UKGBC launches new industry task group on net zero carbon buildings

UKGBC launches new industry task group on net zero carbon buildingsA new task group spearheaded by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) being launched which will develop an industry-led definition for net zero carbon buildings. The task group brings together over thirty experts from across the building value chain and is being supported by 12 leading industry bodies. Following the recent IPCC report and the Paris Climate Agreement, worldwide attention has switched to achieving “net zero emissions” to escape the worst impacts of climate change.  To answer this, a global campaign is being led by the World Green Building Council – calling for all new buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030 and all existing buildings to achieve this standard by 2050. Its aim is to build industry consensus on a definition for net zero carbon buildings, which can then be used to advise project designs, planning requirements and building regulations.

An industry consultation on the task group suggestions and schemes will start in February, with the final results released in spring 2019.

Richard Twinn, Senior Policy Advisor, UKGBC, who will be facilitating the task group 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.”

New buildings of today will be the retrofits of the future, so it is essential to consider resilient new home designs, long term operational performance and lifecycle elements now. At the same time existing buildings will need to be upgraded and the grid will need to continue being decarbonised.

The climate change challenge provides a great opportunity for innovation, leaner and more sustainable construction and for the development of buildings that achieve low environmental impact and high-quality standards for the user/client.

Tassos Kougionis, Principal Consultant – Residential, at BSRIA’s Sustainable Construction Group, said: “It is crucial that BSRIA has a place at this new task group. Its remit is to examine what net zero carbon will mean for new buildings, including both construction standards used and the buildings’ operational performance.”