Zero carbon framework launched
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has delivered a framework for the UK construction and property industry to transition new and existing buildings to becoming net zero carbon by 2050, to meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The framework offers an all-embracing framework of consistent principles and metrics that can be integrated into tools, policies and practices. It aims to build consensus in the industry on the path to decarbonising buildings.
The new framework recommends guidance for developers, owners and occupiers targeting net zero carbon buildings, setting out key principles to follow and summarising how this goal can be measured and evidenced.
There are two approaches to net zero carbon suggested by the framework. The first is Net zero carbon – construction: the embodied emissions associated with products andconstruction should be measured, reduced and offset to achieve net zero carbon.
The second approach is: Net zero carbon – operational energy: the energy used by the building in operation should be reduced and where possible any demand met through renewable energy. Any remaining emissions from operational energy use should be offset to achieve net zero carbon.
BSRIA is part of the net zero carbon buildings task group which has supported this framework. Peter Tse, business manager of BSRIA’s Sustainable Construction Group, says:
“The framework provides clear definition of net zero carbon buildings and direction towards a zero-carbon future. It also challenges the construction and property industry to reassess the way buildings are designed, constructed and run, which requires a cultural change.”