• 23 Feb 2023

RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge Update

The world is facing an unprecedented climate crisis. We must take urgent action to mitigate climate change and limit the rise of global temperature to below 1.5°C.  

As part of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, the Government have committed that all new buildings (dwellings, commercial and public) will be designed and constructed to Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standard by 2025, and Zero Emission Building (ZEB) standard by 2030. With the long gestation time of some projects, this means that we must start acting now in order to implement these changes.  

In 2019 the RIAI joined the global declaration of an environment and climate emergency. To assist Architects and our colleagues in the Construction Industry to take action, in 2021 the RIAI launched the RIAI Sustainable Pathways Guide and the RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge. Both documents are part of a climate change initiative to urge the Architectural profession and wider construction industry to achieve net zero whole life carbon for all new and retrofitted buildings by 2030. 

The RIAI is committed to inspiring excellence in architecture to deliver a sustainable and resilient future. That includes encouraging a better performance-based approach to building design as early in the process as possible; one where outcomes are measured along the journey and the performance of the building after completion is just as important.

The RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge is a voluntary initiative, which sets out measured targets to be achieved by 2025 and 2030 for new building projects, depending on the design timeline. The RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge asks Clients, Architects and other members of the design team to commit to four key targets: 

  • Reduce operational energy demand by as far as possible, before notional offsetting  
  • Reduce embodied carbon by at least 40%, before notional offsetting 
  • Reduce potable water use by at least 40%  
  • Achieve core health and wellbeing targets  

Figure 1 Extract from RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge 

To find out more please visit the RIAI Sustainability webpage. If you are interested in signing up to the Climate Challenge, please click the join up button on the webpage. A webpage displaying all the signatories will be launched shortly. 

Starting in March, we will be exploring the various aspects of the RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge in greater depth through a monthly sustainability series within the RIAI e-newsletter.