Irish Green Building Council

Building standards and the national retrofit programme

Sir, – The headline “State may need to limit home-building to just 21,000 units a year to meet climate targets” (Business, October 13th) is misleading. The Irish Green Building Council nowhere suggests that Government should deliver fewer homes in a housing crisis, but by better using our existing stock, we can deliver more homes, faster, and reduce our carbon emissions.

Our sector accounts for 37 per cent of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, the same as agriculture. Building standards and the national retrofit programme should lead to a significant decrease in emissions associated with the energy we use to heat and light our homes. But this saving will be negated if we do not address embodied carbon emissions from the production of construction materials and the construction process itself.

This requires a quick transition to low-carbon construction processes and materials, and a better use of our existing stock. The embodied carbon of a deep retrofit is approximately 25 per cent the carbon intensity of new build.

Supporting the re-use of these buildings would allow us to deliver more homes, faster and for less cost in manpower, materials, and carbon emissions, while creating vibrant communities in our village, town, and city centres. – Yours, etc,



Chief Executive,

Irish Green Building Council,

Dublin 1.