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Robert Irving Burns

How London New Build Properties Could Help Tackle the Climate Emergency

January 20, 2022    |   Robert Irving Burns

London plans to lead the way to tackle the climate emergency. To achieve this, property development in the nation’s capital will undergo a radical change. This ambitious plan aims to achieve net-zero carbon buildings in London by 2030. So how will London’s new build properties and developments help reduce carbon emissions to tackle the climate crisis?

London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a ‘retrofit revolution’ to make buildings more energy-efficient, cut greenhouse gas emissions, develop more sustainable infrastructure, and create green jobs. The vision in the ‘Green New Deal’ framework aims to inject billions of pounds of investment to upgrade cold, damp housing stock into energy-efficient buildings.

What is necessary for new build properties and major developments to reach net-zero by 2030? Please read on to find out.

The Need to Tackle the Climate Emergency

According to recent data, residential and commercial properties account for 78 per cent of carbon emissions in London. In addition, many Londoners suffer from fuel poverty and struggle to pay energy bills. As a result, they can’t afford to keep homes warm due to inefficient buildings and rising fuel prices.

One innovation is to build on Khan’s ‘Retrofit Accelerator – Homes’ to boost energy efficiency. For example, most of the properties that will be standing in 2030 already exist. Therefore, cutting 17,500 tonnes a year in carbon savings must be made to reduce day-to-day energy use.

How Will London Tackle the Climate Emergency?

How will it be possible to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero in the space of a few years? Here are some of the steps to ensure that new builds and developments will slash the level of emissions buildings generate:

  • All developments of ten homes and more must be net zero-carbon and air quality neutral.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy and solar power in London.
  • Encourage a shift in transport so that 80 per cent of journeys are made by walking, cycling, or public transport.
  • Extend zero-carbon standards to commercial buildings.

Innovation to Cut Carbon Emissions

There must be a significant re-think in how new builds and major developments are planned to meet the ambitious climate targets. So what are some of the radical ways that buildings can help achieve net-zero targets? Here are some measures that may change the way residential and commercial properties function in the future:

Passivhaus homes: Passivhaus is the gold standard for building efficiency and low-carbon homes. According to figures, the required energy to heat a Passivhaus home is 90 per cent lower than a traditional home. This would require investment in clean energy — heat pumps, geothermal energy, and solar panels.

NABERS: The ‘National Australian Built Environment Rating System’ measures and compares the efficiency of commercial buildings for emissions, water usage, waste, and air quality. Data shows that millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions can be saved using this system — not to mention saving billions of pounds.

Retrofit: Because over 80 per cent of the buildings we will use in 2030 have already been built, retrofitting is the way forward. This would focus on adapting existing buildings to meet London’s emission targets. For example, LETI is a network of environmental professionals who come together to retrofit homes to reduce energy consumption in existing London properties.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for London property development. For the city to meet its net-zero target by 2030, urgent action is necessary to reduce carbon emissions and increase building efficiency. Not only will this help the environment, but it will also significantly reduce energy demand in buildings for households and businesses working and living in London.

If you’re a property developer looking to build net-zero carbon properties or have already done so, contact our expert Property Development Sales team today on the details shown below. We can offer more details on the issues raised above and help you sell your property development.

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