Construct Innovate, the national research centre for construction technology and innovation hosted by University of Galway, has announced the Land Development Agency (LDA) as its first patron member.

Construct Innovate has more than 60 industry associate member organisations as it aims to provide industry-led, independent, evidence-based research through collaboration, focusing on devising solutions for key industry challenges and meeting the demands of Ireland’s major building and investment programmes.

Wider Irish built environment sector

The LDA patron membership builds on the collaboration already under way with Construct Innovate on several projects and initiatives to support the work of the LDA and the wider Irish built environment sector.

Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, director of Construct Innovate, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Land Development Agency as Construct Innovate’s first patron member. LDA’s vision to provide housing that supports sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant communities aligns very closely with Construct Innovate’s focus on people-centric research and innovation. This collaboration will drive the transition towards a sustainable construction and built environment sector.”

John Coleman, chief executive of the Land Development Agency said: “The LDA is proud of its sustainability record and this partnership with Construct Innovate will place us at the centre of innovative design and technological research. This important collaboration will enable us to develop new building methodologies and help shape the environmental credentials of the next generation of LDA homes.”

A series of projects and initiatives delivered by the LDA in collaboration with Construct Innovate partners, are under way:

  1. HEATCHECK is a platform developed through funding from the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI), which uses sensors to monitor CO2, humidity and temperature in about 100 LDA developed homes to understand building performance and behaviour when occupied. The data will help to inform future building standards to ensure healthy, low energy homes.
  2. INDICATE is a Carbon Life Cycle Assessment Procedure offering a standardised approach to calculating the carbon associated with the production, construction, operation and end-of-life stages of a building life cycle. It benchmarks the carbon associated with different building types in Ireland (residential, offices, hospitals etc) which the LDA uses to understand and minimise the carbon impact of their developments and support the development of policy recommendations.
  3. The LDA is partnering with the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) on a project to mainstream biodiversity in the construction sector by developing high-quality, practical case studies on how to protect and enhance biodiversity in the most common building typologies and infrastructure found in Irish towns and cities. It is supported through the first Construct Innovate Seed Fund call from 2023.

The LDA is a member of the IGBC’s Community of Practice on Biodiversity and the Built Environment, which Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcom Noonan T.D. launched in May 2023 to share and promote discussion and what is working well in Biodiversity and the Built Environment.