Derry Clerk of Works Declan Canning receives national award for work on SWC PassivHaus

A Derry Clerk of Works has been recognised with a major award for his part in ensuring the highest standards of workmanship on the ground-breaking South West College building in Enniskillen.

By Kevin Mullan
Friday, 10th June 2022, 11:46 am

Declan Canning, originally from Creggan, received the ‘Rex S. Reynolds Memorial’ at the Institute of Clerks of Works & Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI) ‘Building on Quality Awards’ in Dublin,

Declan was nominated for his involvement in the spectacular carbon-neutral ‘Tech’ campus in Enniskillen which was designed by Hamilton Architects.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Meredith Whilden, said: “Declan is a Clerk of Works who only accepts the very highest quality, which was fully evident when the judges visited his project.

Declan (left) with Mark Read ICWCI President.

“He was fully involved throughout the duration of the build, due to the great variety of end user requirements. He has been a significant asset to the project with his considerable knowledge of all aspects of construction and attention to detail.

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Speaking to the ‘Journal’ after receiving the award Declan said he believed the sustainable design of the SWC PassivHaus needs to become the norm if the climate and resource crises are to be addressed.

“It’s a passive building with zero carbon emissions. It’s all about sustainability now. In the summer time it should generate enough power to be self-sufficient and not require any gas or external feeds.

the South West College Erne Campus in Enniskillen.

“In the winter months because of our shortened day it won’t produce enough but there is a battery storage facility the size of a large room that stores energy from solar and combined heat and power (CHP). CHP provides electricity but also heat from exhaust.”

A more sustainable method of design and production is possible, said the 62-year-old.

“A lot of the plastic that is produced can be recycled into plastic piping for building now. There is going to have to be a whole new way of thinking and a whole new way of building. If you look at air sourced heat pumps and the savings that can be made. Houses that are being built now need to be carbon-free.”