John Healey: a zero carbon pledge.

Healey pledges £3.2m towards a zero carbon future

Published:  01 December, 2009

LONDON: Housing and Planning Minister John Healey confirmed today that the UK will be the first in the world to require zero carbon homes as a matter of law from 2016.

Offices, shops, hotels and warehouses will also need to be built differently, he said.

Mr Healey pledged an extra £3.2m to boost long-term research into how the UK designs and builds energy-efficient homes.

The research will make use of new technologies and materials to provide evidence for future standards and will help to drive down energy bills.

He also announced that a new government consortium will use their combined green buying power of potentially over £10bn to boost green skills and technology.

The money will be used by a consortium including Barratt Developments, Crest-Nicholson, Stewart-Milne, H+H Celcon, Oxford Brookes University and the BRE to build demonstration homes to the energy/carbon standards of Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes using energy-efficiency measures alone, without on-site renewables.

These homes will be built and sold alongside existing homes, to test how homes will perform with ventilation, warmth and comfort levels. The results will provide valuable evidence to support the way that the zero carbon homes of the future are built.

The announcements were made during a speech to the UK Green Building Council. He called on the building industry to use the public and market momentum to take action.

"New homes are 40% more energy-efficient now compared to 2002, but we must and can do more," he said.

"As a country, nearly half of our carbon emissions come from the built environment. That is more than roads, railways and airports combined.

"These new green initiatives underline the unique role the Government has in working alongside businesses and developers to legislate for change and act in the interests of the environment and the economy."

A previous report on this initiative was published in www.buildersmerchantsnews.co.uk on 26 November.

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