The Government has set a key goal to achieve zero carbon new homes by 2016 (Code for Sustainable Homes). In order to achieve this goal, more and more legislation will be coming into force to ensure that new developments consider sustainable construction principles through the whole life cycle of a development – the planning, construction, maintenance and eventually the demolition process. Developers who take early action and consider sustainable construction principles in new developments will be well prepared for legislation that will soon be coming into force to meet zero carbon targets.
As sustainable construction is such a rapidly growing area of the construction industry, this document focuses specifically on renewable energy solutions that can be adopted in new developments. Practical guidance on other sustainable construction principles for planners and developers can be found at www.sustainable-construction.org.uk. An online sustainable construction checklist has been developed by West Midlands Regional Assembly and Advantage West Midlands to assess, to what extent, a development site proposal will deliver on the different aspects of sustainability, visit www.checklistwestmidlands.co.uk.
Developers who install renewable energy solutions in a proposed development are more likely to gain a competitive edge in the market, not only in preparing themselves for future legislation but by offering potential customers the benefits of renewable energy. Benefits include cheaper fuel bills, increased security and reliability of energy supply, with the possibility of an income from selling excess energy produced back to the National Grid.
This practice note therefore provides guidance to developers on how to incorporate technology relating to renewable energy in the design of new developments.
There are now many factors encouraging developers to adopt more sustainable construction practices, and for these to be promoted more effectively through the planning system
Wyre Forest House