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Services

Sustainability

Our environmental roots mean that we have a unique ability to deliver projects that meet increasingly challenging sustainability standards.

Our approach seeks to integrate sustainability into projects and the decision making process from the outset. We consider the sustainability of every project in relation to environment and social responsibility. Our planners, engineers, environmental scientists and communications consultants adopt a holistic approach to developing solutions that minimise the adverse impacts of a project, whilst maximising the inherent benefits for clients and society.

RPS has been providing carbon management, corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) advisory services to our clients for over 15 years. We have developed carbon models and footprints for infrastructure and building projects.

We advise clients from planning, through preliminary and detailed design to procurement and construction stage on the key issues to be addressed to achieve sustainable infrastructure and building design.

Sustainable Buildings

Our approach to sustainable buildings is to address building structure, fabric, systems and processes throughout the building’s lifecycle, commencing from initial site selection. This approach requires collaboration with all of the stakeholders and design team. RPS has considerable experience of the LEED certification system and is LEED consultant on a number of office and manufacturing developments, including the Department of Justice Offices in Tipperary, which was completed in 2015 and achieved LEED Gold. We also have BREEAM Accredited Professionals, who can advise design teams on the most effective methods of delivering BREEAM buildings.

Case Studies

European Green Capital & European Green Leaf

European Green Capital & European Green Leaf

 

DG Environment, European Commission

RPS was the Secretariat for the European Green Capital Award from November 2010 to November 2015 and was reappointed in 2016 to manage both the European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards. These awards are an initiative of the European Commission.

Since the launch of the award in 2008, seven cities have held the European Green Capital title: Stockholm, Sweden in 2010; Hamburg, Germany in 2011; Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain's Basque region in 2012; Nantes, in Western France in 2013; the Danish capital, Copenhagen in 2014; Bristol in the UK in 2015; and Ljubljana in Slovenia in 2016. Essen in Germany holds the European Green Capital Award in 2017 and Nijmegan in the Netherlands will hold it in 2018.

As Secretariat, RPS manages the delivery of the competition on both technical and communications levels across the 28 Member States. We are responsible for public awareness through the European Green Capital Award / European Green Leaf website (www.europeangreencapital.eu), Facebook, Wikipedia and Twitter pages, and through various channels such as brochures and press releases.

The European Green Leaf, a competition for smaller cities was launched in 2015. This is aimed at cities with 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants that show a strong commitment to green growth, sustainable urban environment and ambitious plans for the future. Galway city in Ireland holds the European Green Leaf Award in 2017. In 2016, it was jointly awarded to the Spanish city of Mollet del Vallès and the Portuguese city of Torres Vedras.

Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector

Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

RPS developed Green Procurement Guidance for the public sector in the Republic of Ireland.

In 2014, RPS worked with Achilles Procurement Services to produce a guidance document for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The European Commission has proposed an initial target of 50% of all public tenders within the EU to include core green criteria. The development of this Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector will assist the Irish public sector to overcome barriers to green public procurement and implement best practices in this regard.

The guidance provides:

Definitions and examples of core and comprehensive criteria

Standard clauses for use in public sector green tender documents

Comprehensive procedures on the implementation of award criteria for green tenders

LEED Services for Department of Justice & Equality Offices, Tipperary

LEED Services for Department of Justice & Equality Offices, Tipperary

 

Image: Donal Murphy Photography

Stewart (on behalf of the OPW)

RPS has achieved LEED Gold Certification for the new 4,900m2 Department of Justice & Equality offices in Tipperary Town.

RPS was appointed in 2010 by Stewart and the OPW to act as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consultant for the project.

Our role on this project was to ensure that the development was specified according to the sustainability principles of the LEED certification system and that design and construction met the requirements of the LEED rating system to achieve the target of LEED Gold. This involved input to design team meetings and coordinating all of the stakeholders to ensure the delivery of the appropriate drawings and documents for review by the USGBC.

RPS’ experience in sustainable design, including waste prevention, minimisation and management and energy efficiency has proved hugely beneficial in the LEED process.

rx3 – Rethink, Recycle, Remake

rx3 – Rethink, Recycle, Remake

Department of Environment, Community & Local Government

RPS managed rx3 ‘rethink, recycle, remake’, a Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government (DECLG) programme.

‘rx3 – Rethink Recycle Remake’ was a new national platform set up in 2008 to assist national waste recycling for paper, plastics and organics based on resource efficiency. The main focus was on closing the material loop, through the development of markets for reusable, remanufactured and recyclable materials. This closed loop recycling project correctly anticipated the new ‘circular economy’ policy by the EU Commission favouring eco-innovation, economic development and job creation.

The project was managed by RPS over six years on behalf of the then Department of Environment, Community & Local Government. The final report on rx3 was published in late 2015. Three types of actions were completed by rx3:

 

Technical – e.g. the development of materials standards and systems of quality control so that the market can have confidence in the product’s consistency and reliability

Communications – overcoming barriers due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the possible benefits of recycled materials and their availability by creating dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders

Economic Incentives – supporting innovation and jobs, product development and cross-sectoral initiatives between those managing the waste and those creating new products

The project was of key strategic importance to the greening of the Irish economy and to the development of green enterprises in Ireland. The final report found that rx3 had proactively contributed to addressing key strategic areas including: Environmental Innovation and R&D, Low Carbon Economy, Green Enterprise, Green Economy, Economic Instruments to enhance the Green Economy and Benefits of North South Cooperation. In recognition of these achievements, rx3 won the Green Public Sector Award at the 2013 National Green Awards.

UCC Environmental Research Institute (ERI)

UCC Environmental Research Institute (ERI)

University College of Cork (UCC)

Ireland

RPS was contracted to design and supervise the installation of a new Environmental Research Institute (ERI) building in the University College of Cork (UCC).

The building is an eco-friendly green building utilising the current best available design features, specifications, fittings / materials, construction methods and control systems that conform to the principles of sustainable development and minimisation of environmental impact. The building serves as an interactive demonstration, teaching and research facility for design of future green buildings. The building was a recipient of the Irish Concrete Society Award for Sustainable Design.