The built environment sector requires urgent, widespread and real decarbonisation of existing and new buildings to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero targets, says the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) as it launches a survey to gather feedback on market drivers, expectations and characteristics for a potential net zero carbon buildings verification scheme.
UKGB’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework Definition built industry consensus on the steps to achieving net zero buildings, providing the property and construction sectors much needed clarity. Since its release in 2019, the has been a significant shift in the global and UK context driving up demand for net zero buildings, which is reflected in feedback received from members and other industry stakeholders.
Due to this, UKGBC are currently undertaking a major project to explore potential routes for a net zero carbon buildings verification scheme in collaboration with wider industry bodies. Verification will ensure robustness to net zero claims and will help catalyse industry-wide transformation of our built environment. It is, therefore, vital that market analysis is conducted to ensure any proposal delivers a scheme that will genuinely work for the industry.
To better understand the market drivers, expectations and characteristics for a potential net zero carbon buildings verification scheme, the UKGBC is launching an industry survey that will inform next steps to be undertaken by UKGBC and industry collaborators later in 2021.
Responding to BEIS consultations on performance-based policy and performance-based ratings for commercial and industrial buildings, the UKBC welcomed recommendations for a mandatory performance rating for all commercial and industrial buildings but argues that further incentives and penalties could be required.
Antonia Khayatt, Architect & Sustainability Consultant at UKGBC said:
“We would like to see public sector buildings play a leading role in driving up ratings. We support the phased approach to introducing mandatory performance ratings, starting with large offices. However, we are concerned that significant office energy use will fall out of the scope of the scheme because tenant energy use in multi-tenanted buildings will not be rated.
“To address this, we support the use of whole-building ratings for all rented offices, moving to base-building and tenant ratings when metering capabilities allow. We would also like clarity on the scope and timings of each of the three phases to give owners and occupiers of all commercial and industrial buildings time to prepare.
“We believe EPCs still have a role to play and should therefore be maintained in tandem with performance-based ratings. However, in the longer term, we would like to see government policy shift away from EPCs towards performance-based ratings when mandating or incentivising energy efficiency improvements.”