As part of Phase 1, the Foundation Energy Skills Course (FES) went to LIT, Moylish Park, Limerick in September 2015.
The course was full with 20 attendees all from different walks of life, running their own companies or carrying out various specific trades on site.
Many were carpenters, plasterers, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers but others were site foremen and building assessors or inspectors. This range of professions and trades created an interesting and vocal group with great experiences and knowledge between them.
The building construction workers (BCWs) in the South west of the country called for an evening delivery for Limerick with 1 day in Cork for the demonstration day. This allowed for work to be continued during the day as many of the construction workers were extremely busy. That is great news for the Munster area!
The trainer Sean O’Keeffe, is a lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and completed the Train the Trainer course in Phase 1 of the pilot. Lis O’Brien from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) also attended to review the delivery of the course. The evening session passed very quickly and a great buzz was in the air. All attendees enjoyed the discussions and found the course informative and relevant. Of course the Irish policies and building regulations caused some concern initially, but all the main points were highlighted simply for everyone to grasp.
The next evening covered the principles of energy; how does heat move around the house, types of heat losses and gains, how do insulating materials work, and what are U values? The following Saturday required all attendees to attend CIT, for a demonstration day. This was a hands on day looking at existing and new products on the market and where and how these can be used correctly.
This brought up discussions on why insulation should be continuous, why have air tightness and indeed wind tightness, what are vapour barriers and how to choose the correct products for the job.
The last two evenings were held back in LIT. Now the attendees looked at heating and ventilation, the latter topic being very important once a house is air tight and well insulated. Developing the communication between trades and professions is very important to complete a Quality Low Energy building and that’s one of the core objectives of this course.
To improve communication, build an awareness of your actions and be responsible for your own actions!
To finish off this piece here are a few quotes from the attendees at Limerick FES:
“Good course, very informative, simplified. Makes you think of your actions in regards to your and other trades work around you! Would like to build on from this course!”
Name: Eddie Smyth, County Tipperary
“As a chartered building engineer I found this course very informative. It has made me rethink construction details for the better. As we move closer towards reducing energy targets, it is crucial that more construction trades/professional upskill in this area.”
Name: Robert McNamara, County Limerick
“I have found the course so far to be informative, interesting and very useful. It is a good way I believe to bring construction workers from different backgrounds together and show them how to work together to improve standards in building construction and take major steps towards achieving best practice on building sites. The course encourages open discussion and debate which is as good a way to learn as any. I would recommend it to fellow tradesmen.”
Name: Barry Woods, County Clare
“The Qualibuild introduction to low energy building course I undertook was very informative and well explained. I would recommend it to any other contractors.”
Name: Jason Tobin, County Limerick