• 04 Nov 2021

RIAI sets climate challenge for architects

The RIAI has launched the "2030 Climate Challenge" policy calling for urgent action to be taken by architects and the wider construction industry in tackling the current climate emergency.

2030 Climate Challenge is a climate change initiative to encourage the profession and wider construction industry to achieve net zero whole life carbon for all new and retrofitted buildings by 2030.

The RIAI 2030 Climate Challenge asks architects 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 

Speaking about the launch RIAI President, Ciaran O’Connor FRIAI said: “The RIAI is delighted to launch our 2030 Climate Challenge. We are in the midst of a climate emergency which is the biggest challenge to face our planet, our people and our industry.  We need urgent action and leadership by architects and the wider construction industry. As professionals we have solutions, and we want to play our part in addressing this emergency and to collectively rise to this challenge.  The task is urgent, and we need to work immediately to reduce our carbon emissions in order to limit the devastating impacts of global warming.  By launching this document, we are encouraging architects and our colleagues in construction to take the RIAI Climate Challenge, to evaluate the way they currently design and to make the necessary changes needed to meet the reductions and targets outlined in this document”.

The Climate Challenge document was originally developed by the Royal Institute of British Architects and adapted for Ireland by the RIAI. 

RIBA President, Simon Allford, said: “The construction industry needs to work together so I am extremely encouraged to see the RIAI adopt a similar set of standards to the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge. Changing the way we practice to combat climate change is no longer an option, and we’re confident that these 2030 targets for embodied carbon, energy and water use will place projects on the trajectory towards net zero. I urge all RIAI members to sign-up and commit themselves to designing for outcome-based building performance.” 

This common approach – between RIAI and RIBA – facilitates a progressive approach on Climate Change Action across the island of Ireland.

Full document is available here

For media queries, please contact: 
Kelly French, Drury Communications
Danielle Martin, Drury Communications

About the RIAI 
Founded in 1839, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland supports and regulates the architectural profession and promotes the value that architecture brings to society for everyone’s benefit.  
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