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UK-GBC urges code for sustainable buildings

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has unveiled proposals for a new, all-encompassing Code for Sustainable Buildings (CSB)

Backed by big-hitters such as the RIBA, Arup and Lend Lease, the UK-GBC has called on the government to introduce a single code for all new and existing non-domestic buildings.

The proposals include ambitious plans for a ‘building MOT’ programme to monitor and improve the environmental performance throughout a building’s life. 

Daniel Labbad, chief executive of Lend Lease, said the code represented the ‘first step towards removing the immense confusion that exists’ and create an overarching framework that could be easily understood across the industry.

RIBA president Sunand Prasad (pictured) said the new code would differ to the Code for Sustainable Homes by setting an ‘escalator’ of targets, for example CO2 emissions per m², but not ‘the method of reaching them’.

‘I hope the final code will make good the intention of setting absolute targets with real numbers,’ he told the AJ.

The Code’s launch pre-empts the government’s consultation on how to achieve zero-carbon levels for all new commercial buildings by 2019 – the results of which are due out later this year.

This week also witnessed the signing of an agreement to develop a global standard for measuring CO2 emissions to unify rating tools around the world – namely BREEAM in the UK, Green Star in Australia and LEED in the USA.

Read more of Sunand Prasad’s comments to the AJ

Proposal: code for sustainable buildings

• Single code covering all non-domestic buildings

• A ‘trajectory’ to zero carbon through ever-tougher targets

• A regular building ‘MOT’

• Code to be government-owned but worked out with industry

• Ensure industry-wide consistency between policies, guidance and initiatives

• Set industry-wide standards and targets aligning methods of measuring sustainability

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