Builders sign up to green charter

More than 40 organisations from the construction sector have teamed up to sign a charter committing them to support progress towards low or zero carbon building.

Leading organisations such as the Federation of Master Builders, the National House-Building Council and the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment gathered at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, to launch what is believed to be the first green building charter of its kind in the UK.

The initiative is being driven by the Welsh Assembly Government, the Design Commission for Wales and the Sustainable Development Commission.

They said the coalition’s efforts will help to achieve a major step change in Welsh green building by 2011 and contribute towards the Welsh target of 3% annual emission reductions from 2011 onwards.

From 2011, the Welsh Assembly Government wants all new buildings to be zero carbon in providing heating, hot water and lighting.

Assembly ministers also believe it will play a major role in meeting the UK Government’s target of achieving low carbon new homes by 2016.

Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister Jane Davidson said: “Today is another Wales first in the battle against climate change demonstrating our ‘can do’ attitude.”

She added: “This charter is a demonstration of the ‘coalition of the willing’ – of how diverse groups from all over Wales are ready to use their voice and powers to help Wales reduce its carbon footprint.”

Jonathan Porritt, chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, said: “It is very heartening to see that Wales has the foresight and ambition to accelerate progress towards a sustainable built environment.

“I hope that the collaborative, coordinated approach demonstrated today will enable it to make swift progress and be an exemplar for the rest of the UK.”

A Wales Low/Zero Carbon Hub will be set up to oversee progress on the charter’s ambitions, which will have close working links with the UK Zero Carbon Hub and the UK Green Building Council.

Kate Martin

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