• Wednesday , 13 December 2017

Dublin City Council sets new standards for excellence in social housing

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From L to R: Damien English TD; Simon Coveney TD; Pat Barry, CEO, Irish Green Building Council; Neoma Lira, Researcher, Irish Green Building Council.

A scheme of social housing has been the first to achieve the exacting Home Performance Index (HPI) label. The block of apartments at Rathmines Crescent was built by Dublin City Council and designed by its own architects. The label allows housing providers and private developers to highlight the quality and sustainability of their homes to occupants, investors and home buyers.

The Home Performance Index label was developed by the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) after extensive research and consultation with the industry to encourage quality and excellence in the development of new homes. The HPI certificate demonstrates that the home has been designed and constructed with care to ensure low running costs, enhance the health and wellbeing of the occupants and minimise environmental impacts.

The certificate was presented to Dublin City Council by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney TD and Pat Barry CEO of the Irish Green Building Council today.

Pat Barry CEO of the Irish Green Building Council stated: ‘We are delighted to award the first certificate to Dublin City Council for social housing, as this demonstrates sustainability is about skills, choices and design and not about additional cost.’ Mr Barry added: ‘It is important that we are all working to a quality sustainability standard for new housing in order to protect home buyers and the environment. This also demonstrates that sustainable housing have a role to play in enabling active healthy communities.’

Reacting to the Comments, Minister Coveney said: ‘Energy efficiency should be at the heart of all our building projects. It is important that we build all our social housing to the same quality in terms of energy efficiency and design as we saw here this morning.’

Speaking at this morning’s event, Ali Grehan, City Architect, Dublin City Council added: ‘Dublin City Council were delighted to be the recipients of Ireland’s first Home Performance Index certification for the social housing project at Rathmines Crescent – and which provides us with external validation of the exceptional work being carried out by City Architects. We found the information required and the HPI accreditation process to be very straightforward and will certainly be looking at the HPI certification of future projects.’

Sustainability labeling schemes such as HPI have become increasingly important for banks when assessing mortgage default risk, with the European Mortgage Federation recently announcing the intention to develop a Green mortgage product which could allow Irish Banks to offer discounted mortgages to homebuyers of certified green homes.

A number of leading Irish developers are currently vying to bring the first privately built HPI certified homes to the market.

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