Aerobord Ltd (a CRH Plc Group Company) & John A. Wood Ltd: Demonstrating an ‘A’ rated concrete home

Company Description:

Aerobord Ltd employs 100 people and has been manufacturing thermal insulation products for the Irish construction sector for over 50 years. John A Wood Ltd employs 350 people and is a major supplier of stone, ready-mix concrete, concrete products and asphalt in the south west of Ireland. Aerobord and John A Wood are part of the CRH Group – CRH plc is one of the top five in the building materials sector worldwide and has operations in 32 countries, with over 3,600 locations and 92,000 employees.

Business Issue:
Reducing energy demand in buildings and providing an efficient energy solution is seen as key to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and combating climate change. With this aim, the Energy Performance of the Buildings European Directive requires a calculation of energy performance and a Building Energy Rating (BER) to be declared. From 1st January 2007, all new dwellings are required to have a BER and from the 1st January 2009 all existing dwellings will require a BER if sold or rented. Customer feedback to Aerobord and John A Wood indicated a deficit in information on low-carbon housing and what building materials and methods would be required to achieve a high energy rating.

Solution Applied:
Aerobord and John A Wood seized the opportunity to bring together all industry stakeholders to discuss this issue and to show how a concrete house can achieve an ‘A’ rating that typically uses less than 75kWh/m2/year of primary energy. Seminars were held in Cork, Kerry and Dublin and brought together architects, developers, builders, consultants, engineers, local authority representatives and construction trades to hear presentations by the NEA (National Energy Assessors), John Corless (Independent Construction Journalist), the Irish Concrete Federation and Nutech Renewables.

Company Benefits:
Aerobord and John A Wood were able to demonstrate how existing local building materials, local trades and existing construction methods can be utilised to construct ‘A’ rated homes. Feedback from attendees was positive and the seminars will now be repeated at other locations in Ireland.

Stakeholder Benefits:

  • The increasing cost of oil is encouraging the general public to ensure their homes use as little energy as possible.
  • Participants received candid and practical advice on how to comply with the forthcoming Amendment to the Building Regulations – Part L. Particular attention was paid to emerging technologies such as thermographic surveying and air control (tightness) testing.
  • According to Eddie Sheehan, builder, “The seminar was very informative and showed that standard houses can achieve an ‘A’ rating without costing a fortune”.

Attracting interested parties to attend. This was the first series of seminars to be organised in Ireland.

Working with partners to show how a complete solution can be achieved using local materials and local trades was key to the success of the seminars.

Departments Involved:
Technical and Marketing Departments in both Aerobord Ltd and John A Wood Ltd.

Solution Champion:
Brian Cahill, Operations Manager Ireland,, Anne O’Connor, Technical Adviser,, Jim Donovan, Concrete Products Director, and Naomi Cooper, Group Environmental Officer, CRH plc,