Hank Fogarty - CIF President, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and Jaques De Meester, BCC

At the heart of Europe

The following article is taken from Construction Magazine by editor, Brian Foley.
The European construction industry Federation, or FIEC as it’s better known, held its annual congress in Dublin last month. The centerpiece of the three-day event was the ‘Energy Efficiency: A Dysfunctional Market’ conference. Brian Foley reports from Dublin Castle. As a rule conference opening ceremonies rarely make the national headlines. The FIEC conference turned that rule on it’s head when, amidst the splendor of Saint Patrick’s Hall, Minister for Finance Brain Lenihan, addressing the multi-national audience, spoke of and industry coming to a “shuddering halt”. He later clarified his comments, saying he was talking about the housing sector.

In his address, CIF President Hank Fogarty called for government to maintain it’s commitment to infrastructure projects as “this will stimulate growth”.

FIEC President, Daniel Tardy, in response to recent ‘No’ vote in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum, said Ireland was not to blame for the current impasse. “We need a collective response,” he said. In the face of widespread concerns about the economy he also chose the opening of the 2008 Conference to remind delegates that 2007 was a very good year for the European construction industry. It is too early to speak of an outright recession, he said.

To the conference itself and the first speaker of the day, Professor Owen J Lewis Director of the UCK Energy Research Group. Professor Lewis spoke of the need to deliver integrated, high performance building, arguing that saved energy is the best form of sustainable energy. “We need to bring science into construction industry,” he explained.

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