Engineers Ireland published a report on the condition of Irish Housing and its infrastructures. The findings indicated a lot of trouble down the road if steps were not taken. 52% of the engineers that were polled gave Ireland’s infrastructure a D rating and cited a concern and need for immediate action. Engineers Ireland predicts that over 600,000 people in Ireland are living in unsuitable houses with conditions that include; leaks or damp structure and rotting.
To put into words the current crisis that Ireland is facing, Director general for Engineer Islands, Caroline Spillane said, “We, like many others, are seriously concerned about Ireland’s housing. Immediate actions are needed to overcome challenges in the capacity, condition, and connectivity of our housing stock.” The government has created different projects and organizations to address these issues, but statistical evidence is showing that not enough improvements are being made. Engineers Ireland provides many more solutions to addressing the outdated infrastructure in Ireland.
The first advice that is offered is “focus on retrofitting Ireland’s existing housing stock.” The government has pledged to upgrade 500,000 homes by 2030 in their climate action plan. This is a great step in the right direction, but in the future it is predicted that nearly two million homes are going to be needed to be refurbished in order to achieve energy performance levels that will be enforced. Part of the problem is the lack of construction workers and that can be contributed to many factors, but incentives need to be created to attract foreign workers or locals to pursue that as a profession. In addition, the current public infrastructure which includes transportation, water, wastewater, telecommunications, and energy is causing slower delivery periods of properties.
Off-site construction is a trend that many companies have been employing to save time and money. This new trend is where a majority of the constructing of the building is done off site and then transferred to the construction site. Another modern trend with building is trying to think about the future. Thinking about sustainability and the environment will transform the building structures throughout Ireland. Marguerite Sayers, President of Engineers Ireland, said, “For example, future homes should be smart, enabling the integration of the latest telecommunications technology, and should be adaptable, allowing evolution in layout for rooms and spaces as occupant needs change.” Smart has become a new term for referring to using the latest technology and that could improve the lives of many Irish people.
Overall, Engineers Ireland is trying to raise some needed attention at addressing the current infrastructure problems within Ireland. Fixing this would have a positive effect of the housing market and overall economy in Ireland.