New | Renew Seminar - South West College, Omagh - March 2011 -

On Wednesday 30th March South West College will introduce the New | Renew project to the Tyrone and Fermanagh region through the first of a series of specifically designed, fully funded, seminars on ‘greening’ new and existing buildings.  These seminars will be of interest to practitioners, contractors and professionals in the construction and related industries.  They may also be of interest to anyone planning on building a new home and to existing homeowners who are considering retrofit/refurbishment projects.  The first seminar focuses on new buildings and retrofit/refurbishment and will start at 10.00am on Wednesday 30th March in South West College, Omagh Campus, and everyone is welcome. This introductory seminar will have industry experts such as Dr Patrick Waterfield who will focus on the Code for Sustainable Homes standard.  This standard is already mandatory to Code level three in social housing and is due to be introduced in the private sector to Code level six by 2016.

Jim Kitchen will discuss the ‘Carbon Countdown,’ proposed as the currency of Sustainable Development.  Prof. Neil Hewitt, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, University of Ulster, will discuss the application of renewables to existing homes.   Prof. Hewitt is a leading researcher into the most appropriate use of renewable technologies in new and existing buildings including houses.

The term 'PassivHaus' refers to a specific construction standard for buildings which have excellent comfort and energy efficiently ratings.  These principles can be applied not only to the residential sector but also to commercial, industrial and public buildings.

Paul McAlister of Paul McAlister Architects is Northern Irelands first Certified Passive House Designer and will explain the principles of achieving the passive house standards and the potential of Passive house retrofit.

Dawson Stelfox MBE will discuss his experiences in the area of conservation of existing buildings and in inherent sustainability of maintaining and working with existing structures.  The retrofit of existing structures, the means of upgrading a structure, needs to meet ever increasing standards will be outlined.

John Woods will outline the scope of the Green New Deal cross-sectorial initiative for NI.  The Green New Deal is an initiative which intends to realise the refurbishment of thousands of homes and in the process generate 2,500 new jobs it the construction industry.   This initiative is aimed at ‘Homeowners’ and at addressing the situation faced by 44% of NI’s population who live in fuel poverty and cannot afford to heat their homes.

The project has been set up as part of the SWC sustainable construction curriculum expansion programme to deliver informative seminars in response to increasing standards in the industry.   The Technology Department at SWC offers a wide variety of courses in sustainable construction including Foundation degrees in Sustainable Construction Engineering, Architectural Technology with Sustainable Design, Civil Engineering and Transport and short courses in Sustainable Construction.  New | Renew aims to follow through with events later in 2011 on the application of the topics Code for Sustainable Homes, PassivHaus standard, renewables for homeowners and green retrofitting.  These informative seminars will allow local construction and related business as well as single home owner’s access to leading expertise in the evolving standards the industry must meet in new and refurbishment/retrofit construction work by 2016.

These events are free to everyone, and are jointly funded under Carbon Zero and Colleges Northern Ireland.  Carbon Zero NI provides technology development and innovation support to Industry and Colleges Northern Ireland is the membership body for Northern Ireland’s six Colleges of Further and Higher Education.

Please register your interest in attending the seminar with Gemma Keenan on 028 82255223 (ext. 4229) or email