Building-related emissions will play a critical role in achieving the goal stated by the Paris agreement to remain between 1.5 and 2 degrees above the pre-industrial level. In Europe, a long-term objective of decreasing the CO2-emission levels for the building sector by 88%-91% in 2050 compared to 1990 levels was established in 2011.
Upgrading our buildings so that they use less energy is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce Ireland’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Building renovation also has several side effects, often yielding substantial benefits – environmental, economic and social. These co-benefits can accrue to the building users (e.g. increased comfort and better health) but also to society (e.g. job creation and energy security).
Significant progress has been made in accelerating our energy efficiency over the last 15 years. Yet, as many as one million Irish homes remain significantly inefficient and need upgrade work between now and 2050 if Ireland is to reach its climate targets. Putting Ireland on realistic trajectory to climate targets require step change in both the level of activity and the “depth” of energy efficiency upgrades.
DEVELOPING IRELAND’S NATIONAL RENOVATION STRATEGY
For 2 years, IGBC worked in close cooperation with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) to build a community of experts and stakeholders to develop Ireland’s new National Renovation Strategy.
Close to 200 key stakeholders took part in a process which led to the launch of a final set of recommendations in February 2017. The final set of recommendations can be downloaded here.
Several official documents now reference the process and some recommendations have been incorporated into policies – See Ireland Long-term Renovation Strategy 2017-2020 and Ireland’s Public Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy.
This work was completed as part of the EU funded Build Upon project and has influenced the development of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) 2018 Recast. Some of the recommendations made at the time are part of the 2018’s Directive:
- National Energy Renovation Strategies must be drafted with the aim of transforming the building stock, into a “highly efficient and decarbonized building stock by 2050, facilitating the cost-effective transformation of the existing buildings into nZEB”.
- Strategies must be publicly consulted and there shall also be an inclusive consultation during the implementation phase.
- EU countries have to set 2030 and 2040 milestones and define “measurable progress indicators” e.g. renovation rates or a maximum energy consumption per square meter.
- Support for the implementation of energy efficient mortgages for certified energy efficient building renovations
The IGBC and its members are now working on the implementation of this strategy.
Reports of the 14 individual workshops organised in Ireland as part of Build Upon and copies of the first two first iterations of the final set of recommendations are available below:
- Build Upon – Workshop 1 – Deep Renovation in Commercial Buildings
- Build Upon – Workshop 2 – Deep Renovation in Residential Buildings – 1
- Build Upon – Workshop 3 – Residential Buildings – 2
- Build Upon – Workshop 4 – Public Buildings Sector
- Build Upon – Workshop 4b – Green Leases
- Declaration in 10 Points for a Better National Renovation Strategy – Initial Set of Recommendations 1 (Sept. 2016)
- Build Upon – Workshop 5 Report – Cork
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 1 – Co-Benefits of Deep Renovation
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 2 – Upskilling of the Construction Industry (1)
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 3 – Making Deep Renovation As Easy As Possible
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 4 – Enabling Financial Tools & Mobilising Private Funds – Green Mortgages
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 5 – Upskilling of the Construction Industry (2) – Pre-1945 Buildings
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 6 – Setting the Right Standards (1)
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 7 – Investing in Deep Renovation Now
- Build Upon – Mini Workshop 8 – Setting the Right Standards (2) – Public Procurement
- Build Upon – Draft Set of Recommendations – Iteration 2 (Dec. 2016)
- Build Upon – Workshop 6 Report – Jan. 2017
IMPLEMENTING IRELAND’S NATIONAL RENOVATION STRATEGY
Multiple measures must be implemented in a consistent and coordinated manner to tackle barriers to deep energy renovation. As stakeholder engagement is as critical in the implementation phase of the strategy as it is in the designed stage – EPBD, 2018, the IGBC is now working with its members to implement some of the recommendations made as part of the consultation for a Better National Renovation Strategy.
- Supporting investment in deep energy renovation: Energy Efficient Mortgages (Recommendation 3.12)
- Facilitating Deep Energy Renovation: Building Renovation Passports (Recommendation 5.6)
- Making Sure we Have the Right Skills: Upskilling Building Professionals and Construction Workers in holistic energy renovation (Recommendation 6)
- Setting the Right Standard: Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for rented properties (Recommendation 7.4)
A number of stakeholders have also taken ownership of these recommendations and are now delivering on them. These include SCSI’s work on building performance leases (recommendation 3.13) and a large piece of research produced by the Heritage Council on deep retrofit of traditional buildings (recommendation 5.3).
The Irish Green Building Council is Renovate Europe’s national partner in Ireland. Renovate Europe is the only EU-wide campaign that focuses exclusively on ambitious renovation of the building stock in Europe and is the voice that ‘bangs the drum’ for energy efficient renovations, taking a technology neutral, integrated and holistic approach to energy efficient renovations. Read more.
For further information on IGBC’s projects on energy renovation, please contact Marion.