New building technology is focus for local companies

Energy efficient construction techniques and low carbon technologies will be examined by a six-strong group of architects, building designers and environmental companies on an Invest Northern Ireland organised visit to the International Passive House conference and exhibition in Nuremberg from 11-12 April.

The group is drawn from across Northern Ireland and will be taking part in the first-ever visit to this important construction industry event. Upwards of 1,000 experts on environmental and conservation technologies will take part in the event, which is organised by Nuremberg’s pioneering Passive House Institute.

The agenda covers issues such as energy efficient construction, innovative building products, eco-materials and techniques to bring older buildings up to modern energy efficient standards.

The International Passive House conference, now in its 12th year, was established to facilitate the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and progress in the field of energy efficient construction and sustainability.

The latest developments in energy efficient products and construction will be introduced and presented during lectures and in a building technology fair, which will feature groundbreaking developments in sustainable materials and energy efficient systems.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI Trade Director, commenting on the event, says: “We have organised this visit as part of our commitment to help companies here to keep abreast of the latest trends in building sustainability, and in particular the Passive House Energy Standard. This is the most important standard for efficient design and construction in Europe and is likely to have a growing impact on Northern Ireland.

“The European Parliament’s call, in January 2008, for an introduction of this efficiency level for all new buildings throughout Europe - as early as 2011 – makes it essential for architects, designers, builders and component suppliers here to be aware of its requirements.

“More than 10,000 Passive House units have been successfully built and completed in Europe. Positive feedback from owners and residents has confirmed what had been projected: not only that energy costs can be reduced drastically, but also that the comfort of living increases significantly by using an energy efficient construction.

“The visit also reflects our focus on encouraging and assisting companies in expert services and professional practices to explore opportunities to sell their skills, knowledge and expertise abroad. Encouragingly, most of the companies taking part in the visit are on their first Invest NI event overseas,” he adds.

Northern Ireland Companies Visiting the International Passive House Conference in Nuremberg from 11-12 April

Consarc Design, Belfast – architects and surveyors

NuTech Renewables, Warrenpoint – solar technology

Raymond Maguire, Enniskillen – design and manufacture of approved lightweight buildings

Woodlock Joinery, Omagh – bespoke external joinery services

GP Williams, Belfast – house builder

Keys and Monaghan Architects, Irvinestown – environmental design services