9.3.8 Embodied Energy

Closed22 Dec, 2020, 9:00am - 12 Mar, 2021, 5:00pm
​​​​​​9.3.8 Embodied Energy

A large portion of Kilkenny’s buildings were constructed using traditional materials and building techniques.  While the use of cement became more common from the early 20th century onwards, dwellings prior to that consisted of stone, brick, lime mortar, with timber sash windows and a slate or thatched roof.

These traditional materials allow the necessary permeability required for these traditionally constructed buildings, while also being the sources of stored carbon. The phrase “the greenest building, is the one that is already built” acknowledges the embodied energy and carbon within these buildings.  Embodied energy is the energy required for the construction of a structure, from extraction of the raw materials, manufacturing processes, transport, machinery involved in the construction right through to completion of the building.  The demolition of buildings for new development results in enormous loss of embodied energy, while simultaneously creating more waste in landfills and the need for new materials which produce vast amounts of carbon.  

Kilkenny County Council are committed to a sustainable development building approach, and will assess the potential for reuse and refurbishment of current building stock as an alternative to demolition of existing buildings. 

The Council recognises the embodied energy within our traditionally constructed building stock while assessing proposals for demolition or development and will ensure that refurbishment works to traditionally constructed buildings will not be detrimental to the occupants or to the fabric of the building.

Development Management Requirements:

  • To  have regard to the DCHG Advice Series on Energy when assessing energy upgrades of traditionally constructed buildings. 
  • To assess the whole life energy costs, its lifespan and durability of new building stock, as part of proposals to demolish traditionally constructed structures in favour of new development. 
  • To ensure refurbishment work on these buildings is undertaken in an appropriate manner using suitable materials.