Nearing Zero Carbon

Ellen Webster CMgr MCMI Paul Robinson Partnership (uk) LLP

Zero Carbon

The DCLG’s Building Regulations consultation covering England only, runs until 27th April 2012 and builds on previous consultations with the aim of moving closer to zero carbon – whilst increasing compliance with regulations and reducing red tape.

Whilst there are clear benefits the proposed changes would decrease the regulatory burden by nearly £64m per year. On the other side, Part L changes will impose costs of £103m for new homes and £101m for non domestic buildings.

Part L: Energy Conservation

Part L looks at reducing carbon and creating the right position for zero carbon for domestic buildings by 2016. It is possible the regulations may firstly focus on the building fabric with proposals for zero carbon performance requirements of 39 kWh/m2/yr for apartment blocks and mid terrace houses with 46 kWh/m2/yr for semi detached and end of terrace.
A higher specification may be needed for detached. Consequential improvements, both domestic and non domestic will become law in 2014.

The next stage for non domestic buildings, although further away, will require a 20% boost in building performance. The definition of ‘technically, functionally and economically feasible’ is static at 10% of the principle works costs. The Green Deal is seen as the principle way to upgrade current buildings with the use of over design allowing a margin for error and the creation of publicly available specification with a QA scheme is proposed to improve quality.

The consultation is thorough and has proposals which should be welcomed for the industry.

Comments on the proposals can be made by 27th April 2012:
www.communities.gov.uk

The Zero Carbon Hub website:
www.zerocarbonhub.org

Find information on The Green Deal at
www.decc.gov.uk

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