Climate change has drawn an unprecedented amount of media attention in recent years thanks to movements like that of The Extinction Rebellion. This, paired with the Government’s motion to declare a ‘climate emergency’, have truly underlined the urgency to address carbon emissions.

According to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), global emissions must be halved by 2030 and eliminated completely by 2050. This can be found in the document, Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition, which was launched by the Houses of Parliament back in April 2019.

In order to define what ‘achieving net-zero carbon emissions’ means, the document focuses on two approaches: the construction of a building and the operation of a building.

The Construction of a Building

The definition, taken from the above document, states that net zero is achieved when “the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s product and construction stages up to practical completion is zero or negative, through the use of offsets or the net export of on-site renewable energy.”

Operational Energy

For a building’s operational energy, it is when the total carbon emissions of a building on an annual basis is zero or negative. It goes on to explain that a net zero carbon building is “highly energy efficient and powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources, with any remaining carbon balance offset”.

Further Points To Note From Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition

The detailed document explores, in detail, how “whole-life carbon emissions” might look like for different building types, such as offices, warehouses or residential properties.

Additionally, the document makes reference to the Passiv Haus and Energiesprong methodologies, alongside the government’s smart meters programme.

SAP calculations ebook | Sustain quality

What Construction Professionals Do To Achieve Net Zero Carbon Buildings?

It’s highly advisable that you seek consultancy from sustainability professionals to help you achieve the best possible outcomes for your new build project.

At Sustain Quality we provide the following services:

You can learn more about each of these services by clicking on each link above.

We have also released two educational guides for anyone involved in the construction of a commercial or residential property.

For commercial properties, download our ultimate guide to SBEM calculations here.

For residential properties, download our ultimate guide to SAP calculations here.

How Can The Above Services Help You Achieve Net Zero Carbon?

Depending on where you are in the construction process, Sustain Quality can provide you with the necessary strategies to help your building achieve fewer carbon emissions.

At Sustain Quality, we champion an integrated design and engagement process. This will lead to improved operational performance and greater time and cost efficiency. With our team of highly-skilled engineers, we can deliver sustainability and compliance solutions, helping organisations maximise the environmental, social and governance value of their building.

To learn more about our unique energy reduction strategies, read our case study that we recently completed for a Business Centre Warehouse Extension in North-West London.


We hope you’re now clearer about net zero carbon buildings, and how we can help you achieve this. Contact our team today and let us help you start delivering on your net zero goals.

If you’d like to speak with an expert, don’t hesitate to call us on 01372 438 039 or fill out the form below.

SAP calculations ebook | Sustain quality

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About Us

Our friendly team of engineers deliver sustainability and compliance solutions for developments in the commercial and residential sectors. We help organisations to maximise the environmental, social and governance (ESG) value of their buildings with a sustainability strategy that can be measured and improved over time.

Contact us at:

Sustain Quality Ltd

PO Box 393


KT11 3EL

01372 438039