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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Green round-up
The eco rush is so fast that each day seems to bring a welter of press releases and comment. Here's a brief round-up of some relevant ones:

Ruth Kelly has announced 'Carbon Challenge', an international challenge for housebuilders to design and build flagship zero-carbon and low carbon communities. The competition will be run by EP who are asking developers to bid for certain sites and to set "high standards of design, construction, energy and water use and waste disposal so that these techniques can be used in the future as a benchmark for mainstream development." It also seeks to address rising expectations from the public for more sustainable houses which offer them reduced bills and better design (of which more soon, I went to an interesting event the other day on this.)

The first two sites are Hanham Hall near Bristol and Glebe Road in Peterborough. Three further public and private sector sites are expected to be added to the Challenge within a year. The Challenge will be open to developers and construction firms from across Europe with a target of delivering several thousand zero or low carbon homes.

An alliance of property industry types have tried to get their foot in first, and submitted plans to the government to toughen up environmental standards for commercial buildings in a manner similar to the Code for Sustainable Homes. It includes a timetable of updates to Part L, an idea called a "landlord energy statement" which would list the type of energy used to power the building and how efficient this is, and plans for renewables. The group apparnetly consider on-site renewables impractical for large office bulidings (they would, wouldn't they?) and are looking at on-site ones. I hope the government gets tough on the latter. This has all been done by the RICS, BPF, British Council for Offices and the Investment Property Forum.

The prime minister has said that annual targets for CO2 reductions are impractical, with which I would agree. 'Nuff said.

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