Industry calls for more green attention on refurb

Published:  22 November, 2010

SEVENOAKS: A Green Building poll carried out by H+H UK clearly shows an industry committed to sustainable building, but calling for a greater focus on refurbishment.

500 specifiers, contractors and developers responded to the survey, with a significant majority (70%) agreeing that “too much attention is focused on new build, we should concentrate on upgrading existing buildings.”

This is not down to any lack of commitment in the new build sector however. An even larger majority (74%) would still try to build sustainably even if there were no regulations to abide by.

75% believe that it will not be possible to build Zero Carbon houses by 2016 (although with a lack of a clear definition of Zero Carbon that is perhaps not surprising).  More surprising, perhaps, is the fact that cost is not felt to be an insuperable barrier, with only 36% of respondents believing that the cost of building to Zero Carbon will make new houses unsaleable.

H+H managing director Mark Oliver’s interpretation of the results is that “the green agenda has clearly embedded itself in the psyche of the building industry.  The majority of industry professionals now feel it is right to build to green standards even if they are not convinced by government targets, legislation or even customer demand.

“The survey does, however, highlight the inequality in standards in the UK built environment. Too great a focus is being applied to new build housing, while greater carbon savings could be achieved if more demands were made of the vast majority of buildings that already exist.”

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