28 November 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched a new task group that will develop an industry-led definition for net zero carbon buildings.
The task group will bring together over 30 experts from across the building sector and is being supported by 11 industry bodies.
Following the Paris Climate Agreement and the recent IPCC special report, global attention has turned to achieving net zero emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
In response, a global campaign is being led by the World Green Building Council, which is calling for all new buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030 and all existing buildings to achieve this standard by 2050.
The new UK task group will examine what net zero carbon will mean for new buildings, including how they operate in-use.
The aim is to build industry consensus on a definition for net zero carbon buildings, which can then be used to inform project designs, reporting initiatives, planning requirements and building regulations.
An industry consultation on the task group proposals will be opened in February, with the final output published in spring 2019.
The task group is being facilitated by UKGBC as part of its Advancing Net Zero programme, which aims to drive transition to a net zero carbon built environment. The programme is supported by lead partner the Redevco Foundation and programme partners BAM Construct UK, Berkeley Group, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and Hoare Lea.
Richard Twinn, senior policy advisor at 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."
The task group is being supported by the following trade associations, professional institutions and non-profit organisations:
Better Buildings Partnership (BBP)
British Property Federation (BPF)
Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA)
Chartered Institute for Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
Good Homes Alliance
London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI)
Renewable Energy Association (REA)
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Sustainable Energy Association (SEA)
Solar Trade Association (STA)
The task group includes representatives from the following organisations:
Allies and Morrison
BAM Construct UK
Carbon Credentials Energy Services
EcoEnergy Insights, UTC
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
Hawkins Brown Architects
HTA Design LLP
Kingspan Insulation Ltd
Max Fordham LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Targeting Zero LLP
The Carbon Trust
Twinn Sustainability Innovation