That was the message from Minister for Housing, Urban Renewal and Developing Areas, Michael Finneran as he made the opening address of the 6th annual Conference of the Irish Property and Facility Management Association.

He said that despite the downturn in house building, underlying demand and good long-term prospects meant that the construction industry should still keep to previous plans.

He also said that the industry was doing well on increasing energy efficiency in new-build homes to 40%.

However, he did suggest that there would be new regulations early next year.

Mr Finneran said: “These revised regulations will set higher minimum standards for the key areas of sanitary and heating services, together with updated requirements for ventilation, lighting and fire safety.”

According to Friends of the Earth, Ireland has the fifth highest carbon emissions per person in the rich world, at 17 tonnes per person.

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