The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has warned London developers to be aware of changes to zero carbon requirements when putting forward planning applications and highlighting the importance to go above and beyond with energy efficiency measures to make homes genuinely ‘Zero Carbon’.
Developers risk having residential schemes rejected by London planners because they are unaware of a zero carbon requirement which comes into force at the end of the summer.
Richard Twinn, policy advisor at the UK Green Building Council, warned many developers are still in the dark.
From the end of the summer the requirements for zero carbon building is set to change. As of the 1 October, housing in London will be expected to meet standards 35 per cent stricter than Part L of building regulations. Failure to do so will see developers pay cash in lieu into a carbon offset fund. However, UK-GBC policy advisor Richard Twinn said many developers were unaware of the change.
Twinn said: “Most people haven’t got their heads round what’s happening (through the London Plan).
“There are a lot of developers who haven’t twigged that it’s going to be effectively zero carbon.
“But it’s big news and people need to be aware it’s coming. Developers will have to go further than they ever needed to before or their schemes will be turned down.”
The requirements were revealed earlier this year by the Greater London Authority (GLA), which has the power to impose sustainability regulations. Twinn said the carbon offsetting fund, used to penalise developers for failing to build zero carbon homes, might incentivise developers to reduce their carbon footprint.
“It’s going to require architects to go further than they have before,” he said.
“They will need to be on the front foot if they want to secure work in London. Developers will be looking for things that can be done on site to help them minimise their offsetting costs.
“So there’s an opportunity for people who know their stuff and have innovative ideas to make an impact on the London market.”