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New sustainable code must set real example

A new Code for Sustainable Buildings must not be watered down by the Government and must set a real example for the industry – according to leading ‘green building’ figures.

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has announced a major consultation to find out what measures the industry thinks are needed to meet the Government’s 2019 zero carbon target.

Responding to the call George Martin, Head of Sustainable Development at Willmott Dixon, said: “Back in 2004 the then Sustainable Buildings Task Group, co-chaired by Sir John Harman and Victor Benjamin recommended that a single national Code for Sustainable Building be established. 

“I supported the initiative then and was seriously disappointed when it was watered down to become the Code for Sustainable Homes.  Now is the time for the UK to set an example and deliver a national Code for Sustainable Buildings.”

Peter Rogers, UK-GBC chairman,  said: “The UK-GBC wants to see very wide take-up of robust and customer-friendly tools, and we believe that the standards at the heart of a new Code for Sustainable Buildings should be ‘open source’, meaning that such a Code could potentially be incorporated into a range of different tools, from a range of providers who could then compete in terms of service provision, without confusing the industry with different standards.”

Paul King, chief executive of the UK-GBC, said:  “With the upcoming Government consultation on zero carbon non-domestic buildings, this is an ideal moment to take stock and consider what kind of code and rating tools we need for the future.

“Industry needs a clear and practical route map and milestones that are aligned with Government policy to give it the confidence and knowledge to move forward on a trajectory to 2019.

“We also need to anticipate forthcoming European regulation in this area, and the growing demand from multi-national clients and developers for increased harmonisation between international tools.”

Andy Ford, Director at Fulcrum Consulting, said: “I welcome the UK-GBC's approach in seeking an open source, second generation solution. They have, thus far, proved themselves a model of inclusivity and clarity in this complex area.”

Daniel Labbad, chief executive at Lend Lease, said: “This is an extremely important initiative being undertaken by the UK-GBC that will explore how best to provide a platform which encourages innovation, while guiding the industry towards sustainability targets most effectively.”

Rab Bennetts, Director at Bennetts Associates, said: “In the same way that the UK Green Building Council is a pan-industry body, so the Code for Sustainable Building should aim to be just the sort of joined-up thinking that offers clarity and strategic direction to designers, constructors, owners and occupiers.”