With the UK government’s declaration of a Climate Emergency, the urgency to address carbon emissions has been accelerated. New legislation for the construction industry has asserted that all new buildings should be net zero carbon by 2030, with all existing buildings net-zero by 2050. Traditional buildings are responsible for consuming upwards of 40% of the world’s fossil fuel energy.
The aim for net zero carbon buildings is part of the overarching mission for global emissions to be almost halved by 2030 and eliminated completely by the middle of the century.
The net-zero mission is a significant challenge that requires us to reassess the way buildings are designed, constructed, and run. A verified net-zero carbon building is one where the embodied emissions associated with the building products and the construction itself are measured, dramatically reduced, and also offset with other forms of energy i.e. renewables.
For organisations aiming to meet net-zero goals for their developments, this blog will discuss the guidances available that provide information and frameworks for each stage of the process.
The UK Green Building Council Framework
The UK’s Green Building Council have been responsible for developing the net-zero carbon framework which explains how the industry can achieve net-zero carbon for new and existing buildings.
The framework provides guidance that means architects can challenge climate change with support and direction. It splits the approach into two sections: achieving net zero carbon during the construction stage, and then the operational stage. The document provides goals for a building’s carbon emissions, the options for offsetting carbon, either on or off-site and how renewable energy usage comes into play.
The framework also discusses how the ‘whole life’ of a building, and its generated carbon emissions, breaks down, including explorations of embodied carbon depending on whether the building is commercial, residential, or a portfolio of building developments.
An approach developed to help organisations achieve net-zero carbon buildings is the Passivhaus method. It is a design and construction standard for buildings with the key principle being to deliver high levels of comfort whilst using very little energy. Fundamentally, Passivhaus standard buildings should involve the following within their construction:
- High levels of insulation
- High-performance windows with insulated frames
- Airtight building fabric
- Thermal bridge free construction
- A mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery
A similar approach for applying the net-zero carbon framework is the Energiesprong method, as well as the government’s smart meters energy monitoring programme.
Embedding sustainability and the net-zero carbon framework into your organisation will align your developments with current and upcoming regulations surrounding carbon emissions and energy consumption. Building a sustainable future means undertaking net-zero goals in the transition to a net-zero carbon built environment.
How Can Sustain Quality Help My Organisation?
When an organisation turns to us at Sustain Quality, they gain access to a team of professionals that are dedicated to providing services that help save on energy costs.
Sustainability consultants are incredibly knowledgeable in the steps that need to be taken to create net-zero buildings for organisations of all sizes. From finding the electrical energy storage that fits your needs to determining energy-efficient technologies your building can use, sustainability consulting will be able to identify the best solutions for your organisation.
Some of the assessments that may be used to best determine how you can meet net-zero energy include:
A net-zero building is the epitome of a high-quality building and property organisation. Our dedicated team offers sustainability consulting Nationwide that will help you achieve your sustainability goals.
Please do not hesitate to contact us today to set up a consultation. We can help your organisation reduce carbon emissions and meet other green initiatives.