Launch of Sustainable Design Pathways by RIAI

3 D Personnel

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, (RIAI), has launched a guide, Sustainable Design Pathways, for architects to incorporate sustainability in their practices and projects.  Engineers, surveyors, planners, architects and all relevant construction professionals, will find advice on how best to tackle carbon emissions in the construction industry, in line with the Irish government’s Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill.

Some of the key areas include ensuring there is a Sustainable Design Champions on the design team, actively manage sustainable design metrics, choosing low impact, low embodied carbon products and materials; and focusing on delivering net zero operational carbon standards.

The guide recommends the following 10 sustainable design pathways:

  1. “…Commit to a target of net zero emission building and to the development of these further as outlined in the RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge to be published later in 2021.
  2. Assign a Sustainable Design Champion within the practice and on each design team to review sustainable design progress at key points on each project.
  3. Set at least 5 sustainable design metrics in all projects going forward.
  4. Aim to add another 5 metrics to each subsequent project.
  5. Deliver net zero operational carbon in all projects going forward.
  6. Commit to performance in use of verification in all projects going forward.
  7. Commit to Simple Review Post Occupancy Evaluation in all projects going forward.
  8. Plan to integrate External and Detailed Review Post Occupancy Evaluation in subsequent projects.
  9. Replace 5 material products with low impact, low embodied carbon products in each project going forward.
  10. Upskill further where required in the use of appropriate sustainability assessment techniques and tools during the design process…”

Also, the following design practices should be considered:

  1. “…Protect natural habitats, trees and biodiversity
  2. Reuse and readapt existing buildings where possible
  3. Adopt a fabric-first approach
  4. Prioritise energy efficiency
  5. Adopt net zero energy buildings target
  6. Eliminate CO2 emissions
  7. Create parkland on brownfield sites
  8. Adopt a circular economy approach to reduce construction waste…”

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