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

Chris Twinn of TwinnSustainabilityInnovation

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?

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