Sustainable construction—UK-GBC launches better building performance project

Sustainable construction—UK-GBC launches better building performance project

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) recently announced its new research project to reappraise how the industry designs, constructs and operates non-domestic buildings. This post examines the context of this announcement, the group’s aims, and why this is welcomed by the sustainable construction movement.

Context

This project arises from the UK-GBC Steps to 2019 Task Group set up in April 2015 to explore measures for ensuring that the zero carbon policy for new non-domestic buildings would be deliverable by 2019. When the Chancellor scrapped the zero carbon new homes policy in his productivity plan last summer, it was widely construed by the industry to mean that zero carbon non-domestic buildings policies had also been abandoned.

However, with developments last month such as the launch of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction at COP21, and the draft BREEAM International New Construction 2016 technical standard (which broadens its scope and makes a variety of changes to its International Refurbishment and Fit-out assessments) being opened for consultation, the UK-GBC Steps to 2019 Task Group’s change of  focus, to how building performance can aid carbon reduction targets, is timely. A report of the task group’s findings is anticipated in April 2016.

Delivering building performance: the objectives

The project’s focus will be on maximising building performance by:

  • Collaborating with UK-GBC members to investigate what is already being done to mitigate poor building performance
  • Seeking out best practice, and
  • Identifying gaps in and barriers to the efforts to achieve ‘greener’ buildings that need to be overcome throughout the industry.

Building performance will not be measured solely in energy terms but also in other aspects of performance that can impact both the building user and the wider environment.

The ‘performance gap’

In its

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