Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

David Cadogan


This report defines sustainability and sustainable development before any research is carried out. This is necessary so that the research carried out further in the report makes sense and there is a reason for including such items in this report. The need for this project and what the project aims to achieve is also highlighted in the introduction of this report.

Sustainability is made up of three equal parts; social, economic and environmental. This report goes through each item and gives examples of each type of development. Having discussed sustainability in a broad sense the report then focuses on Legislation that has an impact on Ireland in terms of sustainability. The Planning Act, Building Control Act, Building Regulations and the EU 2020 Climate and Energy Package have all direct influences on the developments that are constructed in the is country.

When investigating sustainability in Ireland it was important to compare Ireland to what otlier countries in Europe and throughout the world are doing when it comes to sustainability. A number of international sustainability analysis tools have been compared to detennine their merits in terms of adopting them into this decision making tool being created or in fact adapting them to suit Ireland. Other international practices that have a use in Ireland have also been reviewed such as Sustainable Urban Drainage and Cost Benefit Analysis. The Greater Dublin Drainage Study investigated the merits and uses of sustainable urban drainage and as a result it has been included in the Building Regulations as a suitable option for drainage issues that arise from a development. Cost Benefit Analysis has been looked at as it is quite similar to a sustainability analysis in that not just financial aspects of a project are looked at and a value put on these items. The net result of all the costs and benefits to a development determines if the project is viable and sustainable. Again this is originally an international practice but today is relevant in terms of an Irish context.

Finally the method of creating this tool has been investigated with the focus on Microsoft Excel and the VBA function in Excel. This will be the starting point for the tool as the computer programming code associated for with VBA has been studied and the basics learned so as to get a strong foothold when starting to create the tool. A timeline for works in the implementation phase has also been included which has realistic targets set out as well as a step by step guide as to how the next phase of the project will be completed.

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