Britain stands out for its impressive ambitions on construction of green housing, says international report

The UK has one of the world's most ambitious targets for delivering low-carbon and zero-carbon homes, according to a new report published today.

The Zero Carbon Compendium, from the NHBC Foundation, Zero Carbon Hub and PRP Architects, compares 15 countries from around the world in terms of their progress and aspirations on low-carbon housing.

The UK's target to reach zero-carbon by 2016 is one of the toughest, although France plans most of its new buildings to have “positive” energy by 2020, producing more energy than they consume.

Commenting on the report, Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of NHBC, said: “The UK, in particular, is setting the bar extremely high with aspirations that look beyond those of many other countries – indeed, we are the only country to propose including carbon emissions from appliances in our targets.

“We have also started from a different point of development from many other countries, which already have clear, long-term policies in place.”

Imtiaz Farookhi
Farookhi: "we are the only country to propose including carbon emissions from appliances"

The report covers energy consumption and climatic data as well as analysis of national policy targets and achievements.

It notes Austria's achievement in improving household energy efficiency by 23% between 1990 and 2006, with over 2,000 Passivhaus buildings now built, and that Switzerland's energy use per capita is one of the lowest in the developed world.

As well as a number of European countries, the report also covers Australia, Canada and Japan.