Sustainable buildings

Sustainable design, construction and operation of our buildings can:

  • reduce energy use and carbon emissions associated with the design and operation of our buildings
  • reduce negative impacts on the environment
  • improve the health and comfort for building occupants

We have a responsibility and legal requirement to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings. This includes creating staff awareness to help us do this.

HSE Capital and Estates

HSE Capital and Estates ensures our healthcare facilities and buildings are sustainable. This relates to design and operation.

This is achieved by:

  • ensuring the development of sustainable facilities and buildings in both design and operation
  • upgrading existing buildings to improve energy efficiency and sustainability
  • using fuel-efficient technologies and smart energy management systems
  • developing innovative ways of improving the energy efficiency and sustainability of healthcare estates
  • providing technical support and advice to services
  • providing staff energy awareness advice and training to services

Climate Action and Sustainability Office

In 2021, the HSE established the Climate Action & Sustainability Office within Capital and Estates directorate.

The Climate Action & Sustainability Office focus is on reducing emissions from Health Services buildings, through the following programmes:

Estates Energy Bureau

There are Regional Estates Energy Bureau who have dedicated energy managers working with the largest Significant Energy User sites to:

  • establish energy teams
  • create registers of opportunities for energy saving projects
  • project manage energy saving capital works such as LED light replacement, heat pump installations, insulation, window replacement , PV panels
  • promote energy efficiency

Find out more about the Estates Energy Bureau.

Energy Efficient and Towards Zero Carbon Design

The HSE has implemented an Energy Efficient and Towards Carbon Zero Design approach for all new and replacement buildings as part of the HSE’s Capital Plan.

Energy Efficient Design (PDF, size 1.5 MB, 8 pages) An overview for Design Teams on EED approach for Healthcare Buildings provides guidance for Design Teams.

HSE Capital & Estates are providing EED training, in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, for:

  • HSE Project Managers and Estates staff
  • Section 38 and 39 technical services staff
  • HSE Design Team Framework Members

Please contact for more information on upcoming training.

Pathfinder Programme

A significant deep retrofit programme of existing buildings will be required to achieve climate action targets. This includes:

  • replacing fossil fuels with renewables
  • building fabric upgrades
  • electrifying heat and transport

The HSE in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, through the Pathfinder Programme ( seeks to:

  • develop a decarbonisation pathway for existing HSE facilities
  • identify the various challenges that may need to be overcome across the organisation

HSE Infrastructure Decarbonisation Roadmap

In October 2022 the HSE published its Infrastructure Decarbonisation Roadmap (PDF, size 4.6 MB, 43 pages). This Roadmap outlines our approach to achieving the targets set out in the Government's Climate Action Plan.
The targets for the Public Sector are:

  • a 51% absolute reduction in energy related Green House Gas emissions
  • a 50% energy efficiency improvement by 2030
  • to achieve net zero no later than 2050

The Roadmap outlines the work undertaken by the HSE to date and our approach to continuing to reduce carbon emissions from our buildings and their operation.