Studio Negri Architects were recently granted a Building Energy Rating certificate of A3 for the retrofit of a house in Dundrum, Co. Dublin. This house was the subject of RTE’s television show About the House shown on December 6th, 2011. (You can watch Studio Negri on About the House)
So what exactly is the Building Energy Rating system? Read on for more information…
A BER certificate demonstrates the energy performance of a home. It covers energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting calculated on the basis of standard occupancy.
The BER certificate is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance like your fridge. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and will tend to have the lowest energy bills.
From the 1st of January 2009, a BER certificate became mandatory for all homes being sold or offered for rent. If you are buying or renting a house or apartment, you are entitled to a BER so ask the seller, landlord or agent for it.
A BER certificate comes with an advisory report which allows you to improve the energy performance of your home.
A BER is also required, subject to transitional arrangements, where construction of a new home begins on or after 1st January 2007. There are exemptions for certain categories of homes, for example, protected structures and certain temporary homes.
A new home (one that has never been sold or occupied) is exempt from the BER requirement if the planning application was submitted on or before the 31st December 2006 and if it was substantially completed by 30th June 2008. ‘Substantially completed’ means that the external walls have been erected.
A seller must provide a BER to prospective buyers or tenants when a home is constructed, sold or rented under the following circumstances:
New homes where planning permission was applied for on or after the 1st of January 2007. A new dwelling (i.e. a dwelling that has never been sold or occupied) is exempt from the BER requirement if it had been the subject of a planning application submitted on or before 31 December 2006 and if it was substantially completed by 30 June 2008. “Substantially completed” means that the external walls have been erected.
All existing homes for sale or rent on or after the 1st of January 2009.
An existing dwelling is a dwelling which has previously been sold and/or occupied. All new homes (even when not for sale) must have a BER certificate (barring those defined as being exempt above) before they are occupied as detailed under S.I. 666 under http://www.environ.ie/en/Legislation/DevelopmentandHousing/BuildingStandards/
BER assessments performed on new dwellings will also help determine compliance to Part L of the Building Regulations.
For more information about BER see:
Click here for more information about general Energy Efficiency Tips
Click here for information about Passive House Certification
Photographs above are by the architectural photographer of the year Barbara Corsico