Nicola Sturgeon has announced that all new public buildings built in Scotland will be built to net zero standard to ensure they ’meet the challenge’ of the climate emergency
The measure was one of a swathe of green initiatives unveiled by the Scottish first minister yesterday (4 September) as part of a focus on tackling climate change.
In addition to working on a new ‘Net Zero Carbon’ standard for all new public buildings, the government also said it would oversee a ‘fundamental overhaul’ of building regulations to ensure that from 2024 all new homes use renewable or low-carbon heating.
A new consultation will include measures to improve energy efficiency and the quality of construction and will be accompanied by a £30 million investment in renewable heat projects, according to Sturgeon.
Sturgeon also revealed plans for a £3 billion Green Investment Portfolio, a ‘Green City Deal’ for cities and regions and said the transition to net zero will be the primary mission of the Scottish National Investment Bank.
Plans to clean up Scotland’s rail network and introduce a fleet of ultra-low-emission buses were also announced.
Sturgeon said: ’Earlier this year, I acknowledged that Scotland – like the rest of the world – faces a climate emergency. We are now committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest – earlier than any other UK nation.
’This year’s Programme for Government is an important part of our response to the climate emergency, containing measures which will reduce emissions while supporting sustainable and inclusive growth.’
The commitments were outlined in the Scottish National Party’s legislative programme for 2019-20, called Protecting Scotland’s Future.
Paul Stallan of Stallan-brand
The Scottish Government’s newly announced programme for Scotland 2019-2020 titled Protecting Scotland’s Future prioritises the country’s journey to net zero emissions is bold and well considered policy that will definitely place a commercial and technical burden on architects and housing contractors going forward.
New legislation coming into effect will ensure that from 2024, all new homes must use renewable or low carbon heat. Critically this will be achieved through a fundamental overhaul of the current building regulations, with a focus on increased energy efficiency and efficiency of construction. From our studios perspective the principle challenge will be to help our clients balance a significant increase in construction costs against affordability.
Many larger brownfield or rural social housing sites that we are currently working on are already unviable without major government subsidy. Additionally outside London there are many private for sale and urban build to rent developments where again the metrics are on a knife edge.