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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the implementation and impact of the new retrofitting plan, the matter of emissions generally in the built environment sector, including embodied emissions, construction and demolition, and recycling and reuse of materials. On behalf of the committee, I welcome from the Irish Green Building Council Mr. Pat Barry, its chief executive officer, and Ms...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Dr. Kinnane. Dr. Lindblom is joining us online. I understand she does not have a formal statement but if she wishes to make any comments or respond to some of the points already made, she is more than welcome to do so.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Dr. Lindblom for her statement. There were some very interesting points. We will go to questions and answers. We are limited to three hours for this meeting. I propose that members take two minutes to ask their questions and we will give latitude to our guests to answer them, taking as much time as they need, within reason. Is that agreed? Agreed. I ask members to raise their...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Is there no such thing in place at the moment?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Is there nothing at all?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: That is interesting.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: How close are we to introducing the kinds of systems we need? When we spoke before, Mr. Barry mentioned that the UK has a significant database of buildings and embodied emissions associated with its building stock. Is that correct?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: On the train coming here, I read the report Dr. Kinnane co-authored. As usual, I did not have enough time to get through it but it is a very impressive report. If he wants to try to address the question as well, he should feel free to do so.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I will allow other members in. Deputy Bruton had his hand up first.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Does Dr. Lindblom wish to contribute?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Dr. Lindblom. I might add to Deputy Bruton’s question on the timeline of the directive. Perhaps Dr. Lindblom can point to countries that are getting ahead of the directive and we should be looking to emulate.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Ms Lindblom for that and Deputy Bruton for his questions. I move now to Deputy Whitmore, who is also joining us from her office. Is that correct?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: On the second question, none of our speakers is speaking for the SEAI, but it is a very good question that we should put to it-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Okay.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I would like to interject on that and the model. It is the full built environment sector, so it includes buildings, roadway construction and everything else as well.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: There was a question on the performance gap that Dr. Kinnane identified, which was an interesting and worrying point in his statement that Deputy Whitmore referenced.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I will pick up on the point raised by Mr. Barry regarding boilers. A condensing boiler may be installed to bring a house up to a particular BER level, but that might not be the correct decision for someone who may want to go the whole way eventually. Where are we at in respect of regulation to phase out fossil fuel boilers? There is something in the climate action plan about it, if I am...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: There are two sides to it: the phasing out of the sale of fossil fuel boilers and the installation of fossil fuel boilers in new homes. Are we still building new homes that have fossil fuel boilers in them?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Certainly, some important points have been made. When we do our report, we will try to capture those critical points as best we can. I call on Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Sadly, the Deputy only mentioned Cork once. We are getting somewhere.

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