Backing for green buildings

There is strong public support for green improvement like district heat, vacuum waste disposal and water harvesting, according to a UK Green Building Council (UGBC) poll.

This is the key finding from new research carried out by, iCaro Consulting and published this week by the UGBC and Zero Carbon Hub.

A total of 71% of people thought a district heating system – heating a whole community centrally through one linked network of pipes – could be better than the current individual systems in their homes.

District heating reduces carbon emissions and can lower energy bills and also gives communities local independence, as well as ensuring that the country as a whole has a greater energy security, a positive factor for 79% of people.

Respondents were also in favour of sustainable community water systems, with almost 90% positive about using filtered rainwater for flushing toilets and watering gardens.

More than two-thirds (68%) responded positively to community waste and recycling schemes, where waste is collected through a network of vacuum pipes.

An even higher proportion, 87%, wanted to use waste as a resource to produce energy, which the according to the UGBC ‘contradicts widely held opinion’ by planners and developers that the public are against such schemes.

Chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, Paul King, said: “This research puts a nail in the coffin of the perception that consumers won’t like community scale green schemes, such as district heating and waste-to-energy plants.

“There are significant environmental and financial benefits to providing such integrated infrastructure at a community scale, reducing both carbon emissions and energy bills.”

Luke Walsh

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