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GOVERNMENT MOVES AHEAD WITH DEVELOPING NEW CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS

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A new drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions will be at the heart of ...
A new drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions will be at the heart of

an industry Code for Sustainable Buildings, said deputy prime

minister John Prescott today.

Nearly 50 per cent of CO2 emissions in the UK are caused by

building, maintaining and occupying buildings. Our homes alone

account for around twenty five per cent.

The government gave the green light to the Code in its response to

the Sustainable Buildings Task Group report, in which experts from

the private, public and non-governmental sectors pinpointed ways in

which industry and government can work together to promote

sustainable development.

The new code will establish higher standards for energy and water

efficiency, as well as waste and use of materials. This will help to

deliver truly sustainable buildings and is expected, through

increased efficiency, to generate substantial savings for industry

and consumers. Government calls on the whole of the building industry

to embrace the task group's recommendations.

The first outline of the Code should be complete in time for the

Sustainable Communities Summit in January 2005.

Mr Prescott welcomed the report and said:

'We are delighted to start work with industry on developing the Code

for Sustainable Buildings.

'Building better, greener buildings is a key element of our£38bn Sustainable Communities Plan. This is the best opportunity

we have had for generations to change the way we build. By doing

things differently we will benefit both people and the planet. It is

time to apply the highest environmental standards to the new and

existing building stock if we are to tackle climate change and

achieve high quality design for communities where people will want to

live now and in the future.'

Environment secretary Margaret Beckett said:

'We welcome the task group's specific recommendations on energy and

water efficiency and on waste and the sustainable use of timber. We

will urgently undertake full analysis of the recommendations,

maximising industry and stakeholder expertise as we do, and will

implement the proposals where we can. We will also help establish the

Code for Sustainable Buildings. We hope that industry will respond

and take up the considerable challenges laid down by the task group.

'We should demand the highest environmental standards possible in all

our buildings to ensure that future homes and communities are

sustainable and where people want to live.'

Secretary of state for the Department for Trade and Industry Patricia

Hewitt said: 'The aim to build better buildings, and tackle the key

environmental issues of greenhouse emissions and waste, is clearly

one which government and industry must work together on. We know that

to establish and develop a successful Code we will need the technical

expertise of the industry.

'The report's recommendations show a real

way forward, and several important sectors are already responding to

the new challenges ahead. We must also realise that this report marks

a beginning, not anend, to the process.'

Member of the task group and CEO of the UK Timber Frame Association,

Bryan Woodley said:

'The united approach from three important government departments in

welcoming the Code gives a positive and proactive foundation to allow

industry to deliver communities and buildings fit for this and future

generations.

'Even the Code's more aspirational aspects are achievable using

timber in construction and co-operative follow-up actions are now

being progressed with government, CPET, Forestry Commission, WWF,

Energy Saving Trust, WRAP, BRE and TRADA as well as a broad

cross-section of Industry and its supply chain.'

A project group will be set up immediately to establish the main

criteria of the Code, as well as set up a senior steering group to

fully develop the Code. Direct industry involvement in the project

group is welcomed and will be core to the membership of the senior

steering group. The group will work with local authorities and

developers to ensure that a sufficient number of demonstration

schemes in the Thames Gateway, and potentially elsewhere, are

established. Part of the demonstration process will be to carry out a

full regulatory impact assessment and economic assessment.

The Code should be complete by the end of 2005, in order to take

action on a national rollout by early 2006.

Notes

1. The Sustainable Buildings Task Group comprised a small group of

expert stakeholders tasked to pinpoint ways in which industry and

government can work together to promote sustainable development in

the building sector. Its remit was to seek better quality and

environmental performance in construction of new and the management

of existing buildings.

2. The SBTG report is available on the Environment Agency web site

'Making today's buildings fit for tomorrow'

3. The Better Buildings Summit was co-hosted by ODPM, DTI and Defra

on October 21 2003.

4. The£38bn Sustainable Communities Plan, published in February

2003, is available on the ODPM Website.

5. The Energy White Paper, published in February 2003, is available

on the DTI Website.

5. John Harman (Environment Agency) and Victor Benjamin (English

Partnerships) co-chaired the group.

6. The following were members of the Sustainable Buildings Task Group

* John Calcutt, Chief Executive, Crest Nicholson

* Julian Barwick, Joint Managing Director, Development Securities

* Sheila Button, Board Member, Housing Corporation

* Terry Wyatt, President, CIBSE

* Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Savings Trust

* Pamela Taylor, Chief Executive, Water UK

* Michael Ankers, CEO, Construction Products Association

* Jennie Price, Chief Executive, Waste and Resources Action Programme

* Brian Woodley, UK Timber Frame Association

* Ian Coull, Chief Executive of Slough Estates

* Peter Studdert, Director of Environment and Planning, Cambridge

City Council

* Paul King, Campaign Director, WWF-UK

* Lynne Sullivan, Sustainability Director, Broadway Malyan

* Paul Noon, Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee

* Government x 5 (ODPM/DEFRA/DTI/HMT/OGC)

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