Policy

Greening public procurement

Greening public procurement
Ireland has been waiting for a green procurement plan in the public sector for two years. Jason Walsh looks at what the plan should include and why it is needed, now more than ever, and with sustainable building at its core.

Ghost estates

Ghost Estates
Due to the ill-considered productivity of the house building industry towards the tail end of the economic boom, Ireland is now saddled with hundreds of thousands of vacant homes in various states of completion. Structural engineer Sadhbh Ní Hógáin, currently writing her thesis for a masters architectural degree in advanced environmental and energy studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology, looks at the options Ireland has to address the problem.

The natural step

 The Natural Step
A framework for strategic sustainability is essential if we’re serious about greening the Irish built environment.
According to green architect Pat Barry, we should look no further than The Natural Step.

Pay as you save

Pay as you save
In an ideal world every occupied building in Ireland would be energy upgraded to the highest standard, tapping into numerous benefits for the building occupant, the construction industry and society as a whole. Construct Ireland is calling for the introduction of pay as you save, a repayment model which offers the potential of making significant energy upgrade investments achievable in the vast majority of Irish buildings, as Jeff Colley reveals.

EPA

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‘‘We have a body of extremely experienced and competent staff who will be able to hit the ground running”

The wind industry

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In light of the failure of AER 5 and the widespread pessimism in the wind industry regarding converting AER 6 contracts into operating wind farms, we asked the six main political parties what their proposals are for the development of an Irish wind industry.

The Lay of the land

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The unprecedented development seen in Ireland in the Celtic Tiger years was fueled by the availability of cheap, abundant fossil energy. As the boom ends, the state is attempting to boost the economy with investment in larger than ever infrastructural projects which will not benefit many of the tax payers who are funding them, and crucially don’t recognize the extent to which peak oil production will affect their viability, as Richard Douthwaite reveals.

All new build & retrofits must be carbon neutral

Construct Ireland meets former TD and MEP Brendan Halligan in his Baggot Street office to discuss the “appalling” state of the country’s building stock, and how Ireland can become a world leader in wind energy.

Private joke

Public private partnership schemes have come to dominate many aspects of Irish infrastructural development, from toll roads to urban regeneration schemes
Public private partnership schemes have come to dominate many aspects of Irish infrastructural development, from toll roads to urban regeneration schemes. Jason Walsh asks if they amount to privatisation by stealth and whether they come at too high a social and environmental cost.

From Rio to here

BRENDAN HOWLIN, T.D., Minister for the Environment (1994-1997) reflects on the blueprints, policies, and commitments that emerged from the Rio Earth Summit and looks at how far we have progressed since

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