THE state-of-the-art new South West College campus in Enniskillen has become one of the first buildings in the world to be recognised by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
The £30 million fully-passive Erne Campus has been impressing the world with its eco credentials since opening in September, and is even being show cased at the current COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Now, it has joined an elite global network of high performance building in gaining the UNECE recognition.
Yesterday SWC representatives, led by Dr Barry McCarron, joined UNECE executive secretary, Olga Algayerova and Michael Matheson MSP, Scottish Government cabinet secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) in Glasgow to sign a memorandum of understanding further underlining SWC’s commitment to sustainability and renewable technologies.
Dr McCarron, acting head of business development at SWC, reflected upon the sustainability work undertaken by the college in recent years.
“The announcement of the Erne Campus as the first building in Northern Ireland to join this global network is a significant show of faith from the international community in the work that has been undertaken by the College over the past ten years,” he said.
“Membership of this network will offer untold opportunities for the college and our industry partners to collaborate with and learn from some of the most innovative organisations from across the globe and with the opening of the Erne Campus we are firmly in a position to take a lead on the work that will be undertaken by the group.”
Dr McCarron added SWC wanted to ensure that new and existing buildings meet the highest possible environmental standards and will ultimately help reverse some of the impacts of climate change.
UNECE Executive Secretary Algayerova said “buildings and the built environment must be the highest priority for action by communities and countries to deliver not only the Paris Agreement but also the whole 2030 agenda.”
“Buildings are critical across all the sustainable development goals,” she said. “The goals go beyond decarbonisation though decarbonisation is the most urgent as the climate crisis is existential. In fact when we succeed with this initiative we will have made a major step in breaking the historic link between development and carbon emissions.”
The SWC will host a workshop as part of the COP26 programme of events on Thursday 11th November at 9:30am. The panel discussion will focus on the role that buildings can play in the fight against climate change and the event will be at streamed live at https://youtu.be/8Ohm1EgifvE
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