Three Limerick schools included in energy retrofit programme

THREE Limerick schools have been included in the national Energy Retrofit Pathfinder Programme to test energy efficiency solutions and renewable heat technologies in the education sector.

Catherine McCauley Special School on the South Circular Road in Limerick City, Hazelwood College in Dromcollogher and Scoil Neasain Primary School in Mungret will participate in the €35 million project to reduce energy costs.

Design teams are being appointed to each school to investigate retrofit and decarbonisation options with works due to start next summer, subject to the outcome of the feasibility assessments.These include the various options for potential retrofit levels up to the requirements for a Zero Emission Building.

The schools present a variety of challenges, including building age, archetype and retrofit requirements. The works typically involve upgrades to the building fabric including wall and roof insulation, doors and windows, air tightness improvements, LED lighting and heating upgrades as well as renewable technologies.

Each school will undergo a comprehensive assessment to ensure that the measures will deliver value to both the school and the national retrofit programme.

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The government-funded energy programme, which is supported by the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, will target energy use and CO2 emission reduction by 51 per cent, through deep retrofit and low carbon heating solutions.

Education Minister Norma Foley said the programme is designed to  explore options and test various solutions for decarbonised energy efficiency solutions in a broad range of school building types.

“It is paving the way for, and informing, a much larger schools national programme for the energy retrofit of schools built prior to 2008 and will play a key part of meeting delivery of the Climate Action Plan,” she explained.