EASCA, the Environmental and Sustainable Construction
Association, has been founded by Duncan Stewart (RTE1’s About the House), Professor
Tom Woolley (Queens’ University Belfast), Paul Leech (Leech-Gaia
Ecotecture), and Construct Ireland’s editor Jeff Colley, to promote
the viability of sustainable construction in Ireland.
In order to achieve this, EASCA’s primary role will be
to act as a service provider, designed to respond to the growing
demand for information
on the services, materials and technologies, geared towards high levels
of energy efficiency, occupant health and comfort, and environmental
Emergence of Sustainable Construction in Ireland
in sustainable construction, both from private sector individuals
and businesses and from the public sector has grown rapidly
in the last couple of years. Unfortunately the ability of
the industry to respond to this interest is under developed”
demand for more sustainable construction output is greater than
it has ever been, due to a variety of factors. Ireland’s
commitment to reducing national emissions levels under the Kyoto
Protocol is beginning to force the hand of the construction
industry, to improve the thermal performance of buildings. Aside
minimum requirements posed by changes to Part L of the Building
Regulations, the Irish construction industry faces a number
of imminent changes, ranging from the introduction of energy
for virtually every category of building at point of transaction,
to a national carbon tax, to EU programmes and initiatives such
as the Green Light Programme, and the Green Building Programme.
can lead the way for the mainstream construction sector, which
needs guidance on how to negotiate the carrots and sticks
shortly to be introduced by governance”
move to more sustainable construction is also being aided by an
increasingly health and environment conscious public. Irish people
are beginning to demand higher performance from buildings in terms
of health and comfort, and public awareness of the effect buildings
can have on the environment has never been higher.
Responding to the Demand
Although more and more services, materials and technologies with positive
health, energy and environment implications are emerging on the Irish
market, until now this information has lacked a dedicated forum, which
has significantly impeded the shift towards more sustainable construction.
Professionals within the industry are having trouble sourcing materials,
technologies and services, and the general public are understandably
less informed. The need for a resource dedicated to companies equipped
to deliver sustainable construction has become evident, and is a key
motivation behind the formation of EASCA.
will network together architects, builders, materials suppliers
and others in the construction industry, so that they are
able to respond to the interest in sustainable construction
and assist each other in providing a professional and commercially
The need for a dedicated sustainable construction resource is compounded
by the degree in which standards vary in current construction output.
Allied to this is the fact that many companies are marketing their
products or services as green, healthy, or energy efficient without
are many designs and solutions that don’t actually work.
Mistakes are being made. Yet out there is a huge resource of very
well proven products, systems, experts and skills. It’s
a matter of coordinating these so that on one level the consumer
trying to do the right thing can source the right product
or system and at the same time those providing the right skills
have a market”.
EASCA cannot offer guarantees of quality, its membership will
consist of companies EASCA believes to offer useful products and
services in helping to deliver more sustainable construction.
EASCA will direct people towards existing Irish and European certification,
where relevant, which EASCA members may carry.
more information, email [email protected]