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Posts Tagged ‘UKGBC’

In Whitehall, advocates of PAYS and an expanded suppliers obligation are clashing over which mechanism should be used to refurb existing housing. This is the second post of two. If you missed it, read the first part here.

Here’s a quick summary of the two mechanisms:

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Although PAYS has been conceived to address retrofit, developers and RSLs are hoping it might also reduce the financial burden of meeting more stringent upcoming regs for new build.

In theory it works like this: by capitalising future energy savings, developers could afford to put in the low carbon measures they need to in order to hit strict limits on emissions. The occupants then use a portion of the savings to pay off this capital lump.

Developers hit their targets and occupants get savings. Everyone’s a winner. But in the case of new build, what are the savings measured against? The UKGBC final PAYS report suggests that:

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The UKGBC is launching plans for a Code for Sustainable Buildings to “address the confusion arising from the myriad of different green building standards.” Although they’ve used the name, this isn’t the same Code for Sustainable Buildings that we were promised a few years back and that was eventually pared down into the Code for Sustainable Homes. This is an “open-source” UKGBC-managed standard which could then be used in other standards.

Reading between the lines, the UKGBC have just pre-empted a situation in which BREEAM is adopted wholesale as the basis of a future Code for non-residential buildings (a situation like we saw with EcoHomes and the CfSH). It looks to me like they’re looking to usurp BRE’s place as guardian’s of the public interest when it comes to building performance and I suspect the use of the words “open-source” is a stinging reference to BRE’s increasingly mercenary approach. So take that BRE – you’ve just been King-slapped.

Or am I just looking for drama on an otherwise dull Tuesday?

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The requirement for all homes to be zero carbon by 2016 is going to fail unless we take action now. In particular, a set of interim requirements under the Code for Sustainable Homes must be imposed on private housebuilders. In addition, the Code must allow more flexibility in how zero carbon is achieved.

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