An international delegation, led by the Director for Sustainable Energy of the UNECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe), Scott Foster, met with government officials and industry bodies regarding plans to introduce a sustainable building global standard on a recent two day visit to Ireland.
The delegation included Dr. David Riley, Dr. Somayeh Asadi, and Lisa Shulock of Penn State University, and Robert Cavey, Partner of Praxis, Washington D.C.
The group’s first engagement was a meeting with Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, where the details of a Global High Performance Buildings Framework were discussed. The Framework is being developed by the UNECE, and is expected to be published in the coming months. Also in attendance were key stakeholders from Ireland, including representatives of Quinn Building Products, SOLAS, nZEBRA, and Wexford County Council.
The Taoiseach was also briefed on plans for the development of an international centre of excellence and training facility in Wexford. The development is being spearheaded by nZEBRA, who were represented by Andrew Lundberg, Tomas O’Leary and Art McCormack.
The project is supported by the UNECE and Wexford County Council, and construction on the new centre is hoped to commence in 2018 at the new Enniscorthy Innovation Park.
Andrew Lundberg of nZEBRA commented,
“We have an opportunity to promote Ireland as an international centre of excellence through the development of the highest quality training centre. With the support of bodies such as the UNECE and Wexford County Council, we can not only offer training internationally, but we can help develop the industry here in Ireland to ensure we are at the fore in delivering high quality sustainable buildings.”
The delegation then attended a dinner and networking evening hosted by Quinn Building Products, where attendees had the opportunity to discuss further the Framework and plans for the international training centre.
Speaking of Quinn Building Products’ sponsorship of the event, Kevin Lunney, Chief Operating Officer, said:
“We’re delighted to support the development of sustainable building standards here in Ireland, and on a global level, through hosting the international delegation. We’re committed to working with all stakeholders to improve building standards here, and to position Ireland as a leading centre for high performance buildings.
We’re seeing a real move towards sustainable building practices in the Irish construction industry, with high demand for more energy efficient building design, and nZEB regulations coming into force. It’s a key area of focus for us, and we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate leadership through our association with such ventures.”
The delegation’s itinerary also included site visits to Ireland’s first certified passive house social-housing project constructed by Michael Bennett & Sons, and the proposed site for the new international training centre in Wexford.