Building industry ponders sustainability

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has launched a consultation to find out what guidance the industry needs to help it achieve Government sustainability targets.

Ministers have announced that following the 2016 zero-carbon target for homes, they also want all non-domestic buildings to be zero carbon by 2019.

UK-GBC is inviting a range of companies and organisations from the building industry to take part in a task group led by the council’s chief executive Paul King.

The council wants to see a national Code for Sustainable Buildings developed, and the task group will discuss what standards should be included.

Mr King said: “With the upcoming Government consultation on zero carbon non-domestic buildings, this is an ideal moment to take stock and consider what kind of code and rating tools we need for the future.

“Industry needs a clear and practical route map and milestones that are aligned with Government policy to give it the confidence and knowledge to move forward on a trajectory to 2019.

“We also need to anticipate forthcoming European regulation in this area, and the growing demand from multi-national clients and developers for increased harmonisation between international tools.”

The consultation has been backed by industry bodies.

Rab Bennetts, director of architects Bennetts Associates, said: “In the same way that the UK GBC is a pan-industry body, so the Code for Sustainable Building should aim to be just the sort of joined-up thinking that offers clarity and strategic direction to designers, constructors, owners and occupiers.”

George Martin, head of sustainable development at construction firm Willmott Dixon, said he supported the idea of a national code for green building when it was first floated in 2004.

He added: “I was seriously disappointed when it was watered down to become the Code for Sustainable Homes.

“Now is the time for the UK to set an example and deliver a national Code for Sustainable Buildings.”

Kate Martin

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