NATIONAL SUPPORTING PARTNER OF THE CAMPAIGN


The IGBC is the leading authority on sustainable building in Ireland. With a network of over  90 member organisations  from the entire value chain of the built environment, the IGBC is working to transform the Irish construction and property sector into a global leader in quality and sustainability.

More specifically, since 2015, the IGBC has been working to build a community of experts and stakeholders to develop the V2.0 National Renovation Strategy that Ireland must deliver by April 2017 under the Energy Efficiency Directive. This work, conducted as part of the H2020 funded   Build Upon project , led to the recent publication of a   Declaration in 10 Points for a Better National Renovation Strategy .

Our Vision

“A fully decarbonised built environment that delivers a better quality of life for all”

Context


The European Commission in its Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (2011), established a long-term objective of decreasing the CO2-emission levels for the building sector by 88%-91% in 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

Since the publication of this document and the adoption of the first version of Ireland’s National Renovation Strategy in April 2014, significant changes have occurred: Most notably, Irish urban areas are now facing housing shortages and a landmark agreement to fight climate change was reached at COP21. While Ireland is currently not on track to reach its 2020 emissions’ target, the goal set in Paris of limiting global warming to 1.5C puts even more pressure on the country. In particular, the construction sector is expected to compensate for the projected increases in emissions from agriculture and transport. This represents both enormous opportunities and challenges.

About Ireland's building stock


  • Commercial Building Stock

In Ireland, the commercial and industrial sectors combined account for close to 30% of total final energy consumption and comprise a heterogeneous mix of organisations, both in terms of activities and scale. Generally speaking, Ireland has a relatively unsophisticated commercial buildings stock, and a high incidence of buildings in which relatively basic upgrades could lead to significant energy savings (SEAI, 2015).

 

  • Residential Building Stock

The residential sector currently accounts for 27% of all energy usage in Ireland and emits 10.5 million tonnes of CO2 annually, making it the single largest source of emission after transport.

The average Irish home consumes some 20,000kwh of energy per year. Typically around 1/4 of total energy usage is attributable to electricity demand, with the remainder ¾ being used for heating purposes. This represents an average CO2 emission per household of 6.4 tonnes per annum with 3.9 tonnes (61%) from direct fuel use and the remaining 2.5 tonnes arising indirectly from electricity use.

Irish homes are relatively energy inefficient in comparison to average EU homes. The average residential housing is approximately equivalent to a D rating on the BER scale.

This is partially as a result of a legacy of no thermal performance standards prior to the introduction of Building Regulations in 1979. Nearly half of the current housing stock was completed prior to the introduction of Building Regulations and would have been subject to less demanding Local Authority Bye Laws or draft regulations, where they were applied. Furthermore, a large proportion of Irish homes are one-off, rural detached houses. These houses tend to be larger than the average EU home , have a greater number of rooms and be off the gas grid.

 

  • Public Sector Building Stock

There are more than 10,000 buildings in the public sector, including 5,000 schools, 3,000 offices and 2,000 health care facilities. The building stock in the public sector is thus extremely diverse.

A significant proportion of this stock is old, some of the buildings are protected structures and most have varying levels of energy efficiency.

The total energy spend across the public sector is approximately €600 million /year. It is estimated that 50% of this is from buildings.

 

The co-benefits of large scale deep renovation

Buildings have a large part to play in the abatement of greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet Ireland’s Climate Change targets, as well as reducing Ireland’s reliance on imported energy.

Furthermore, large scale deep renovation can have a positive impact on job creation and a myriad of social benefits such as better health and higher staff productivity.