Specification & Design of Heating Systems with Heat Pumps


1-day course

CPD Credit: 3.5 hours, C1 / C2

Course Aim

This blended learning course aims to enhance the knowledge base of the construction sector in Ireland with respect to heat pumps in homes and commercial buildings.

Course Overview


In Partnership with Tipperary Energy Agency

Course Format

This blended learning programme consists of:

  1. Online modules to be taken in advance of -
  2. An expert-led half-day Q&A session.


The construction sector has to change their method and type of specifications and designs for heating systems from predominately high carbon heating systems to low carbon heating systems. There are a large number of different types of heat pump heating systems available with a myriad of emitters and controls that require more knowledge than before in appliance selection and design as part of an integrated design of renovations and low energy buildings.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the programme, attendees will have learned how to:

  1. Develop a knowledge of a trajectory of heating systems in Ireland, how to encourage the use of low carbon heating systems in Ireland. Understand the Life cycle cost of heating systems and the planned shadow price of carbon that will impact public sector buildings, or carbon taxes in other buildings. Understand the benefits to a practice of becoming expert in low carbon heating systems.
  2. Understand how and what type of heat pump to specify for a given building archetype and why. The advantages and disadvantages of the various different types of systems and an overview of the cost impacts of the different types. Understand the emitter design requirements coupled with this system, with the performance impact of different emitters. Ensure the system design performs as required.
  3. Understand the differences required of sizing heat pumps versus fossil fuel systems and develop an overview knowledge base of modeling techniques to size heat pumps to optimise capital and running costs. Understand the impact of the various different fabric, air tightness and ventilation systems and their impact on heat pump design and sizing.
  4. Understand limitations and advantages of electrical installations and the cost and implications of rising (or lowering) Import capacities. How to optimise the installation of heat pumps for low running costs and pre-heating buildings on night rate electricity.
  5. Maximise the performance of the installation using research outputs from the SuperHomes 2.0 research project. Understand the impact of poor and expert commissioning, how to ensure that the designs perform to expectation. Understand of future trends of smart grid and how buildings of the future will react to energy pricing and lowering carbon emissions.

Online Modules

In advance of attending the live, interactive Q&A session, attendees will complete the online modules and undertake the quiz following each module -

  • Module 1: Low Carbon Heating Options
  • Module 2: Heat Pump Types
  • Module 3: Design Fundamentals
  • Module 4: Optimisation
  • Module 5: Lessons From SuperHomes 2.0 Research
  • Module 6: Cold Weather Performance

Who Should Attend?

The course is suitably designed for the construction sector and will cover a number of topics relating to specification and design of heating systems with heat pumps in Ireland.

  1. Rationale and carbon pricing for heat pumps in Ireland
  2. Heat pump types and applications
  3. Optimising the design of heat pumps in Ireland
  4. Commissioning for long service life and high efficiency
  5. Research findings from the SuperHomes 2.0 Research project

Trainer’s Profile

Padraic O'Reilly, Research Fellow, Limerick Institute of Technology.

Padraic is a mechanical engineer working in the areas of renewable energy and building services since 2002. His work has a particular emphasis on the design and installation of heat pump systems. Prior to that, he worked in heating related manufacturing businesses. 

Padraic joined the LIT Development Unit in September 2017 to work on the Superhomes 2.0 project and has conducted research and analysis of the energy performance of air source heat pumps in residential retrofits. 

He currently leads LIT’s research work on heat pumps and energy efficiency.

Padraic holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Project Management, both from the University of Limerick.

Areas of expertise:

  • Renewable heating
  • Heat pumps
  • Energy efficiency
  • Mechanical building services
  • Project management

About Tipperary Energy Agency

A social enterprise, Tipperary Energy Agency has been successfully supporting Tipperary to reduce its energy demand for over 20 years. Tipperary Energy Agency is a non-profit company limited by guarantee with no share capital. The agency was established as a social enterprise, i.e., an enterprise that was established to deliver a specific societal service rather than exist to make a profit. The agency has a proven ability in enabling people, communities, and the public sector to become more sustainable in their energy use.

Their mission is to lead the delivery of sustainable energy solutions in Tipperary and beyond, by advocating, educating, and innovating on climate action.


  • Ciarán Carey, Irish Defence Forces, “The course was an enjoyable and beneficial experience.”
  • Peter A. Healy: “Excellent with up-to-date details”
  • Darragh Rogan, Exyte Limited: “Very satisfactory”
  • Joe Rooney, Proteus Consulting Engineers: “Excellent course. Very relevant”
  • Stephen Morrin, Fingleton White: “Enjoyed the course, excellent presenter.”
  • Michael Morrissey, Morrissey Construction Ltd.: “Excellent course. The tutorial focused on particular parts of the course and case studies. Lots of interaction and questions made it really interesting and worthwhile.”
  • Jordan Mc Sharry, Arup: “Padraic had excellent knowledge and experience to share. I enjoyed the anecdotal and informal course structure. I learned a lot of useful tips from Padraic, who clearly has a great deal of experience.”
  • Michelle Mac Lennan, Fingleton White: “Very well-run course.”
  • “Padraic is very knowledgeable and generous with sharing his knowledge”
  • “The trainer was excellent with his knowledge and delivered it very well”
  • “Excellent course. Extremely knowledgeable tutor.”
  • “Find it very informative and learned a good deal which will help with my day to day work”
  • “Content and delivery hit the spot”
  • “Overall, excellent. Padraic O'Reilly was a very good tutor.”
  • “Presenter was very knowledgeable and could explain questions in layman’s terms that made it easy to understand.”
  • “Very interesting and informative expert led session”

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Engineers Ireland supports the Sustainable Development Goals. This event contributes to Engineers Ireland's Sustainability Framework.

Please contact the Team for further information on scheduled course dates and In-Company options. You can reach us by phone: 01 665 1305 or email cpdtraining@engineersireland.ie