15.7 - Climate Action

Chapter 3 sets out the policies and objectives for climate action in the city. Dublin City Council will encourage the use of sustainable development principles to combat climate impacts in line with the Dublin City Climate Action Plan (2019- 2024) or as amended.

To mitigate against negative climatic impacts, all new developments will be required to demonstrate compliance with the climate action principles set out in Chapter 3 and as detailed below.

15.7.1 Re-use of Existing Buildings

Where development proposal comprises of existing buildings on the site, applicants are encouraged to reuse and repurpose the buildings for integration within the scheme, where possible in accordance with Policy CA6 and CA7. Where demolition is proposed, the applicant must submit a demolition justification report to set out the rational for the demolition having regard to the ‘embodied carbon’ of existing structures and demonstrate that all options other than demolition, such as refurbishment, extension or retrofitting are not possible; as well as the additional use of resources and energy arising from new construction relative to the reuse of existing structures.

Existing building materials should be incorporated and utilised in the new design proposals where feasible and a clear strategy for the reuse and disposal of the materials should be included where demolition is proposed.

15.7.2 District Heating

District heating is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralised location for residential and commercial heating requirements such as space heating and water heating.

District heating systems will be supported in areas identified in Chapter 3: Climate Action. In these areas, all applications should be designed to cater for district heating systems. The details of the heating system proposed and compatibility with the district heating network should be specified in all planning applications. Applicants are requested to submit a Climate Action and Energy Statement with all planning applications in this zone – see below.

Where district heating systems are not yet in operation, the applicant is required to demonstrate how the proposed heating system of the development can connect and facilitate future use of the district heating system once in place, see policy CA15, CA16, CA17 and CA18 for further information.

15.7.3 Climate Action and Energy Statement

In order to comply with the policies set out in Section 3.5.2 ‘The Built Environment’ and Section 3.5.3 ‘Energy’ of Chapter 3, proposals for all new developments in excess of 30 or more residential units or 1,000 sq. m. or more of commercial floor space, or as or as otherwise required by the Planning Authority, will be required to include a Climate Action Energy Statement.

The purpose of this statement is to demonstrate how low carbon energy and heating solutions have been considered as part of the overall design and planning of the proposed development. Having regard to the above, the statement, which shall be prepared by a certified engineer, shall address:

  • the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of on-site renewable energy generation including solar PV and small scale wind power;
  • the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of at a minimum, the following high-efficiency alternative energy supply and heating systems:
    • decentralised energy supply systems based on energy from renewable and waste heat sources;
    • co-generation (combined heat and power);
    • district or block heating or cooling, particularly where it is based entirely or partially on energy from renewable and waste heat sources;
    • heat pumps;
    • include an assessment of embodied energy impacts.        ‘District Heating Enabled’ Development

In addition to the requirements set out above, Climate Action Energy Statements for significant new residential and commercial developments, in Strategic Development and Regeneration Areas (SDRAs), will be required to investigate local heat sources and networks, and, where feasible, to demonstrate that the proposed development will be ‘District Heating Enabled’ in order to facilitate a connection to an available or developing district heating network.

Any such investigation should have regard to the heat demand density of the area in which the proposed development is located, as shown in the heat demand density map included as Figure 15.1 below. This map which was produced by Codema, and is included here for information purposes only, shows the overall heat demand density in each CSO electoral district in the Dublin City area.

Figure 15.1:  Heat Demand Density Map

Figure 15.1:  Heat Demand Density Map

Where it is not feasible for a development to be district heat enabled, the statement must provide a clear explanation as to why this is would not be the case, and must also demonstrate that the proposed development offers a similarly efficient and low carbon energy and heating solution.

For the avoidance of doubt, for a development to be ‘District Heating Enabled’, it should incorporate an efficient, low carbon building heat network, and/or a block communal heating network, in order to facilitate a future connection to a district heating network, without the need for significant additional retrofitting. To this end, ‘District Heating Enabled’ development should provide for:

  • an efficient, centralised, wet-based heat network within the building or within the area of the development as a whole (as appropriate);
  • the allocation of sufficient space in plant rooms to accommodate suitable district heating equipment, such as heat exchangers etc.;
  • the provision and safeguarding of suitable pipe routes throughout the building and complex;
  • the provision and safeguarding of suitable district heating network connection routes at and beyond the site boundary[1].

In addition to this overall requirement for SDRAs, additional requirements exist for significant development proposals in specific areas as follows:

  • SDRA 6 (Docklands) and 10 (North East Inner City):

The Climate Action Energy Statement must demonstrate how the proposed development is District Heating Enabled and will connect to the ‘Docklands and Poolbeg’ DDHS catchment.

  • SDRA 7 (Heuston and Environs), SDRA 8 (Grangegorman/Broadstone ) SDRA 11 (St. Teresa’s Garden and Environs), SDRA12 (Dolphin House) SDRA 14 (St. James’s Healthcare Campus and Environs SDRA 15 (Liberties and Newmarket Square):

The Climate Action Energy Statement will be required to investigate possible connections or interconnections to existing heat networks in these areas, to ultimately create a district heating ‘node’.

Where a proposed development will be ‘District Heating Enabled’, the Climate Action Energy Statement will provide the information requested in the following table:


Table 15-3:      Information Requirements for District Heating Enabled Developments

Heat Demand Information

Required Peak Heat Demand (kW)

Estimated Annual Heat Consumption (MWh pa)

Estimated Seasonal Base Load (kW)

Gross Floor Area m2

Heat Demand per m2 GFA (w/M2)

Heat Consumption per m2 GFA (kWh/m2)

Number of Residential Dwellings

Number of Boilers and their heat outputs

Secondary Side Design Conditions

Flow Temperature (max at peak) 0C

Flow Temperature (min in Summer) 0C

Return Temperature 0C

Maximum Design Working Pressure, bar G

Pressure Drop Through Heat Exchange, Kpa

Plant Room Details

Number of Heat Exchangers Proposed

Size of Skids (LxWxH),m

Size of Plant Room (LxWxH),m

Location of Plant Room (attach sketch)

Access Details (attach sketch)

Other Comments


[1] Additional information in respect to ensuring that a development is ‘District Heating Enabled’ is provided can be found in the Dublin City Council ‘Dublin District Heating System Technical Information Pack for Developments’ which is available for download at: