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    MP urges green building regs to reflect use over design

    April 26th, 2021

    An MP has called for Building Regulations to change so that the environmental credentials of homes are based on how they perform when used rather than the standard to which they are designed.

    Former attorney general turned backbench Conservative MP Jeremy Wright asked the government whether it would make the change during a parliamentary session yesterday. Wright said: “Building Regulations are one tool we can use to improve the environmental performance of new homes, and I am conscious that the government [is] consulting on how those regulations might be reformed.

    “However, as [the junior minister] also knows, the regulations in place at the moment require compliance by developers to a design standard rather than a performance-in-use standard. Is his department considering whether that should change?”

    Earlier this year, the government announced that new green homes measures will be introduced in stages from December this year until 2025, and at the same time launched a new consultation on standards.

    Wright also asked when the revised building standards would be put in place.

    Junior housing minister Eddie Hughes suggested he and Wright meet to discuss the issue. He also reiterated the announcement in January that new regulations on fuel, power and ventilation in housing will come into force later this year.

    Today the UK Government announced it plans to increase targets to cut carbon emissions in order to stop climate change, moving towards a target of reducing carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. A statement on the move flagged policies such as its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and its Energy White Paper as contributing towards the targets.

    UK Green Building Council chief executive Julie Hirigoyen welcomed the increased ambition but pointed out the country is on course to miss its shorter-term targets for the middle of this decade and the early 2030s.

    She added: “If we are to take this new target seriously, government must clearly map out how it plans to tackle the carbon emissions attributable to the built environment, which account for approximately 40 per cent of UK emissions.”

    For the full story, please click here.