• 25 Sep 2019

RIAI Policy Launch:  ‘Sustainability for the Current Global Crisis’

From LR: RIAI Practice Director Joe Miller;  Michael Goan, MRIAI, RIAI STF; RIAI President David Browne; RIAI CEO Kathryn Meghen and Natalie Walsh, MRIAI and Chair RIAI STF

Dublin, 25 September 2019, in response to the global climate crisis, the RIAI has launched an updated policy on Sustainability. This policy is set in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. Architecture interacts with each of the 17 goals, not just on an aspirational level or as future potential, but through realised buildings, settlements and cities all over the world.

The RIAI Sustainability Policy is available on the RIAI Website

Speaking on the launch of the RIAI Sustainability Policy, RIAI President David Browne said: “The built environment plays a big role in Climate Change - it has been estimated that the extraction, processing and transport of building materials, construction and the energy-in use of buildings, when combined, account for almost 50% of annual energy use, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, half of all raw material extraction and a third of all water use. By changing our design and construction processes, the built environment can positively change some of these statistics and contribute to Climate Change Action.

Architects Natalie Walsh, MRIAI and Michael Goan, MRIAI from the RIAI Sustainability Taskforce, which developed the policy say: “In the context of Climate Change there is an overwhelming professional obligation on Architects to take a leading role in tackling climate change in the built environment and on large-scale master planning projects to mitigate related environmental damage.”

This review and update of the RIAI Policy on Sustainability supports the objectives of the RIAI Strategy 2018-2022 and the commitments made by the RIAI to place the UN Sustainable Development goals at the core of architectural practice and sets out clear and measurable objectives for both the RIAI and practicing Architects to become industry leaders in developing a sustainable future for all.

Additionally, in recognition of the unique challenges that we now face, the five presidents of the architecture institutes of Ireland and Britain committed to drive forward five shared principles to strengthen and safeguard the future of the profession including a specific commitment to: “Lead the profession in the fight for a more sustainable built environment by placing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a key guiding principle in all they do.”

Download RIAI Sustainability Policy

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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For further information:
Dr Sandra O'Connell, RIAI Director of Architecture and Communications, T 01 6691474, soconnell@riai.ie