A new degree course to cater for the growing needs of the sustainable building and retrofitting industry is being offered at IT Sligo from September.
The BSc in Advanced Wood and Sustainable Building Technology, a Level 7 Ordinary Degree in the National Framework of Qualifications, is designed both as a progression programme for craftspeople in carpentry and joinery and as a direct entry programme for school leavers and mature students. Qualified craftspeople in carpentry and joinery may transfer directly into Year 2 of the three-year programme and school leavers must apply through the CAO and enter Year 1 of the programme.
The Green Economy has been identified as an area of expected business and employment growth globally so it is expected that employment opportunities for graduates arising from this course will be promising.
Buildings are estimated to use over 40% of Europe’s energy and to create 40% of its carbon dioxide emissions and the Government has committed to achieving a 20% reduction in energy demands across the economy by 2020 through energy efficiency measures.
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD allocated €30 million to a National Upgrade Programme in May and he stressed the importance the Government is placing on making buildings energy efficient; “Given energy price trends and growing concerns over security of supply, the way we use energy is no longer simply a question of environmental responsibility but one of economic necessity,” he said,
This new degree course will help produce the graduates required to meet the growing needs of this industry. Lecturer and Programme Chair Kieran Gallagher said that the course will prepare learners for employment opportunities with building contractors, architects, quantity surveyors and local authorities in areas such as retrofitting of existing buildings, BER Certification, and the preparation of drawings and specifications, surveying and site setting out.
“Sustainable building technologies are becoming more and more important in the Green Economy. The Government has shown its commitment to investing in the area and it is important that there are enough suitably skilled people to cater for industry demands. This course has been developed to meet this demand and we welcome applications from people who have already worked in a similar field and who wish to up skill, and from school leavers or those wishing to return to education.”
“A recent retrofit of the Empire State Building in New York resulted in the reduction of electricity usage by 38 per cent, and the cost of doing the work will be covered in less than five years. This is a good example of what cost efficiencies can be made and, if we are to meet our environmental targets nationally, this is one area that we can use to easily reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.
Applications can be made through CAO under available/vacant places from July 13th.