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RIBA calls for tougher building regs to cut carbon emissions

The RIBA is set to pressurise the government to produce more stringent building regulations following the adoption of the policy of 'contraction and convergence', to phase out the use of fossil fuels, at the last council meeting.

The institute will also write a toolkit for architects on how to reduce buildings' emissions of CO 2by 80 per cent by 2050.

This will be produced through work with sustainability experts including Bill Gething of Feilden Clegg Bradley and Lynne Sullivan of Broadway Malyan.

Contraction and convergence calls for the phasing out of fossil fuels in the shortest period of time.

But RIBA president Jack Pringle has admitted: 'We have had trouble funding it. What we should be doing is working with our research group to apply for government funding.'

He said that the RIBA would also be campaigning for building regulations that set more stringent targets on CO 2emissions. 'The problem is,' he said, 'that in the private sector, energy is so cheap that nobody is going to make radical changes unless they are forced to.'

But, speaking at the RIBA conference in Venice on Saturday, Pringle rejected a suggestion from broadcaster Jon Snow that architects who do not reach required levels of CO 2savings should not be recognised by the RIBA. 'We will not be doing that,' he said.

by Ruth Slavid

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