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UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard coalition launches call for evidence

UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard coalition launches call for evidence

The team developing the UK’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard (the NZCBS) has launched a call for evidence, to help inform and guide the development of the Standard.

Once developed, the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will provide a single agreed definition and methodology for the industry to determine what constitutes a net zero carbon building. The cross-industry group developing the Standard and championing this initiative includes representatives from the following organisations: Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), Building Research Establishment (BRE), the Carbon Trust, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Low Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

Having established governance and delivery teams, the NZCBS coalition is now calling on UK built environment industry practitioners to supply operational energy and embodied carbon performance data for their buildings. This will support the development of their evidence base over the coming months.

Firstly, the NZCBS coalition is seeking operational energy data for buildings – specifically in-use consumption data from the best performing existing buildings, and modelled performance data for buildings in design or construction. This data will enable the NZCBS development team to understand what today’s benchmark for energy performance is, and what current and future best practice might look like. As part of this, the NZCBS is also calling for experts to assist with energy modeling – more information on this can be found in the call for evidence guide.

Secondly the NZCBS team is seeking embodied carbon data from both new construction and retrofit projects. This will enable the NZCBS development team to set out benchmarks for embodied carbon emitted in the construction process of different building types across the UK.

Participants are invited to submit data via the Built Environment Carbon Database.The deadline for submitting data is 16 December 2022. The NZCBS Call for Evidence coincides with the launch of the beta version of the BECD this week.

Those with operational energy and embodied carbon performance data to share are encouraged to review the call for evidence guide, available on the project website with more detail on the process for supplying data.

For additional guidance on relevance and suitability of data required, the team can be contacted on: energydata@NZCbuildings.co.uk or Embodieddata@NZCBuildings.co.uk, depending on the type of data in question.

The NZCBS Technical Steering Group will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 17 November at 9.30am.

They’ll be providing a general update on progress on the development of the Standard as well as taking part in an audience Q&A session. Find out more and register to attend.

David Partridge, Chairman, Related Argent and Chair of the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard Governance Board, said:

“If the real estate industry and built environment is to seriously address its impact on climate change, a universally adopted Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard is absolutely essential. We are looking for built environment professionals to contribute data from a number of different asset types to develop a single, agreed methodology and for all stakeholders in the real estate industry who will be using the Standard to get involved in order to formulate it appropriately. Please contribute to our call for evidence and join us in our update event to learn more about our plans and programme for developing and testing the Standard.” 

Clara Bagenal George, LETI and Chair of the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard Technical Steering Group said:

“Not only will this project deliver much needed clarity on how to verify net zero carbon buildings in the UK. But it also brings together key organisations that have been working in this space, to create a robust, industry led Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, created through consensus and collaboration based on science.” 

About the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard is being developed by an industry steering group which consists of the following industry bodies: BBP, BRE, the Carbon Trust, CIBSE, IStructE, LETI, RIBA, RICS, and UKGBC. For more information about the initiative and to remain up to date, please visit https://www.nzcbuildings.co.uk.

The NZCBS is anticipated to provide auditing, verification and reporting requirements. It is intended that claims will be required to be validated based on in-use measured data and interim verification of an asset at design stage or once the asset is built but not yet operating may also be considered.

The Governance Board will oversee the initiative and govern the development, implementation, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the standard. The Technical Steering Group is responsible for the direction and technical decision-making of the development of the NZCBS; this group will bring together technical experts and sector specific expertise via a set of focused task and sector groups.

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