In order to have zero carbon domestic buildings by 2016 and non-domestic by 2019 the CLG will have to work out the price of carbon per tonne under the framework
After nearly two years of consultation the changes to Part L of the Building regulations have been finalised. The levels of improvement in energy performance are less than the industry was expecting.
The original proposal was for a 20% improvement in energy performance for non-domestic buildings and government settled on a 9% improvement in this area, with a 6% improvement in energy efficiency standards for new homes. Given the economic climate these changes are still welcome because the improvements are likely to increase the capital costs for delivering projects, however the whole life costs (particularly energy) should reduce.
Allowable solutions is a mechanism for a project to achieve zero carbon by buying carbon allowances outside the project boundary
The changes come into force on 6 April next year so there might be a rush to get proposals in before the cut off date like there was in 2010. The update follows a consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG).
So, how do we get to zero carbon domestic buildings by 2016 and non-domestic by 2019?
To hit these targets will probably mean there is going to be a heaver reliance on the cheaper to achieve Allowable solutions framework. Allowable solutions is a mechanism for a project to achieve zero carbon by buying carbon allowances outside the project boundary. The key here will be the price set for a tonne of carbon. CLG says it will publish a consultation on Allowable solutions soon.
Sean Lockie is global head of sustainability and carbon management at Faithful+Gould