NSAI Building Services Codes of Practice

The latest Standard Recommendation (S.R.) from the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) in relation to building services has just been published (26th April 2021), and it deals with the design and installation of heat pumps in homes.

This new Standard Recommendation (S.R. 50-4:2021) is one of a suite of measures developed by the NSAI in direct response to actions set out in the Climate Action Plan 2019, the framework that sets out how Ireland will achieve its decarbonisation targets.

According to the NSAI, implementing this new Standard Recommendation will support the installation of 600,000 heat pumps in homes that are already suitable for the technology by 2030.

The Standard Recommendation (S.R. 50-4:2021) concentrates on the types of heat pump that are installed in homes to provide heating and hot water and provides guidelines for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of heat pump systems.

In 2018 the average dwelling emitted 5.2 tonnes of energy-related CO2. Two thirds of this was from direct fuel use in the home. The sector must reduce its emissions significantly to meet 2030 emissions reduction targets.

Heat pumps work differently from traditional heat sources such as boilers, which generate heat by combusting fuel (e.g. natural gas, oil, LPG etc).

Heat pumps are like refrigerators and air conditioning systems: they use a refrigerant cycle to extract low-grade heat (usually under 25 degC) and upgrade it to higher grade heat, i.e. at a higher temperature at which it is useful. Heat pumps move heat, hence the name heat pump.

The S.R. 50 series

This is the first edition of S.R. 50-4 and forms part of the S.R. 50 series of Standard Recommendations for building services. The first two SR50-1: Water based heating systems in dwellings, and S.R. 50-2 Thermal solar systems, were published in 2012.

The third part S.R. 50-3: Water supply for domestic use within dwellings and their curtilages, was published earlier this year.

You can purchase the S.R. 50 series, for €55 each, from the NSAI’s merchant website.

There are no further documents expected to be published in this series, however there is a new Standard Recommendation in development for Solar PV in dwellings. Public consultation on a draft document is anticipated for this summer 2021.

What do you think?

Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

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