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From the 1st January 2009 a Building Energy Rating (BER) assessment is required for the sale or letting of an existing building. Protected Structures, proposed Protected Structures, buildings protected under the National Monuments Acts, and buildings used as places of worship are exempt from the requirements of these regulations.

A BER assessment is an assessment of the energy performance of a particular building. It does not bring about any requirement for works to be carried out to an existing building. However, even where a building is exempt from the need for a BER assessment, some owners may nonetheless wish to up-grade the energy efficiency of their property.  While this is welcome, interventions that may be appropriate to a building of modern construction methods and material could have unintended harmful consequences for historic and traditional buildings, and the health of their occupants by promoting condensation and subsequent mould growth.  
 
Where owners of historic buildings are considering changes to improve the efficiency of their properties they should consult first with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s Conservation Officer as planning permission may be required for certain inventions to Protected Structures.
 
The Irish Georgian Society in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government held a conference on the topic of "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings" in early March 2009.  Details of the presentations are available from the Irish Georgian Society http://www.igs.ie/.  
 
 
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