireland.

Under the National Energy Retrofit Programme, more than 1m buildings across the country have to be retrofitted by 2020 as part of Ireland’s energy-efficiency targets.

The workshops will be taking place in the following locations:

  • Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk – 16 October
  • Limerick Institute of Technology – 19 October
  • Tower Hotel in Waterford – 23 October
  • Maldron Hotel in Cork City – 24 October
  • Dublin Institute of Technology (Grangegorman) – 26 October
  • Clarion Hotel in Sligo – 30 October

Each workshop will take place from 9.30am to 2pm.

Build Up Skills Ireland itself is funded by the EU Commission Build Up Skills Initiative. It is being managed by Dublin Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology, The Irish Congress of Trades Unions and the Construction Industry Federation.

“The roadmap for Ireland will seek to outline actions that will provide construction workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to build highly energy-efficient buildings, while at the same time ensure their better career prospects in Ireland and abroad,” said Seamus Hoyne, BUSI’s project co-ordinator.

He said energy use in buildings accounts for more than 40pc of total final energy consumption in Ireland.

“With the high contribution to energy savings expected from the retrofitting of existing dwellings, there is a need for competent contractors and supervisors to oversee works and technicians with an in-depth knowledge of heating system design, integration and control,” he added.

As well as the continued downturn in the Irish construction industry, Hoyne said one of the biggest challenges facing the sector is that many workers don’t have adequate training in how to build energy-efficient buildings.

“The rapid evolution of the building standards for energy performance has resulted in a skills gap across the current workforce. The challenge of deep retrofitting also presents knowledge and skills gaps. At present there is limited co-ordinated effort nationally to address these gaps,” he said.

For more information on the BUSI workshops, ring 01 402 3749.

Construction image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic