Lunchtime Chats with the Irish Green Building Council: Towards a Regenerative Built Environment

A well-designed built environment that takes a positive approach to protecting and enhancing biodiversity can provide many co-benefits to society, from preventing flooding and overheating risk, to improving people’s health and wellbeing. However, construction and the built environment, as a carbon and resource intensive industry, is still too often associated with biodiversity loss, both on-site and off-site (i.e., to extract raw materials and produce construction materials).

Under Ireland’s National Development Plan, it is estimated that 400,000 new homes (approximately a fifth of the existing stock) must be delivered by 2031. Based on the density recommendations included in the National Planning Framework and current trends, 349km² are needed to build these homes, or a third of County Dublin (an estimate which does not even include the land required to build associated infrastructure). How can we deliver these homes and related infrastructures while protecting and enhancing biodiversity?

The presentation will explore what is required to address this challenge, from policy changes to tools (e.g., Biodiversity Net Gain and Home Performance Index) and mechanisms to be used. It will also discuss ways to find a balance between engagement with developers, a tick the box exercise and lack of engagement, as well as the role of ecologists in enhancing biodiversity in new build and large-scale renovation projects.

Request a link to watch the recording of this event by emailing the Irish Project Officer at