The “Building a Zero Carbon Ireland: A Roadmap to decarbonise Ireland’s Built Environment across its Whole Life Cycle” report presents a set of recommendations to halve our sector emissions by 2030, and to decarbonise Ireland’s built environment by 2050.
Table of Contents
UNDERSTANDING THE SCALE OF CHALLENGE
To understand the scale of the challenge and develop solutions, IGBC commissioned the Building in a Climate Emergency (BIACE) Research Lab at the UCD School of Architecture, to baseline emissions associated with the whole lifecycle of the building stock and infrastructure in Ireland and worked with them to model a variety of scenarios based on existing government policies and potential policies to bring emissions in line with science-based targets by 2030.
This shows that construction and the built environment are directly responsible for 37% of Ireland’s emissions, the same as agriculture. This is made up of about 23% operational emissions associated with the energy we use to heat, cool, and light our buildings and a further 14% embodied carbon emissions from the production of construction materials, transport of materials, construction process, maintenance, repair and disposal of buildings and infrastructure.
The model shows that the current actions in the Climate Action Plan will not be sufficient to deliver a science-based cut of 51% by 2030 from the built environment and if left unchecked emissions could actually grow as the proposed increase in construction and renovation over the next ten years is not currently be factored in – See Business as Usual graph below.
Against this background, the IGBC looked at several scenarios to halve our sector emissions by 2030. The most realistic though extremely difficult to achieve scenario, would require accelerating the national retrofit programme, sourcing a very considerable percent of new homes from existing under-used and vacant properties and radically reducing the carbon intensity of new construction and renovation per m² by 50- 60%.
OUR KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
A comprehensive set of recommendations was developed by the IGBC in close cooperation with 200 key stakeholders to decarbonise Ireland’s built environment. The “Building a zero carbon Ireland” roadmap details a series of near-term actions to put us on a clear path towards this goal, as well as a range of further, longer-term actions to accelerate the transformation of our built environment.
More specifically, halving our emissions by 2030 requires:
- Accelerating Ireland’s national retrofit programme, including better supporting phased renovation.
- Better using our existing stock, including vacant and under-used properties.
- Reducing the carbon intensity of new construction and renovation through better design and innovation in low carbon construction materials and processes.
The below route map presents high level recommendations for policy-makers, finance, the construction industry and producers.
For further information on these actions, please see “Building a Zero Carbon Ireland” roadmap.
ENDORSE THE ROADMAP NOW
Over the next few months, the IGBC will keep working closely with all the stakeholders involved in the development of this roadmap and #BuildingLife ambassadors to ensure Ireland’s built environment is fully decarbonised across its whole life cycle by 2050 at the latest.
To support the IGBC with this work we encourage all our members to endorse this roadmap and to communicate extensively with clients, suppliers, and policymakers about the importance of addressing whole life carbon in the built environment.
If you choose the second option, simply download the letter of support, sign it, and return it to Danielle with permission to use your logo and/or name as part of the campaign.
You can also support us on social media! Choose the card you prefer and share it online using #BuildingLife hashtag and tagging IGBC.
Watch and share this video where Pat Barry, CEO of the IGBC, explains the key recommendations of “Building a Zero Carbon Ireland Roadmap”
Our campaign to fully decarbonised Ireland’s built environment by 2050 have been joined by industry leaders and key policy makers:
Ali Grehan (City Architect at Dublin City Council), John Maxwell (CEO at Lioncor), Francis Noel Duffy (T.D), David Browne (Managing Director at RKD Architects), Claire Pomroy (Director at Hines Real Estate Ireland), Wayne Metcalfe (Director at John Sisk and Sons), Ciaran Cuffe (MEP), Susan McGarry (Managing Director at Ecocem Ireland), Jeff Colley (Editor of Passive House Plus), Eoin Ó Broin (TD), Cian O’Callaghan (TD), Eugene O’Shea (Managing Director at Walls Construction), Oonagh Reid (Engineering Consultant at Arup), Rachael McGinley (Head Of Sustainability at CBRE), Pat Crean (CEO at Marlet), Kathryn Meghen (CEO at RIAI), Sarah Ingle (Secretary General at ACEI), Phelim O’Neill (Land Development Agency), Stephen O’Shea (Design Manager at Cairn Homes), Frances Fitzgerald (MEP), Ivana Bacik (TD), Robbie McGrath (D-RES).