Priva Explains: UKGBC’s Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap

At Priva UK we welcome the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)’s launch of its Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment

At Priva UK we welcome the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)’s launch of its Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment (The Roadmap).  This important framework details the necessary actions government and industry must take to achieve net zero across the sector. 

As the built environment is directly responsible for 25% of the total UK carbon footprint, and therefore has a critical role to play in the national transition to Net Zero, this is an important document and one that we support. 

Co-created by industry with over 100 organisations contributing, the UKGBC’s Roadmap provides a shared vision and set of actions for achieving a net zero UK built environment by 2050, in relation to construction, operation and demolition of buildings and infrastructure.

The Roadmap quantifies, for the first time, the specific emission reductions across sub-sectors of the built environment that will need to take place year-on-year to meet the 2050 deadline. The analysis includes not only domestic emissions, but emissions related to the consumption of imported construction products and materials. It also establishes a net zero emissions budget and trajectory to 2050, consistent with wider UK carbon targets and budgets as set-out by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), enabling government and the UK built environment to benchmark progress over the coming years and decades.

The Roadmap sets out policy recommendations for central and local governments to help drive and enable the transition needed to decarbonise the sector. These go beyond the recently published UK Government Heat & Buildings strategy and cover existing homes, existing non-domestic buildings and new buildings as well as for the infrastructure which connects our buildings and industry.

Recommendations that impact on our end user customers include:

Energy performance disclosure for non-domestic buildings.

  • Introduce mandatory in-use energy disclosure for non-domestic buildings.
  • Accelerate the roll-out of energy performance rating schemes across non-domestic sectors, followed by minimum standards and fiscal incentives.

Adoption of a design for performance approach to new buildings. 

  • Reform building regulations to introduce Energy Usage Intensity (kWh/m2/yr) targets for new buildings from 2025.
  • Alongside low carbon heating for all new buildings from 2025, introduce space heating demand limits (kWh/m2/yr), measures to limit peak demand, and minimum standards for currently unregulated key appliances.

Whole life carbon measurements and agreed limits. 

  • Introduce the regulation of embodied carbon for new buildings and major refurbishments.
  • Support and invest in industrial decarbonisation of key construction material supply chains.
  • Use planning reforms to prioritise reuse of existing buildings and assets.

National infrastructure investment based on the net emissions impact.

  • Establish a National Infrastructure Integrator with full oversight of carbon impacts.

“We have just witnessed phenomenal energy and determination to slow the pace of climate change at the COP26 Summit. At Priva we are committed to driving sustainability in the built environment and want to do all we can to support initiatives that drive positive change. This important document is all about measuring the embodied and in-use carbon of built environment projects – which is of course essential progress. We are delighted to lend our support to this Roadmap.”

UK & Ireland General Manager Gavin Holvey

You can download the full suite of UKGBC resources here:

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