PHASE two of the Oldwood development in Roscommon town has been confirmed as the first development in Ireland to receive the BER ‘A’ rated Certificate for concrete built homes. The first 11 houses in the development have all been designed by Galway based company Energy Matters to achieve an ‘A’ rated building energy rating, which can offer annual savings of up to 60%. The developers, Doran Bros, have paid outstanding attention to detail with this development and have gone above and beyond the typical standard build by taking this development to an ‘A’ rated standard. Since January 2007 new homes require a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate when constructed which effectively rates homes from A-G. Typically houses that meet the current building regulatons achieve a B3 or C1 rating, emphasising the efficiency of the homes in Oldwood. The Oldwood scheme has also being approved by Sustainable Energy Ireland as ‘a house of tomorrow development’. The aim of the House of Tomorrow programme is to accelerate improvements in the quality of energy features in Irish housing and to stimulate the widespread uptake of superior sustainable energy planning, design, specification and construction practices in new home building. Under ther scheme all houses in the development must meet or exceed extremely high standards in terms of insulation requirements, controlling the amount of CO2 emissions produced by the house and utilise innovative technologes to produce highly energy efficient homes. The specific energy saving features that will ensure Oldwood homes achieve an A rating include high levels of insulation throughout including high performance windows and doors, the use of new technology to seal building fabric to reduce heat loss and reduce draughts, high efficiency heating systems, state-of-the-art solar panels for hot water, energy efficient fires and lighting and a modern ventilation system that removes stale air replacing it with fresh air. The end result is up to a 60% reduction in annual energy running costs of each ‘A’ rated home compared to a B3 or C1 rated home. ‘The Oldwood phase two development is an excellent illustration of best practice in energy efficient design and implementation. The significant additional expense and complexity Doran Bros are incurring by committing to this initiative demonstrates their ongoing drive to market leadership and delivering the highest standards achievable,’ explained the MD of Energy matters, Ronan Rogers.