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Cost is a hindrance to full zero carbon code

A carbon neutral code for all buildings isn’t yet feasible says UK-GBC

A zero carbon code for new non-domestic buildings will be “tough and expensive”, according to the chair of the UK Green Building Council.

UK-GBC chairman Paul King is to tell the Government that the industry will struggle to meet a similar green standard as that being implemented in the house building sector.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is canvassing the industry on non-domestic buildings following the announcement last year that all new homes must be zero carbon rated by 2016.

But Mr King, who sits on CLG’s Sustainability of New Non-Domestic Buildings Steering Group, said the cost for non-domestic buildings could be prohibitive for the industry due to the embryonic nature of research underway on renewable energy such as solar panels, ground heat pumps and wind turbines.

He said: “With the renewables market at the moment, a new code will be tough, and the options will be quite expensive. Engineers and designers are saying that more work needs to be done.”

CLG is set to publish its report into non-domestic buildings later in the year.

The UK-GBC, which includes contractors Sir Robert McAlpine and Laing O’Rourke, is also looking at ways to challenge the Government’s interpretations on stamp-duty exemption for new homes.

HM Revenue & Customs decided this month that energy derived from off-site renewables for a zero carbon development will not exclude it from stamp duty.

Mr King, who is on the Zero Carbon Homes 2016 Task Force, believes more research is needed on using off-site renewable energy.

Planned zero carbon developments

  • Galliford Try is to build 800 homes near Chichester, West Sussex.

  • Artisan H, Barratt, Edward Ware, Gleeson Homes, Places for People, Taylor Wimpey and Urban Splash are shortlisted to build 150 homes in Bristol for English Partnerships.

  • Crest Nicholson, Bioregional Quintain and Southern Housing Group have been selected as the preferred development partner for 200-homes in east London.