House of Lords Zero Carbon Homes Ruling

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Zero Carbon Homes

Sustainable Housing UK: British Built Environment Policy News

27 Apr 2016

House of Lords Zero Carbon Homes Ruling

House of Lords Reinstate Zero Carbon Homes Policy

In a report published today the House of Lords ‘Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment’ announced a strong statement to the Government to reinstate the Zero Carbon new homes standard.

Amongst other items it concludes:

“The Government should reverse its decision to remove the requirement for new homes to generate no net carbon emissions (known as the “zero carbon homes” policy)…. The Government must set out and implement a viable trajectory towards energy efficiency and carbon reduction in new homes.”

House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment – Zero Carbon Homes Excerpts

53. As part of its wider effort to increase housing supply the Government has also committed to reducing the amount and extent of regulation facing housebuilders. This was emphasised in the Productivity Plan, which stated that the Government did not intend to proceed with the zero carbon allowable solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or an increase in on-site energy efficiency standards that had been proposed for 2016.

201. In July 2015, the Government announced it was scrapping a proposed regulation to require all new homes to be carbon neutral from 2016, known as the “zero carbon homes” policy.213 This was justified in the Government’s 2015 “Productivity Plan” on the grounds that it was seeking to continue to reduce the overall burden of regulation on housebuilders.

204. Elaborating on this point, we were told that the removal of the zero carbon homes requirement had generated uncertainty for housebuilders: “In the last 10 years we have had this very clear trajectory and everyone has known where they are going and have had a lot of time to put in place the strategies. Now we do not know where we are going. We do not know when the next update to building regulations might be and, therefore, industry has nothing to place its investment in. Not only have we had wasted investment, but we now have no replacement trajectory. The arguments for repeated investment next time, based on a governmental policy, will be much harder to make”.

206. We disagree with the Government’s decision to remove the zero carbon homes policy and the Code for Sustainable Homes. These decisions are likely to add to long-term housing costs through a reduction in energy efficiency, and we have heard no clear evidence that they will lead to an increase in housebuilding. Nor has the Government given a clear explanation as to how new homes will be energy efficient and environmentally sustainable without the provision of such standards.

207. The Government should reverse its decision to remove the requirement for new homes to generate no net carbon emissions (known as the “zero carbon homes” policy) and its decision to remove the Code for Sustainable Homes. The Government must set out and implement a viable trajectory towards energy efficiency and carbon reduction in new homes.

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

35. The Government should reverse its decision to remove the requirement for new homes to generate no net carbon emissions (known as the “zero carbon homes” policy) and its decision to remove the Code for Sustainable Homes. The Government must set out and implement a viable trajectory towards energy efficiency and carbon reduction in new homes. (Paragraph 207)

For more info:

House of Lords Zero Carbon Homes Ruling

Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable Buildings : Brief informal discussion re some of the issues
Seychelles
image from architects

Carbon Emissions News – external link to BBC report

Consorcio Building
photograph : Enrique Browne

So what can architects do to assist?

The RIBA Sustainability Hub includes sustainability information such as design strategies and case studies.

Sustainable design aims to reduce the adverse effect of human activities on our world, particularly climate change.

Architecture is responsible for about 45% of the carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions in the UK. Architects are a large part of the problem of tackling climate change, and consequently the solution – sustainable architecture.

30 Oct 2012

Sustainable Architecture Videos

Films about the Built Environment and the Climate

e-architect feature a series of eight videos from Green.TV about creating sustainable cities.

Interview with Daniel Libeskind, Architect
How do you involve the local community when developing your architecture projects?

Interview with Richard Rosan, President of Urban Land Institute
Why is capturing land value not more widely used as a way to finance infrastructure investments?

Interview with Pablo Vaggione, Lead author of the UN-Habitat Guide for city leaders
What is the ideal density for a city to be sustainable?

Interview with Mpho Franklyn Tau, Mayor of Johannesburg
How important is it to involve Johannesburg’s citizens in the city’s planning programmes?

Interview with Joan Cloas, Head of the UN-Habitat
What are the key elements for good urban planning in the 21st century?

Interview with Holger Dalkmann, CEO Embarq/WRI
How does urban planning influence our transportation patterns?

Interview with David Cadman, President ICLEI
How are climate issues linked to urban planning and sustainability?

Interview with Abha Joshi-Ghani, Senior Manager World Bank
With scarce resources, what solutions are available to finance the infrastructure needs of cities?

Sustainable Architecture – external link

Bloomberg “Global Warming Fight Threatened by Debt Crisis as Kyoto Fades”

AFP “Climate talks bust-up feared despite dire warnings”

Sustainable Design : article by Trevor Tucker. 15 Sep 2009

Sustainable Architecture : News

Example of sustainable architecture:

Panyaden School, Thailand
24H > architecture
Thai School Building
photo © Ally Taylor / Panyaden School

Thailand School Building

Sustainable architects : Bill Dunster Architects / ZED Factory

Sustainable Building Design : article by Trevor Tucker. 18 Aug 2009

Sustainable Architecture Archive

Sustainable Architecture : Lighthouse ‘Sust’ Programme

Sustainable Architecture Exhibition

Sustainable architects : Bennetts Associates

Sustainable Homes

Sustainable Housing : Slateford Green, Edinburgh – ‘car-free homes’

Sustainable house : Skye, Western Isles, Sctoland by rural design
rural design skye
image © rural design architecture and landscape, scotland

Sustainable Architecture : Lotte Glob House

Sustainable Architecture : David Douglas Centre

Sustainable Architecture – Links

DTI Low Carbon Buildings Programme: www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk

Greener Homes & Buildings: www.ghb.org.uk

Guidance on procuring higher recycled content in construction: www.wrap.org.uk

Forest Stewardship Council – FSC: www.fsc.org

BREEAM: www.breeam.org

Healthy Building Network: www.healthybuilding.net

Sustainable Build: www.sustainablebuild.co.uk

Web Portal of Organic Architecture: www.architetturaorganica.org

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House of Lords Zero Carbon Homes