Construction industry striving to achieve net zero carbon buildings

A new task group has recently been launched by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) in the hopes to develop a workable definition for net zero carbon buildings. The group will be made up of over 30 experts from across the building sector and is being supported by 11 industry bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Sustainable Energy Association.

The need for energy efficient solutions across multiple industries has been significantly increased following the Paris Climate Agreement, and even more so since the recent IPCC special report; businesses globally have to now look at achieving net zero emissions to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change. A global campaign has been initiated by the World Green Building Council, calling for all new buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030 and existing buildings to achieve this by 2050.

The target for the task group is to create an industry-wide consensus on a definition for net zero carbon buildings; first examining how these new buildings will operate in practice, then determining standards which will inform project designs, planning requirements and building regulations. An industry-based consultation on the task groups work will be opened in February and finalised directions will be published in spring 2019.

The task group created by UKGBC is part of the wider initiative Advancing Net Zero, aiming to drive transformation to a net zero carbon built society. The programme is backed by the Redevco Foundation and other partners including BAM Construct UK and Berkeley Group.

Senior policy advisor at UKGBC, Richard Twinn, said: “The construction and property industry is ready to make its contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement and start delivering net zero carbon buildings. But there is still a lack of clarity about what a net zero carbon building means in practice.

“This initiative is aiming to move beyond discussions about specific tools and policies towards buildings that work as intended and achieve genuine net zero carbon. We are seeking to create an agreed industry-led definition for net zero carbon buildings in the UK, to ensure we are all working towards the same outcomes.”

(Source: FM World)