Life is like a game of Jenga for green building developers
"Wow. People are doing so many great things in this area, there is just so much happening right now - this is an outstanding set of initiatives."
… The words of the BRE’s Linda McKeown as she judged the Sustainable Building of the Year category for edie’s Environment & Energy Awards earlier this week. And she’s right: 2016 is fast-becoming the year of the green building revolution - it’s happening all around us.
Whether it’s new housing developments featuring the BRE’s innovative ‘Zero Bills’ homes; the National Trust cleverly blending on-site solutions with its picturesque properties; or Nando’s investigating the use of ‘Piri-Piri power’ for its restaurants – Britain is moving beyond the low-hanging fruits of energy efficiency towards some truly amazing low-carbon innovations. (You’ll see more great green building examples like this at edie Live in May).
Internationally, too, Nissan is now energising its French offices with the world’s largest EV battery storage system, and even the glittering Las Vegas strip is powering its bright lights with renewable energy. Meanwhile, the EU has just launched the world’s largest retrofit project in its latest bid to slash building emissions (Brexiters take note).
But as UK developers and organisations continue to construct these more sustainable buildings, the Government continues to deconstruct its own green building-related policies, with the controversial scrapping of the zero-carbon homes standard followed up by last week’s shock proposals to undergo a major reform of the RHI scheme.
Our Energy Ministers may well be "sick and tired" of their critics but, as all good green building developers will be aware, it’s only a matter of time before the Tories' increasingly fragile Jenga tower of green policies comes crashing down around them.Luke Nicholls