• 11 Mar 2024

RIAI/DHLGH National Housing Conference 2024: Diversifying and Expanding our Housing Delivery

Dublin, 11 March 2024: The RIAI, in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH), today opened the Joint National Housing Conference.

Taking place in Waterford on 11 and 12 March, this year’s conference, entitled Diversifying and Expanding our Housing Delivery, brings together high-profile speakers from government, local authorities, industry, and practice to explore solutions for the challenges Ireland faces in housing planning, design and delivery in the decades.

Left to Right: Áine Stapleton, Assistant Secretary DHLGH; Graham Doyle, Secretary General DHLGH; Sean Mahon, RIAI President; Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of Waterford; Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO
Left to Right: Áine Stapleton, Assistant Secretary DHLGH; Graham Doyle, Secretary General DHLGH; Sean Mahon, RIAI President; Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of Waterford; Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO

Speakers include national and international housing experts including architects, urban designers, policy makers and planners.

The Winning practices of the DHLGH and RIAI architectural design competition for Town Centre Living will present their winning schemes for public housing in the town centres of Castleblayney, Kildare, Roscrea and Sligo.

Minister Darragh O’Brien said,

“This conference serves as a timely reminder of the significance of collective gatherings in exchanging knowledge and embracing fresh ideas, enabling us to confront the numerous challenges we face. I was especially pleased to see that the theme this year is Expanding and Diversifying our Residential Delivery. This is particularly appropriate as it coincides with a number of initiatives my Department has undertaken to expand and diversify our housing output. Measures such as the Town Centre First policy, the new Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines and the reshaping of our planning laws mean that we are growing in a manner that establishes sustainable communities in our cities and towns.”


Speaking at the conference RIAI President Sean Mahon said,

“This conference offers a unique opportunity for the built environment professionals in the public and private sectors to come together to discuss and develop innovative ideas for housing delivery. Housing is critical infrastructure required to sustain human well-being. Architects have a leadership role in driving innovation in housing design solutions the conference is an excellent opportunity to hear about new models and solutions that exist for housing delivery, but also to discuss the challenges impeding progress.” He continued: “Our discussions are set against a background of increasing urbanisation, the vast demographic changes in Ireland and the need to mitigate against climate change. The provision of high-quality homes, neighbourhoods and urban settlements are drivers of climate resilience social cohesion, cultural vibrancy, and economic growth. It is through collaboration, sharing experiences and ideas, and forward-looking thinking that we can achieve these objectives and enable the delivery of long-term sustainable housing for our people.”


The conference will include an in-depth introduction to the Compact Settlement Guidelines and Design Manual. These guidelines will enable the building of a new type of housing development and bridge the gap between unsustainable suburban sprawl and unaffordable apartments.

The programme will also include further sessions examining ‘Quality Masterplanning’; ‘Sustainable Compact Settlements’; ‘Delivering at Scale’; ‘Town Centre First Initiatives’ and ‘Tackling Vacancy’.

As is now traditional, the conference will feature the presentation to the winner of the biennial RIAI Silver Medal for Housing.

Also included in the programme are a study tour of new housing projects and of the high-quality public realm in Waterford, which has been developed by an architect-led multidisciplinary team in Waterford County Council.

The full programme is available to view here.

For media queries, please contact:

Saara Nevala-Bergin, Drury Communications, saara.nevala-bergin@drury.ie, tel. 089 608 0927
Dr Sandra O'Connell, RIAI Director of Architecture and Communications; soconnell@riai.ie, tel. 087 279 1612