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UCD Campus Development

Forbairt Champas UCD

Sustainable Campus


The University commits to the ideals of sustainability and to promoting the campus as an exemplar of sustainable development. This is a core theme of the UCD Strategic Campus Development Plan 2016-2021-2026.

The effect of all developments on the environment, both in terms of initial construction and the life-time of the building, are carefully considered. The UCD O’Brien Centre for Science is an embodiment of this approach, achieving a BREEAM Excellent award in sustainability for the way in which the building was designed and constructed. The University’s focus on sustainability can also be seen in the Roebuck Castle Student Residences which are certified to Passivhaus standard, and in the new Ashfield Residences which incorporate low-energy design, a significant solar energy installation, rainwater harvesting and features a “green” roof.

UCD is committed to delivering the Public Sector 2020 Energy Targets of 33% improved efficiency, having achieved a 25.6% reduction to-date. This ambitious target will be achieved through continuous improvement of the UCD energy management system in line with ISO50001, the integration of energy efficient design features in new construction and major refurbishment works, as well as through enhanced user behaviour facilitated by energy awareness and engagement campaigns. New developments and major renovations present a significant opportunity to improve the sustainability of the buildings on campus.

In promoting a healthy living campus, over eight kilometres of walking, jogging and cross-country woodland paths have been introduced in recent years. This comprehensive network of attractive and meandering paths enables participation for every ability and fitness level. Students, staff and the wider community are encouraged to enjoy the parkland setting of the Belfield Campus, while discovering more about the University, the original estate houses including their surrounding landscape, and the UCD Sculpture Trail.

The unique landscape and woodland setting of the campus is a major asset to UCD. It is an invaluable leisure amenity for the University community as well as a haven for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Incorporating input from staff and students, this unique environment will be protected and enriched, with landscaping initiatives designed to enhance biodiversity, the public realm and integration of the built and natural environments.

The Plan promotes a strong integration and relationship within the network of green spaces and promotes universal and inclusive design, whereby campus facilities can be used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of age, ability or disability.

The Belfield Campus will continue to be developed for faculty, staff, students and visitors and acts as a public engagement resource for the neighbouring community. The campus acts as a recreational, cultural and social resource with improved accessibility for the wider community. This fosters a positive interaction of the University while creating a permeable campus and synergies with the wider local community.

The UCD Campus generates significant levels of economic activity, stimulating employment and generating output across a wide range of sectors. With a population of approximately 31,000 (including students, faculty, staff and visitors) UCD is one of the largest originators of journeys in the Greater Dublin Area. In this regard, Smarter Travel arrangements to and from the Belfield Campus, which reduce dependence on the car, will be actively promoted. This will further enhance the sustainability of the campus and wider community.

Sustainable Campus