Anglo-Welsh building CO2 emissions to be cut

Draft new building energy standards expected to slice 25% off new building emissions

New domestic and commercial buildings constructed in England and Wales should soon emit around 25% less carbon dioxide than today under proposals released for public comment today by the UK environment ministry. The plan for stricter building regulations follows publication of a UK sustainability strategy for the construction industry in April (ENDS Daily 4 April).

According to the ministry, buildings in England and Wales currently emit 46% of national carbon dioxide emissions, amounting to 235m tonnes per year. Due to the slow turn-over of building stock it will take a long time for the new regulation to significantly cut this. Even with a one quarter efficiency gain for new buildings, the sector's overall emissions will still be cut by only 2% by 2010, the ministry admits.

Changes proposed in the new regulations include higher performance standards for insulation, improved standards for space heating and hot water systems controls, new standards for lighting and new performance standards for boilers, air conditioning and ventilation systems. More kinds of renovation of existing buildings will also be governed by the stricter rules.

Follow Up:
UK environment ministry, tel: +44 20 79 44 30 00, and press release. Full consultation paper due to be posted here.

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