Stuart MacPherson | Driving Carbon Reductions in a Stagnant Building Market
Stuart MacPherson Senior Partner, Irons Foulner Consulting Engineers and Chairman, CIBSE Scotland DRIVING CARBON REDUCTIONS IN A STAGNANT BUILDING MARKET
UK Construction Industry remains sluggish and very sensitive to the performance of the wider economy. Recovery from the depths of 2009 has been is highly regional, with weaker performance outside the south east of England. BUILDING INDUSTRY SECTOR OVERVIEW
Building regulations have progressively demanded lower carbon dioxide emissions from new buildings. The regulations are reviewed every three years. In England the current proposal is for all new domestic buildings to be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 and new non-domestic buildings similarly from 2019. REGULATIONS ON CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS FROM NEW BUILDINGS
We replace our building stock at the rate of less than 1% per annum. The existing stock needs to be refurbished at a rate greater than at present, and in a way that addresses energy performance. BUT NEW BUILDINGS WILL NOT GET US THERE…
Carrot Incentives and assistance with costs of energy improvements in refurbishments. Stick Legislation to require building owners to improve the energy performance of their buildings. CARROT AND STICK APPROACH PROBABLY NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE REFURBISHMENTS
Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides a basis for requiring improvements to existing buildings – but implementation has its complications. What about legislation in England and Wales? On incentives, the Green Deal is a beginning, but will it be enough? WHAT DO WE HAVE IN THE WAY OF CARROTS AND STICKS?
Incentives that are sufficiently attractive to encourage building owners to carry out improvements that otherwise they are unlikely to have undertaken. Returns on investment of only 4% or 5% are probably not enough. Stability of the incentive arrangements so that industry can plan ahead. The recent experience with the feed-in tariff and the renewable heat incentive has created anxiety. WHAT DOES THE INDUSTRY NEED?