Zero carbon for zero extra cost: preparing for 2019 UK new buildings

Chris Twinn of TwinnSustainabilityInnovationThoughts on zero carbon

With China and Brazil striving for the West’s living standards and looking to our best green building standards – worldwide carbon emissions are set to rise dramatically! From their current low energy use per person, it doesn’t take much back-of-envelope calcs to show more than 4ºC of climate change. Taking 30% off our energy use does not cut it when you are already emitting three planet worth.

They are looking for West leadership. Instead we hide behind sustainability as cost-plus little steps with historic institutional barriers. But we could unlock all this if we are prepared to take on Smart Design:

  1. Smart IT – Designing for tablet computers instead of PCs slashes both IT and its cooling energy.
  2. LED task lighting – More than halves light energy use and its cooling energy.
  3. Daylight – Designed for quality rather than quantity brings new light to window design.
  4. Adaptive comfort – Improved productivity & energy by giving people control of their room conditions.
  5. Simple facades – Reverse the trend towards complex and expensive facades.
  6. Passive cooling – Reduced IT and solar allows thermal mass to provide most of the cooling.
  7. Small M&E – Greatly less demands means smaller, simpler and economical.
  8. Less material – Less M&E allows more net-lettable, no dropped ceilings, less storey height & cladding.
  9. On-site or local renewables – Greatly less energy needs so easier for FIT/RHI to meet needs.
  10. Integrated design – Essential – instead of using a pick-and-mix of green add-on’s.

The future for sustainability is using less materials to deliver the built amenity needed to deliver prosperity. Less materials should mean less cost. Are we up for this?

Leave a Reply