South West College has once again shown itself to be a leader in sustainable construction with the development of the Passive Lab at its Technology & Skills Centre campus. The Passive Lab, which is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland will be launching on the 4th of April at the ‘Sustainable Construction 2020’ event.
Passive house is a rigorous standard for energy efficiency in buildings. The application of the Passive House building standards ensures the construction of low energy buildings that require little energy for heating.
The passive house concept is based on five principles
2. Thermal Bridging
3. Orientation and Windows
5. Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation
and the new lab is designed to provide a teaching space which supports the learning required to embed these principles in new builds. Alongside the drive to promote low energy solutions in new buildings the college is supportive of the need to provide sustainable solutions to the challenge provided by the underperforming existing building stock. To this end the college will also be launching a retrofit project at the Sustainable Construction 2020 event. This innovative project seeks to stimulate interest in retrofitting as a solution to underperformance. South West College with the support of an industry steering committee will construct a dwelling to 1960’s building standards and apply retrofitting techniques to increase its energy performance. This project will also take place at the Technology and Skills Centre and is aimed at stimulating interest in retrofitting as a mechanism for improving energy performance in local building stock.
Ciaran McManus, campus manager at the Technology & Skills centre is delighted with the progressive steps in the construction industry that South West College is taking. ‘As the construction industry emerges from a period of recession opportunities are beginning to appear, however it is apparent that these opportunities are increasingly being shaped by the drive for sustainable construction solutions which support the development of buildings which have greatly reduced energy demands. As the industry evolves South West College is well positioned to support this transition.
The Sustainable Construction 2020 event is an ideal opportunity for plumbing, electrical and construction contractors to meet with staff at the Technology and Skills centre and colleagues from CREST to find out more about the College’s support for industry. This event also provides the opportunity to officially open the new Passive Lab and launch the Retrofit project; two new elements in the College’s portfolio of support for the construction industry. I look forward to welcoming interested parties from the construction industry and indeed members of the general public along to the Technology and Skills Centre.’