Green Building Task Group formed to identify zero-carbon solutions

John Lewis, Whitbread and Saint Gobain are among the big businesses that have formed a new Task Group to help inform the upcoming zero-carbon building standards in the UK.

The Task Group is made up of major companies challenged with delivering zero carbon non-domestic buildings from 2019

The Task Group is made up of major companies challenged with delivering zero carbon non-domestic buildings from 2019

Launched earlier today (3 June), the new Task Group has been convened by the UK Green Building Council which wants to explore how the 'Allowable Solutions' market can deliver high-value carbon saving solutions in the built environment.

“The zero-carbon policies for both new homes and non-domestic buildings are vital for decarbonising our building stock and meeting the UK’s climate change targets,” explained UK Green Building Council chief executive Julie Hirigoyen. “Although the policy for non-domestic buildings remains under-developed, UK-GBC members are already pushing ahead.

“The overwhelming response we have had to this Task Group proves how many of our members are keen to start designing and delivering zero-carbon new buildings, in view of the clear business benefits.”


The policy for all new non-domestic buildings to be built to zero-carbon standards by 2019 was announced back in 2008. According to the Green Alliance, many companies have already started to consider and explore different approaches for achieving ‘zero-carbon’ buildings, well ahead of the 2019 policy schedule.

This Task Force has been set up to understand the solutions and approaches industry is currently pursuing, and identify those likely to be most effective. The Green Alliance also aims to examine Government policy such as the Allowable Solutions framework, and establish how this can deliver reliable and high value on-site, near-site and off-site carbon savings.

Allowable Solutions is the flexibility mechanism which will be available to enable developers to deliver zero carbon standards cost effectively. 

Julian Sutherland, design director for sustainable development at Atkins and joint chair of the new Task Group, said: “I have long been a proponent of the fabric first approach, which continues to represent best value for demand reduction. High quality design solutions and demand reduction are the foundation for zero-carbon buildings and will unlock the huge potential of low energy systems and Allowable Solutions.”

Business case

David Mason, senior sustainability manager at Skanska and another joint chair of the Task Group, added: “The Allowable Solutions framework will be vital to delivering the zero-carbon buildings policies and it presents a huge opportunity for the industry to innovate and find new ways of delivering carbon savings in the built environment.”

The Task Group is made up of 20 UK Green Building Council members, also including Saint Gobain, The Crown Estate and British Land.

It is the latest part of the UK Green Building Council’s work on zero-carbon buildings, and follows an earlier Task Group which reported in 2014. That report made the business case for tightening building regulations and the delivery of the zero-carbon target for non-domestic buildings, and explored a long term trajectory for continued carbon reduction.

Luke Nicholls



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