To mark this year’s World Green Building Week, Irish start-up Housebuild.ie has launched an online cost calculator to help homeowners and professionals in Ireland manage green-build and renovation projects more easily.
Now live on Housebuild.ie and free to use, the cost calculator is the latest addition to the all-in-one green building hub, offering homeowners, self-builders, construction professionals and tradespeople everything they need in one place.
“World Green Building Week is really important for us here at Housebuild.ie. It’s the biggest annual campaign to accelerate sustainable buildings globally” Eoghain Ryan, co-founder and director of Housebuild.ie, says.
"Buildings are responsible for 38% of global energy-related carbon emissions and 50% of all extracted materials.
Here in Ireland, the green-building revolution is underway with the Government’s Climate Action Plan setting out targets for new-builds, retrofit and home energy efficiency upgrades.
Our aim at Housebuild.ie is to make this whole area easier to understand and navigate for everyone involved.”
The Government’s Climate Action Plan, published in 2019, set out targets to retrofit 500,000 homes to achieve a higher Building Energy Rating (BER) by 2030, and install heat pumps in 400,000 existing homes and businesses.
All new-build homes are now also required to have a BER rating of A2, putting them in the ‘Near Zero Energy Building’ (NZEB) category.
“We get a lot of calls from customers who are looking to budget for green build projects and don't know where to start,” Eoghain says.
“Most projects tend to run over with respect to time and money and getting finance to finish a project towards the end can be difficult if there have been overruns.
Our cost calculator follows the same standard template used by Quantity Surveyors and allows professionals and individuals to put together a guideline budget for their project.
It can be really big help to be able to put a structure on the potential cost of your project early on.”
The challenge for many homeowners looking into green-build and renovation projects for the first time is often getting to grips with a whole raft of green build standards and regulations, materials and technologies, alongside eligibility requirements for the various sustainability grants and other green supports on offer.
Housebuild.ie cuts through the jargon and helps homeowners and builders to break down all aspects of their project, from renewable energy sources such as heat pumps, solar panels and photovoltaics, BER ratings and ‘deep’ home retrofits, to sustainable insulation options, Passive House costs, building regulations and certification.
“We’ve seen an 80% increase in people browsing the Go Green section on Housebuild.ie since June.
We get a lot of enquires from people about the types of insulation we would recommend.
They want advice on ventilation, air tightness and the best heat pump systems and manufacturers out there.
They want to know how photovoltaics compare to normal solar panels,” Eoghain Ryan says.
Housebuild.ie is the only resource in Ireland offering all relevant construction content and home-building regulations in one place.
“Building an energy-efficient home can be tricky, so we’ve built this resource to give you access to all the construction details you may need.
“It is the most comprehensive repository of construction information and technical knowledge currently available in Ireland, with building guidelines right through from substructure to roof level and from airtightness to insulation”Eoghain says.
Housebuild.ie offers simple how-to guides on different aspects of green-build and energy efficiency projects, and short step-by-step video explainers.
Home-owners can also visit the site’s ‘Find Professionals’ section to browse the profiles and portfolios of more than 2,500 professionals nationwide, ranging from bricklayers, plumbers and carpenters, to surveyors.