The Climate Change Bill of 2007 sets challenging targets for carbon reductions across the UK. Clearly, buildings would need to deliver significant reductions as part of this overall target.
The publication of the Code for Sustainable Homes set out targets to achieve radical emissions reductions from new homes. This project was commissioned to add to the understanding of whether similar targets in the non-domestic sector can be set and achieved and on what timescale.
The complexity and scale of this task required an industry-wide analysis. The UK-GBC is an industry-led, independent, not for profit, membership-based organisation made up of world class engineering practices, architects, project and cost management consultants, developers, NGOs and many others including leading academia, and was considered the best organisation to undertake the research.
In tackling the task the UK-GBC endeavoured to answer the following questions:
1. What is total energy use in non-domestic buildings?
2. Is it feasible to reduce the carbon emissions resulting from this energy use down to zero?
3. What would be the estimated cost of these carbon emissions reductions?
4. Over what timescale could zero carbon new non-domestic buildings be achieved?
In order to answer these questions the project was broken down into a number of sections as detailed below in Section 1: Approach and Structure.