House of Lords Zero Carbon Homes Ruling

Zero Carbon Homes UK, House of Lords Eco Building Ruling, Architect, Project, Image

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.”

BRE Zero Carbon Home for reference:
BRE Zero Carbon Home
image from architects

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

Bolton Eco House
Bolton Eco House
image from architects

Zero Carbon Home
Zero Carbon Home
photo © Martine Hamilton Knight

BRE Zero Carbon Home

Barratt Zero-Carbon Home, UK

English Hemp House

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

Short-sighted Government housing policy will not meet objectives:
UK Government Housing Policy – external link
19 February 2016
“The National Policy for the Built Environment Committee today asserts the importance of delivering a better built environment and criticises current government policy as unlikely to meet demand for either the quantity or quality of houses we need. The Committee is concerned about the quality of new developments, and about the risk of housing delivery being prioritised at the expense of other elements of the built environment.”