GMIT and Oysterhomes form research partnership


GMIT has formed a research partnership with property development company Oysterhomes on a project to develop energy efficient A-rated homes, in line with new building regulations.

Researchers from the GMIT School of Engineering are to collaborate with Galway-based Oysterhomes Ltd over the next three years on a cutting-edge research project to design and develop cost-effective ultra energy efficient homes.

New legislation - due to be implemented in July - stipulates a 40% improvement in energy efficiency and a 31% reduction in CO2 emissions for new homes. With GMIT as its research partner, Oysterhomes plans to design low CO2  energy-efficient homes in their two new developments - in Athlone and Clara.

The collaboration will use best practice engineering tools and methodologies to investigate the optimum combination of insulation, structural and fabric details and renewable technologies, to achieve state-of-the-art energy efficient homes. It will be led by GMIT's Dr Tom Roche and Dr John Lohan, Principal Investigators, GMIT Centre for the Integration of Sustainable Energy Technologies (CiSET).

"The building quality affecting energy efficiency will be inspected at regular intervals during the build process. Once completed, we will carry out engineering tests on the buildings to correlate build quality with the projected energy efficiencies. We will this using real live energy data coming from the 'living' dwellings over a period of two years post occupation" - said Dr Roche.

"This research project is extremely important - not just for the owners of homes in these developments, but also nationally for the furthering of Ireland's mission to cut CO2 and to reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels."

CEO of Oysterhomes, Eamon Conneely, said - "We approached GMIT with the idea to collaborate over the next number of years on a cutting-edge research project to support the design of cost-effective ultra energy efficient homes for these developments. I am delighted that GMIT has agreed to team-up with Oysterhomes on this exciting project and I believe it will benefit the entire industry going forward."

The findings from the research project will be made available to the general public - as the project progresses - via academic publications and a dedicated website.

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