The construction industry has been called into action to reduce the impact that house building has on the environment and to build developments at Net Zero Carbon.
To aid this, the Government have developed ‘The Future Homes Standard’, which will come into effect in 2025. This is a set of standards that will complement the Building Regulations to ensure that new homes built from 2025 produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes delivered under current regulations. The standard will consist of a series of amendments to Part F (ventilation) and Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations for new homes. As an interim step, Building Regulations will be updated as soon as December 2021, whereby all new homes built from June 2022 must produce 31% lower carbon emissions, compared to current levels.
Net Zero Carbon is formed of two Key Components: Operational Carbon & Embodied Carbon. Operational energy is the energy consumed by a building associated with heating, hot water, cooling, ventilation, and lighting systems. Embodied Carbon is also known as the upfront emissions associated with construction, including the production of materials and the energy and water consumption.
In Order to meet Net Zero, we need to work towards minimising the burning of fossil fuels, being 100% powered by renewable energy and reduce Embodied Carbon by 40%.
To achieve these targets, AJC Group will be implementing many of the below on our future developments:
- Air Source Heat Pumps – To reduce running costs and increase energy efficiency
- Improvement of air tightness procedures – To ensure AJC meet required targets, minimise air leakage and reduce heat loss
- Installation of Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) Units
- Triple Glazing on all developments to achieve greater U-Values
- Increased Cavity Insulations to achieve U-Value Targets
- Major Consideration to floor, wall, and roof insulation systems to achieve reduced U-Values
- The use of submeter renewables for energy generation, sub meters for vehicle charging and smart meters within homes
- Modern methods of Construction (MMC) – Using prefabricated products & materials
- Minimising travel distances for trades and suppliers to cut carbon emissions
- Minimising the use of plant/machinery on site during construction
- Reducing any potential post construction repairs or maintenance
- Renewable energy systems
To be affective in delivering a Net Zero Carbon Scheme, AJC Group will take and include Net Zero Carbon measures within our procurement processes and follow these throughout until the delivery of our project, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to reduce carbon emissions.
Image: ‘Getting to Zero’ from ‘ LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide’