The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) has written to the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy MLA, seeking urgent clarification on the required energy performance of new buildings in Northern Ireland.
With Northern Ireland currently having the least demanding energy performance requirements of any region in the UK and Ireland, existing regulations mean higher emissions and higher energy bills for NI households. Since 2014 the target has been nearly zero-energy buildings. That becomes a legal requirement from the start of 2021, and yet the Department for Finance has not produced a technical booklet offering guidance.
Ciarán Fox, Director of RSUA, said: “There is a pressing need for the energy performance of both new and existing buildings to be radically improved to lower fuel bills and reduce our contribution to climate change. Architects and builders have been left in the dark by the Government. In this vacuum, lower performance buildings are being designed today in line with the existing regulations and technical guidance.”