THE Office of Public Works (OPW) have launched a campaign to encourage young people to consider Building Engineering as a career and to join in their own mission to reduce energy usage in our built environment.
As part of the initiative a video has been produced showcasing the OPW’s headquarters in Trim. This is an example of how modern public building projects will need to be advanced in terms of how they perform in terms of low energy consumption whilst making them comfortable, habitable environments for people.
This video will be shown in schools and across social media to coincide with Engineers’ Week (an annual event facilitated by Engineers Ireland which is running until Friday).
The Office of Public Works Chairman, Maurice Buckley (who is also serving as Vice President of Engineers Ireland) said: “It’s great that young people can be engaged by the story of how our own HQ build in Trim was designed to be energy efficient. For example, how can we utilise natural ventilation methods and temperature control systems in buildings. Indeed Engineers’ Week is a wonderful opportunity to inspire our next generation of men and women to look at all engineering disciplines as a potential career in which they can make a positive contribution to our environment.”
It is estimated that the buildings we live and work in now account for up to 40% of energy consumption globally.
Reducing the carbon footprint of this sector is now a mandated requirement for the State both in terms of existing and new portfolio development of public buildings that are under the OPW’s management remit.
Innovations in the mechanical and electrical technology which control how buildings perform in terms of the systems that service them are changing how they are designed — and qualified building engineers are in short supply as a result.
Dr. Ciara Ahern, Head of Building Engineering at Technological University Dublin added ‘I really commend what the OPW is doing here by highlighting the environmental story of what building engineering is all about. Making a difference to the world we inhabit is a key motivator amongst our undergraduates and our demand for CAO places has doubled since 2017. Building Engineering is a sustainable career in every sense, especially given that our carbon reduction obligations over the next few decades should mean that demand for qualified building engineers will continue for the long term.”