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Roof PVs

Schools Energy Retrofit Pathfinder Programme

Roof PVs

Date: 05 Aug 2021

2020 Progress Update

Now in its fifth year, the Schools Energy Retrofit Pathfinder PRogramme has retrofitted 39 schools across Ireland to date and is informing a much larger national programme for the energy retrofit of schools, providing valuable learnings on a range of typical retrofit options. 

As part of the 2020 Pathfinder programme, seven schools were chosen in rural and urban areas to undergo extensive fabric upgrades to improve the energy performance of the building. 

Each school was assessed comprehensively to ensure that the measures were suitable for that school and would deliver value to both the school and the pilot. Design teams were appointed to each project, with medium to deep energy efficiency works delivered over the summer. 

The upgrades, at a value of up to €10m, targeted energy efficiency improvements and included upgrades to doors and windows, insulation, lighting and heating upgrades as well as renewable technologies.

One of the schools involved in the programme, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, a post-primary school in An Cheathru Rua, Galway went from a C3 Building Energy Rating to a B2 Building Energy Rating. The school is expected to save up to 48% on energy and a 52% reduction in CO2 emission after upgrades to the roof, the installation of a new LED lighting system and a new high efficiency boiler system.

A case study of the retrofit work on Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin can be downloaded HERE.

As part of the 2021 Pathfinder Programme six schools have been selected in urban and rural areas with a focus on deep retrofit of the buildings and the use of renewable heat.

The schools for the 2021 programme are:
  • Coláiste Iósaef Community College, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick
  • Cornafulla National School, Athlone, Co. Roscommon
  • St. Laserian’s Special School, Carlow, Co. Carlow
  • St. Mary’s Boys National School, Monaghan, Co. Monaghan
  • St. Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties, Co. Donegal
  • Maryfield College, Grace Park, Dublin 9

Design teams have been appointed to each school, with deep energy efficiency works to commence in summer 2021. The upgrades target a Building Energy Rating of B, 50% energy efficiency improvement and 50% emissions reduction. The works will involve upgrades to doors and windows, insulation, lighting and heating upgrades as well as renewable technologies.

The Schools Energy Retrofit Pathfinder programme is funded by the Department of Education and Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The programme is administered by the Planning and Building Unit in the Department of Education and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland with delivery partner Limerick Clare ETB.