The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has welcomed the “the clarity of purpose” set out in guidance from the Cabinet Office aimed at decarbonising the UK’s public sector estate.
In late November, the government published its. ‘Net Zero Estate Playbook. Steve Barclay, who is the Cabinet Office Minister overseeing net zero strategy, said the playbook would help “put the public estate in a stronger position to deliver a 78% reduction in emissions by 2035, and be fully net zero by 2050”.
This included advice on how to update energy and emissions audits, monitor in use performance and secure funding for building upgrades. It also explained how project teams can meet the Future Buildings Standard for new developments, which will come into effect from 2025
Graeme Fox, head of technical at BESA said that the playbook’s publication “would provide welcome impetus for a truly nationwide programme of building upgrades that put energy efficiency, low carbon heating and cooling, and improved building fabric at its heart.
“The difficult bit is working out which solution is the right one for the task in hand, so updating assessments and audits is the crucial first step. Flexibility is key and engineers need to be given the freedom to engineer,” added Fox.
“For example, there is more than one type of heat pump, which means it is a technology that can be widely applied, but equally it is not always the right choice. The contents of the Playbook suggest that the Cabinet Office, at least, is starting to understand some of the nuances of built environment engineering.”
Image credit | Cabinet Office