This week’s news is no surprise to us, and if you have been living under a rock the IPCC has written a report on Climate Change and how we are impacting it, you can read the report here: https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7694945791276485947
We started Cityzen over 10 years ago due to clients wanting to understand how to make there buildings work and use les energy, we were looking at how the thermal performance and carbon emissions modelling to reduce the impact of our clients buildings, we have modelled different technologies and looked at there various outcomes, we have been specifying PV and Heat pumps and Low and Zero Carbon Technologies (LZC’s) since the beginning, we live the mantra that the best equipment and materials are the ones you don’t need. And we have taken steps in the office and in our own lives, cycling as much as possible, having PV, and having and now embracing electric cars, and making investments in sustainable projects like Brighton Energy Coop.
What’s next you ask, we’ll we have been in the industry long enough to see that legislation is the only driver that really drives change and could drive down emissions, we have done countless ‘ECO’ projects and projects where the environmental elements were just a tick box exercise, or the sustainable elements were value engineered out. This is no longer good enough.
The Government and clients must embrace the technology and the building modelling software available to not just mitigate climate change but to embrace the changing landscape of the weather brought about by climate change.
Last year the Governments Policy paper ‘The ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’ highlighted Greener Buildings as a target which was great but the government has already stopped the Green Homes Grant scheme, similar to previous schemes there was very little take up, due to the excessive charges and registration schemes required which often added to the costs, we know of one contractor locally who got all his staff trained at great expense to meet the requirements of the scheme for it to be stopped. Previously we have been part of government pilot projects to show how the schemes worked, each time the government has not listened to the feedback so I don’t hold out much hope for any future incentives, therefore legislation is the only way forward. And the rest of the policy really has no teeth or drivers to meet any goal that were included.
So what can we do? We are still designing with energy and materials reduction in mind, we are highlighting the potential cost savings by using LZC technologies (this is all standard stuff for us) but now we must look border and push the boundaries of our buildings further to Reduce the amount of materials used and wasted, reduce the amount of unsustainable materials used and look at new ways of doing things, We have been using Modular construction for some time and this can have a great impact on materials usage, time on site and quality. We also need to look at how we design our buildings, 75% of our housing stock was built in the pre the requirement of insulation, and we are mainly replicating designs developed by the Victorians and have mostly been replicating it ever since, but today we need to cope with more rain, flooding, more extreme heat and storms and according to the IPCC report these will only get more frequent and stronger.
It’s all a bit F*cked. But we all have a responsibility to try and build better for our future and the future generations sake.
We don’t have all the answers, but we are willing and able to meet the needs of the future.
Just for some fun you might want to read my Sustainable Construction blog which we previously wrote!
and if you want to know more about how detail better buildings for our clients that can be built and have a positive impact on the future do drop us a line.