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Green building regulations and standards

Green building regulations are toughening up, while all new properties will need to be zero carbon before the end of the decade. Wise Up guides you through the regs...

Almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions are caused by buildings. The long-term goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, and that means creating buildings with minimal environmental impact. One way to achieve this is through designing and constructing more sustainable housing.

Current building regulations require property developers to reduce the amount of carbon emitted from new buildings as part of the Government’s wider objective of achieving zero carbon emissions from all new buildings by the end of the decade. Those regulations are set to get tighter from April 2014, when revisions to 'Part L' of the Building Regulations are introduced.

To encourage continuous sustainability improvement of new homes and to support emissions targets, the Government introduced the Code for Sustainable Homes as a national standard in 2007. But in an effort to cut red tape, the Coalition Government has confirmed the Code is to be abandoned with some of its assessments around energy efficiency to be incorporated into the Building Regulations. The move form part of the Government’s Housing Standards Review, which proposes using building regulations or national standards as the driver for greener homes. The streamlined draft regulations and technical standards are expected to be published in the summer, with the regulations and supporting documents coming into force later this year.

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