The Zero Carbon Hub have finalised and issued their report on the level of Carbon Compliance to support the proposed definition of zero carbon for 2016 building regulations. As described before here, this sets out how to achieve compliance by setting target maximum levels of carbon emissions to be emitted on site. The remaining emissions will be dealt with through the mythical allowable solutions which are yet to be devised.
There are a few headline issues that are covered in the report, and a few that are not.
– building performance is to be based on as-built and not designed performance
-the limits are expressed in terms of kg/CO2/sqm per annum and not in terms of % improvement on the previous regs, which is a major step forward. This allows easy communication of the targets and enables comparisons with other standards across Europe.
-photovoltaics were used as a proxy for low and zero carbon technologies
-the prediction is that the total cost of carbon compliance per dwelling over 2010 regs costs will be £5,400 at 2016 prices and
-the total predicted zero carbon cost per dwelling will be £12,300 per dwelling at 2016 prices
-post construction testing will be needed to ensure that the buildings perform as designed
-developments can average performance across dwellings to allow for some poorly performing ones (east/west) balancing out the over achievers (south/north)
-the report identifies regional weather variations as being an issue but doesn’t say what to do about it. Which is a pity, as it is fairly obvious that the current position where SAP thinks that we all live in the East Pennines is clearly unsatisfactory (and untrue).
-the report is not in favour of local versions of this standard and argues that it should apply across the UK. This is related to the previous point ab0ut weather, as it will be easier to achieve the standard in the South than in the North, and will add further to the costs of developing in the Northern half of the UK.
– the rport acknowledges that high-rise buildings are a special case and need further examination, although it doesn’t mention Flats over Garages, another special case which also need further examination.