Royal Academy of Engineering presents fresh approach to CO2

CIBSE has welcomed a report on engineering a low-carbon built environment from the Royal Academy of Engineering* as a ‘robust and timely summary of how the UK can develop a more sustainable building stock’. The report stresses that the UK will not be able to achieve its target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 unless it urgently addresses carbon emissions from the built environment. The report also stresses that buildings currently account for 45% of UK carbon emissions, but estimates that 80% of the buildings we will be occupying in 2050 have already been built.

Doug King, author of the report and RAE visiting professor in building engineering physics at the University of Bath, says, ‘The sheer pace of change in the regulation of building energy performance has already created problems for the construction industry, and the proposed acceleration of this process, aiming to achieve zero-carbon new buildings by 2020, will only widen the gulf between ambitious Government policy and the industry’s ability to deliver.’

The report introduces a new discipline, building engineering physics, which supports the existing professions of architecture, structural engineering and building-services engineering. This discipline investigates the areas of natural science that relate to the energy performance of buildings and their indoor and outdoor environments. The understanding and application of building engineering physics is said to help design and construct high-performance buildings that are comfortable and functional while using natural resources efficiently and minimising the environmental impacts of their construction and operation.

Michael Dickson, chairman of Happold Trust, which supported the report, says, ‘Under the guidance of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Doug King has delivered a significant report on the teaching of building physics to the engineers of tomorrow and which will help to achieve the low-carbon world that we seek for the future.’

*‘Engineering a low-carbon built environment — the discipline of building engineering physics’ can be downloaded from the link below

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