‘2020 is the year of climate action’, Gary Clark, chair of RIBA’s Sustainable Futures Group.
A coalition of leading architects, engineers and building professionals gathered at NLA to launch a new, free, ‘must-read’ Climate Emergency Design Guide. The ‘blueprint’ on how the construction industry can react to the issue and create a generation of zero carbon buildings marks a critical year of action required for the sector if the slide can be turned around. And the event, in response to proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regs proved one of the most popular the NLA has ever hosted.
The group said the industry had come together to provide a consensus on how to design new buildings in a way that does not jeopardise national emissions targets. Published by LETI - the London Energy Transformation Initiative, the guide took a year to produce and is backed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE).
“Delivering zero carbon buildings is a huge challenge’, said CIBSE technical director Hywel Davies. ‘LETI has taken a major step to help the industry to work out how this is to be done for new buildings.”
The guide outlines the requirements of new buildings to ensure the UK’s climate change targets are met and marks the start of what they call a ‘milestone’ new phase: a consensus on how to design new buildings. Written collectively by more than 100 industry professionals and supported by thousands more, the guide offers a blueprint on how the construction industry can react and work together to tackle the climate emergency.
‘2020 is the year of climate action’, said chair of RIBA’s Sustainable Futures Group Gary Clark. ‘We urgently need clear and practical guides on how to deliver net zero carbon future now. The new LETI guides fulfil this aim and are a timely addition to the growing suite of guides. This is a must-read for construction professionals’
Unlike other parts of the economy, carbon emissions from UK buildings are not falling. The built environment thus has an essential role in meeting the Government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and playing a part in stopping what LETI terms ‘runaway’ climate change. Currently the UK is not on a coordinated track to meet these goals, it adds, so LETI has been driving to create coordinated consensus and simple road maps to achieve our climate aims.
Elementa Consulting associate and lead editor of the report Clara Bagenal George said that the building industry knows that we should be designing climate-friendly buildings now, but that, unfortunately, only a fraction of new properties are of the standard needed to meet our climate targets.
‘We know how to do it, but without the Government showing similar ambition, unfortunately we will drift further from where we need to be’, she said. ‘This collective call from all parts of the building industry is a clear and straightforward explainer of what is expected of us and how we can get there.’
NLA curator-in-chief Peter Murray added that it was ‘gratifying that professionals are responding to the climate change emergency’.
The guide includes voices from across the buildings sector, including Allies and Morrison, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Levitt Bernstein, Elementa, Hawkins\Brown, DRMM, Haworth Tompkins, Woods Bagot, Etude, Cundall, AECOM, BDP, Hilson Moran, Thornton Tomasetti, ACAN, XCO2, Currie & Brown, Verco and Twinn Sustainability Innovation.
It is available to download for free here