In response to the Government’s consultation for a ‘Definition of Zero Carbon Homes and Non-Domestic Buildings’, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has called for an all encompassing single national reference point for new buildings to create a level playing field across the UK.
Alan Crane CIOB Ambassador said: “The industry has got capacity which means people, technology and innovations to really tackle the carbon issue, but if we are to make a real difference we have to have stretching targets and not just scratch the surface. This will also bring social and economic benefits as well as the environmental impacts.”
In a submission to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) the CIOB has stated that a clear set of requirements from the Government is needed, and encourages joined-up thinking, inclusion of current industry knowledge and simplification across the industry to address the carbon footprint of new build and non-domestic existing buildings.
The CIOB has also called for a greater focus on existing buildings stating: “We feel the outcome of this consultation will influence new build homes and non-domestic buildings but only briefly touches on the bigger problem of the energy efficiency of the existing building stock.
“More than 80% of the 2025 building stock has already been built and improving the performance of the existing building stock is the most important and potentially effective area where carbon emissions can be significantly reduced.”
It is also the view of the CIOB that whilst the consultation considers the specific approaches that could be taken by Government and industry to address legally binding targets for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; it needs to consider the wider picture on a national scale.
In particular the CIOB is disappointed that the consultation does not consider the issue of embodied energy and believes that the UK Government should be taking a lead in developing national standards in that area. Transport, future maintenance and lifetime carbon costs were not considered within this consultation, and the CIOB’s submission has stressed that the link between these factors and the newly built environment cannot be ignored.