High praise for Omagh builder

PRAISE has been heaped on an Omagh building firm after it completed the north’s first certified ‘passive house’.

Energy Minister Arlene Foster was on hand to personally deliver the certification to William Moffitt, of Moffitt and Robinson Construction Ltd, based on the Blacksessiagh Road.

‘Passive house’ status is considered the world’s leading standard in energy efficient construction according to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. The property, a retirement bungalow in Omagh, has also achieved ‘zero carbon’ status.

Speaking after he received the award, Mr Moffitt explained how the groundbreaking project came about. “We initially wanted to have a building that had as low a carbon footprint as possible, while meeting our client’s requirements,” he said.

Examining areas where heat could be lost and heat could be saved, such as water harvesting and grey water heat recovery, the contractor realised that it could create a zero carbon home and, ultimately, passive house certification.

“I believe the next challenge facing the building industry will be to successful retrofit existing housing stock to raise the insula

tion standard and lower the car-bon footprint, because most of the houses here today will still be here in 100 years’ time,” he added.

Heaping praise on the local builder, Minister Foster said with rising fuel costs, energy efficiency has never been more impor- tant. “A ‘passive house’ certification means the building requires very little energy to achieve a comfortable temperature all year round. I have been very impressed by the forward thinking steps taken during construction to make this certification possible,” she said. “As well as saving money, energy efficiency results in a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions. Fluctuating energy prices both for gas and electricity means that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to cut energy bills to save money. Energy efficiency can make a real difference to things that we all care about.

“Everyone wants a warm, healthy home and lower energy costs to help balance budgets,” added the Minister.

Moffitt and Robinson’s achievement has also won praise from the Federation of Master Builders who said the bungalow demonstrated that local builders can construct affordable energy efficient properties.

According to Maire Nawaz, NI director for FMB, “This type of property will provide substantial benefits for their clients with hugely reduced energy bills. Moffitt and Robinson Construction are leading the way with low carbon building and should be com- mended for their great achievement in building NI’s first certified ‘passive house’.”

Source: ulsterherald.com