The research conducted within this dissertation examines the possibility of whole lifecycle carbon assessment being incorporated into the Irish Building Regulations in order to assist in our aims of reducing carbon emissions within the built environment, the reason for this is climate change which has been caused by human interference releasing excessive amounts of carbon emissions into the earth’s atmosphere. Climate change is having a disastrous effect on the world, all industries are required to reduce carbon emissions to limit the warming of the earth’s temperature.
In relation to the topic of whole lifecycle carbon assessment, there is limited literature available in Ireland. This dissertation is intended to fill the gap within the current literature as there are no studies focusing of the topic of incorporating whole lifecycle carbon assessment into Irelands Building Regulations. There are numerous other countries surpassing Ireland in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry. The literature review thoroughly examines measures being taken by other EU and non-EU countries and jurisdictions.
A mixed method research approach using quantitative and qualitative data has been utilized and the knowledge gained has been very beneficial. Through the interviews of industry leading stakeholders and a questionnaire which achieved responses of 50 construction professionals there are conclusive results firstly indicating that the quantity surveyor is the best placed professional to quantify, asses and report on whole lifecycle carbon and most importantly that a reform is required within our building regulations to incorporate mandatory whole lifecycle carbon assessment and upper limits to be set. Without this it is the view of the author, the relevant literature, the interviewee’s and questionnaire respondents that our aim of achieving net zero by 2050 and a 51% reduction 2030 cannot be achieved.
There is no silver bullet which can reduce our carbon emissions to the required level, a multi faceted approach must be taken, but what is certain is that whole lifecycle carbon limits and assessment will certainly assist in our climate action obligations.
The topic is gaining momentum, it is hoped this dissertation can assist in spreading awareness and informing the industry of the challenge and possible measures to assist in carbon emissions reduction.