A new drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions will be at the heart of an industry Code for Sustainable Buildings, said Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott this week.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), building, maintaining and occupying buildings causes nearly fifty per cent of CO2 emissions in the UK. Homes alone account for around twenty five per cent.
The Government gave the green light to the Code in its response to the Sustainable Buildings Task Group report, in which experts from the private, public and non-governmental sectors pinpointed ways in which industry and Government can work together to promote sustainable development.
The new code will establish higher standards for energy and water efficiency, as well as waste and use of materials. According to the DTI, this will help to deliver sustainable buildings and is expected, through increased efficiency, to generate substantial savings for industry and consumers.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott welcomed the report and said, “Building better, greener buildings is a key element of our £38 billion Sustainable Communities Plan. This is the best opportunity we have had for generations to do change the way we build.
A project group will be set up immediately to establish the main criteria of the Code, as well as set up a senior steering group to fully develop the Code. The group will work with local authorities and developers to ensure that a sufficient number of pilots in the Thames Gateway, and potentially elsewhere, are established. Part of the pilot process will be to carry out a full regulatory impact assessment and economic assessment.
The first outline of the Code should be complete in time for the Sustainable Communities Summit in January 2005.