Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard Has a Leader and a Clear Mission
‘Net zero carbon’ has been one of the property industry’s buzz-terms for a number of years now, since it was popularised by the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015, although the UK’s first net zero carbon home was only verified as such earlier this year, when Max Fordham House in Camden achieved the sustainable feat.
Over the past couple of years, the term has become more of a marketing tool, with sustainable developers heavily promoting their goals to achieve net zero carbon status.
Earlier this month, a major step was taken in regulating any claims of net zero carbon, as former Chairman of UKGBC (UK Green Building Council) David Partridge was announced as the Chairman of the Governance Board for the new Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard – an initiative that will ‘set out a single, agreed set of performance targets for different asset types,’ as well as ‘enable buildings claiming net zero carbon to demonstrate that they meet science-based decarbonisation trajectories.’ Partridge is the current Chairman of Related Argent and brings a wealth of knowledge around sustainable issues to the new role.
The initiative will be applicable to both new and existing buildings and, as well as setting performance targets, it will also assist with procurement of renewable energy and treatment of residual emissions. It will be an essential consideration for developers looking to build a net zero carbon property and subsequently demonstrate it as being aligned with an industry standard.
Regulating claims of net zero carbon status is an essential step towards achieving the UK’s 2050 net zero target, and will ensure a consistent standard within the property industry, giving homebuyers peace of mind as to the validity of any net zero claims.
With initial outputs from the Standard expected in 2023, following industry consultation, developers should be proactive in considering how they can reduce operational energy demands and embodied carbon emissions, so they can be verified by the new Standard, when it begins assessing projects.
At Classic Folios and Spaciable, we have noticed an increasing interest in our sustainable products, including welcome gifts, Sustainability and Community Guides, and Spaciable. It is evident that sharing sustainable credentials with homebuyers is far more than a box-ticking exercise, and discerning buyers are now insistent on their developers proving their ESG credentials. The new Standard is yet more evidence that sustainability is near the top of the industry’s shared list of goals, with the realisation that the time for action is now. Any developers hoping to brush environmental considerations to one side risk falling behind the competition – and falling afoul of public perception.