RIBA, RICS and UKGBC among bodies developing plans to remove “ambiguities” around measurement of carbon emissions

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Formal work on developing the standard is set to begin in July

A standard for verifying buildings as net zero carbon is being developed by a group of industry bodies including RIBA and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

The UK Net Zero Carbon Building Standard is to be a single agreed methodology that will allow developers, architects and building occupiers to prove that a building is net zero.

A steering group drawing up the initiative also includes the BRE, RICS and CIBSE.

The standard will cover new and existing buildings and will set out performance targets for carbon emitted both during construction and operation.

It will align with the UK’s two main carbon targets - a 78% reduction of emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

The standard will also cover the procurement of renewable energy and the treatment of residual emissions, including carbon offsetting.

> Interview: UKGBC chief executive Julie Hirigoyen on its whole life carbon roadmap

RIBA president Simon Allford said the initiative will address “ambiguities” around the meaning of net zero and “develop a common understanding, based on clear performance targets, to support all those involved in the procurement, design, construction and operation of buildings.”

RICS interim chief executive Richard Collins added that the standard was a “big step forward” that would provide independent verification that a building “that claims to be net zero, stands up to that claim”.

The steering group are asking for views on the standard to be provided from across the industry as part of an engagement period which ends on 6 June.

More formal consultations will be carried out once work on the standard begins in earnest in July.

Last year the UKGBC published its Whole Life Carbon Roadmap, a document outlining how buildings can achieve net zero from construction to the end of their lifetime as built assets.

Dozens of major industry names are also backing proposals to introduce embodied carbon limits to schemes in the planning stages.

Known as Part Z, the initiative was introduced to parliament in February but later withdrawn by its MP sponsor, Duncan Baker.

> Click here for the survey on the net zero standard