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Green Building Council mobilises zero carbon lobby

20 Jul 15 The UK Green Building Council has rallied more than 200 signatories for a letter asking the chancellor to rethink his decision to scrap targets for zero carbon construction.

Last week we reported that chancellor George Osborne had decided to axe government plans to make new buildings carbon neutral. Under the old policy, all new homes built from 2016 were going to have to meet zero carbon standards while all new non-residential buildings such as offices, schools and hospitals would have to be constructed as carbon neutral from 2019.

In an open letter to the chancellor, representatives of 246 organisations argue that the policy switch has “undermined industry confidence in government” and will “curtail investment in British innovation and manufacturing”.

Signatories appear to be primarily design and consultancy outfits (with at least one of them from as far afield as New Zealand) although Willmott Dixon, LendLease and Sir Robert McAlpine are among construction firms supporting the lobbying campaign.

As previously reported, the Federation of Master Builders and the Home Builders Federation were both happy to see the zero carbon standards dropped, warning that they “threatened to perpetuate the housing crisis”.

[See our previous report here.]

However, Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, which coordinated the letter, said: “The speed and the stealth with which this administration has destroyed some of the long-term policies supporting the renewable and low carbon industries has been breath-taking. We have witnessed an unparalleled wave of support from our members and the wider industry who are deeply concerned about how the government’s sudden, regressive and arbitrary decision to scrap the long established zero carbon policy will impact their business and investment.

“This U-turn not only means our new buildings will be less energy efficient and more costly to run, but it comes at a time when the UK should be taking strong action on climate change ahead of the UN conference in Paris in December. We urge government to reconsider its position for the sake of future confidence in the UK’s low carbon economy.”

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The full text of the letter, and the signatories, are below:

Monday 20 July 2015

Dear Chancellor,
 
For the best part of a decade, in response to a long-established Government target, the construction and property sector has been gearing up to deliver zero carbon homes and buildings. Last Friday, we were extremely disappointed to learn that this policy is being arbitrarily scrapped, despite the fact that the necessary primary legislation only acquired Royal Assent in February this year.

There was a broad consensus in support of the zero carbon policy, which was designed to give industry the confidence it needs to invest and innovate, in order to drive higher energy efficiency standards and low carbon energy solutions.

Since the policy was first launched eight years ago, business has invested heavily in preparing for future standards. This sudden U-turn has undermined industry confidence in Government and will now curtail investment in British innovation and manufacturing in low carbon products and services. There is no evidence to suggest it will increase housing supply or boost productivity.

The weakening of standards will mean our future homes, offices, schools and factories will be more costly to run, locking future residents and building users into higher energy bills. It also runs counter to advice from the Committee on Climate Change, impeding our ability to meet our statutory carbon targets cost-effectively at a time when we should be showing international leadership on this issue.

Abandoning the zero carbon policy will have regressive impacts and be harmful to British industry. We urge you to reconsider and engage with us in dialogue to find a mutually acceptable way forward.

Yours sincerely,

  • Andrew Bushrod, Director, A & H Energy Ratings
  • Julian Williams, Director, Abba Energy Ltd
  • Richard McCarthy, Director, Abbeymead Building Ltd
  • Philip Haile, Active Passive Energy Consultants
  • Karen Turnbull, Sustainability Leader, ADP (Architects Design Partnership)
  • Andrew Simmonds, CEO, AECB
  • George Goudsmit, Managing Director, AES
  • Donna Hunt, Head of Sustainability, Aggregate Industries
  • Martin Wright, Managing Director, AHR
  • Heather Moorhead, Owner, alba epc Ltd
  • Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group
  • Gary Newman, Executive Chair, Alliance for Sustainable Building Products
  • Andrew James, AMJ Designworks
  • Andrew Catto, Director, Andrew Catto Architects
  • Spencer Crocker, Architectural Designer, Antevasin Design
  • Jack Harvie-Clarke, Founder, Apex Acoustics
  • David Sumsion, Director, Arbour Architecture
  • Steven Harris, Co-Founder, Architecture and Energy
  • Nick Donaldson, Architect, ARCO2 Architecture
  • David Partridge, Managing Partner, Argent (Property Development) Services LLP
  • Asif Din, Asif Din Architecture Design
  • Chris Askew, Askew Cavanna Architects
  • John Christophers, Associate, Associated Architects
  • Dr Joanne Wade, Director, Association for the Conservation of Energy
  • Patrick Bellew, Principal, Atelier Ten
  • Steven Knight, Director, Autonomy Homes
  • Rab Bennetts, Director, Bennetts Associates Architects
  • Rob Bould, CEO, Bilfinger GVA
  • Sue Riddlestone OBE, CEO & co-founder, Bioregional
  • Tony Duckworth, Associate, Black Architecture
  • Nicolas Guérin, Managing Director, Bouygues Development
  • Alex Hunt, Partner, Bright Green Homes LLP
  • Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation
  • Julian Brooks, Founder Director, Brooks Development Practice
  • Chris Brummitt, Principal, Brummitt Architects
  • Mike Cook, Chairman, BuroHappold
  • Iain Cox, Chairman, Business Sprinkler Alliance
  • Dr Jason Palmer, Director, Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd
  • Jonathan Atkinson, Project Manager, Carbon Co-op
  • Paul Cayford, Founder, Cayford Architecture
  • Chris Swinburn, Principal Engineer, CBG Consultants
  • Mark Watts, Chief Executive, Cedar Rydal
  • Charles Green, Principle Designer, Charles Green Design
  • Clare Nash, Founder, Clare Nash Architecture
  • Andrew Clifford, Director, Clifford Atkins
  • Clive Jones, Founder, Clive Jones Architect Ltd
  • Gordon Sheret, Sales and Marketing Director, Cofely UK
  • Eric Fewster, Director, ColdProof
  • Paul Vockins, Head of Sustainability, Colliers International
  • Don Ward, Chief Executive, Constructing Excellence
  • Peter Smithdale, Director, Constructive Individuals Ltd
  • Greg Slater, Interim CEO, Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust
  • Yvonne Raymond, Manager, Corporate Care
  • Charlie Mackinnon-Little, Director, Cotswold Green Energy
  • Dr N G Cutland, Director, Cutland Consulting Limited
  • Sonny Masero, Chairman, Demand Logic
  • Derek Monckton, Derek Monckton Renewable Energy and Building Services
  • Derek Scoble, Derek Scoble Architects
  • Andrew Palmer, Director, Distinctive Property Development
  • Tony Cocker, CEO, E.ON UK
  • Christopher North and Margery Ward, Directors, Earth and Reed
  • James Traynor, Director of Architecture, ECD Architects
  • Alan Budden, Founding Director, Eco Design Consultants
  • Andrew Hodchild, Managing Director, Eco Heat & Power Ltd
  • Paul Hutchens, Managing Director, Eco2 Solar
  • Dermot Barnes, Managing Director, ecodomus
  • Penny Randell, General Manager, Ecological Building Systems UK
  • Paul Ellis, Chief Executive, Ecology Building Society
  • Kevin Knapp, Director, Ecolution
  • Sally Francis, Owner, EcoRefab
  • Kit Knowles, Sustainability Consultant, ecospheric
  • Tim Hulse, Director, EcoVert Solutions Ltd
  • Trevor Lowis, Proprietor, Eden Insulation
  • Chris Hocknell, Technical Director, Eight Associates
  • Steve Bratt, CEO, Electrical Contractors' Association
  • Sam Foster, Senior Consultant, elementenergy
  • Helen Brown, Head of Building Physics, Encraft
  • Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust
  • Thomas Lefevre, Director, Etude
  • Michael Pawlyn, Director, Exploration
  • Paul Finch, Director, Finbo Construction Project Management
  • Steve Floyd, Director, Floyd & Field
  • Robin Hillier, Director, Forever Green Projects
  • Dr Sally Uren, Chief Executive, Forum for the Future
  • Sarah Harrison, Founder, Eco-refurbishment
  • Ian Mawditt, Director and Head of Building Research, fourwalls
  • Andrew Gould, Partner, Genr8 Developments
  • Dr Keith Baker, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Andrew Goodman, Owner, Good Architecture
  • Matthew Spencer, Director, Green Alliance
  • Jenny Bishop, Director, Green Architect
  • Chris Herring and Bill Butcher, Directors, Green Building Store
  • Peter Chisnall, Director, Green Peaches C.I.C
  • William Meadowcroft, Owner, Green Source Heat Ltd
  • Ian McHugh, Principal, Green Triangle Studio
  • Rachel Mitchell, Owner, Greenbox Associates
  • Toby Cambray, Partner, Greengauge Building Energy Consultants
  • Donald Macritchie, Managing Director, Greenspace Live
  • Gil Schalom, Principal, GSD Architecture
  • Mike Roberts, Managing Director, HAB Housing
  • Louis Halstead, Director, Halstead Technology Solution Providers
  • Phil Hawdon, Hawdon Russell Architects
  • Carol Long, Environmental Technology Surveyor and Energy Assessor, Hawthorn Environmental Services
  • Maria Hawton-Mead, Sustainability Consultant, Hawton Mead
  • Jonathan Hetreed, Director, Hetreed Ross Architects
  • Chris Birch, Director of Sustainability, Hilson Moran
  • Richard Hodkinson, Managing Director, Hodkinson Consultancy
  • Chris Bannister, Partner, Hopkins Architects
  • Rory Bergin, Partner, Sustainable Futures, HTA Design
  • Matthew Mason, ICFDIRECT
  • Peter Connolly, Chief Executive, Igloo Regeneration
  • Debbie Webb, Commercial Manager, Inazin
  • Ramon Arratia, European Sustainability Director, Interface
  • Joanna Lindley, JL Studio Architecture
  • Mark Stupples, UK Chief Operating Officer, JLL
  • Julian Bishop, Julian Bishop-Architect
  • Ken Neal, Principal, Ken Neal & Associates
  • Richard Burnley, Managing Director, Kingspan Insulation
  • Dr Stephen Pretlove, Associate Professor of Architectural Science + Technology, Kingston University London
  • Kirsty Maguire, Director and Lead Architect, Kirsty Maguire Architect
  • Mark Pellant, Director, koru architects
  • Dan Chaplin, Housing Development Operations Manager, Latch (Leeds Action to Create Homes)
  • Paul King, Managing Director Sustainability, Communications & Marketing, LendLease Europe
  • Clare Murray, Head of Sustainability, Levitt Bernstein
  • Chris Richards, Lilly Lewarne Practice Chartered Architects
  • Frances Grant, Architect, Livedifferent
  • Stuart Roberts, Owner, Living Logic
  • Tad Korbusz, Living-Sense Environmental Design & Energy Consultancy
  • Chris Morgan, Principal, Locate Architects
  • Richard Lomas, Principal, Lomas Architecture Ltd
  • Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet member for Sustainability and Environment, London Borough of Camden
  • John Dash, Secretary, London Quakers Property Trust
  • Dominic Skeaping, Director, London Solar
  • Mischa Hewitt, Project Manager, Low Carbon Trust
  • Keith Miller, Low Energy Architecture
  • Paul Lucas, Director, Lucas Hickman Smith
  • Simon Allen, Lumina Consulting Services Limited
  • Richard Asbury, Founder, Maack Architects
  • Ben Williams, Managing Director, MagmaTech
  • Patrick McCool, Director, Make My Home Green
  • Tamsin Tweddell, Sustainability Team Leader, Max Fordham
  • Miranda Pennington BA, Director, Metropolis Green
  • Sarah Kostense-Winterton, Executive Director, Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers Association (MIMA)
  • Donald Daw, Divisional Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Living Environmental Systems UK
  • Neill Lewis, neill lewis architect
  • Danny Lee, Sustainability Director, New Sustainable Building Model Ltd
  • Malcolm Newton, Director, Newton Architects
  • Cal Bailey, Sustainability Director, NG Bailey
  • David Kerr, General Manager, Norfolk Solar
  • Alfonso Senatore, CEO & Founder, Ongreening
  • David Rhodes, Director, Origin3 Studio
  • Ted Osborne, Owner, Osborne Construction Consulting
  • Terry Pinto, Director, PAAD Architects
  • Mhairi Grant, Director, Paper Igloo Limited
  • Russell Smith, Managing Director, Parity Projects
  • Chris Parsons, Director, Parsons + Whittley Architects
  • Hagop Matossian, Consultant, Passive Natural
  • Janet Cotterell, Director, Passivhaus Homes Ltd
  • Jon Bootland, Chief Executive, Passivhaus Trust
  • Paul Testa, Paul Testa Architecture
  • Alun Watkins, Executive Director, PEFC UK
  • Jonathan Bates, Managing Director, Photon Energy
  • Steve Malkin, CEO, Planet First
  • Anmarie Price, Director, Point 6 Projects
  • Tom Dollard, Head of Sustainable Design, Pollard Thomas Edwards
  • Peter Holmes, Director, Potter & Holmes Architects
  • Robert Prewett, Director, Prewett Bizley Architects
  • Lucy Smallwood, Sustainability Consultant, Price & Myers 
  • Andy von Bradsky, Chairman, PRP
  • Chris Usher, Director, QuadConsult
  • Richard Dawson, R Dawson Architect
  • David Garlovsky, CEO, Recovery Insulation
  • Charlie Baker, Director, Red Cooperative
  • Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association
  • Rob Rickey, Designer and Consultant, Rob Rickey Design
  • Rory Moss, Managing Director, Rockwool
  • Peter Rolton, Chairman, Rolton Group
  • Robert Russell, Partner, Rowan and Partners
  • David Johnston, Partner, RPC
  • Peter Hindle MBE, Senior Vice-President, Sustainable Habitat, Saint-Gobain and General Delegate, Saint-Gobain (UK Ireland and South Africa)
  • Clive Church, Managing Director, Sauter Automation Limited
  • Kirsten Elder, Lead Sustainability Consultant, Scotch Partners
  • Stuart Shand, Shand Architecture
  • Ivo Schaedler, General Manager, Sika
  • Hector McAlpine, Director, Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Claus Best, Smart Energy Services
  • Dr Judith J Perry, Director, Sohnius & Perry Ltd
  • Paul Barwell, CEO, Solar Trade Association
  • Seb Berry, Head of Public Affairs, Solarcentury
  • Jerry Evans, Principal, Southpoint
  • Stuart Barlow, Architect Sustainability Consultant, Director, SPB Sustainability
  • Adrian Speller, Director of Sustainability, Speller Metcalfe
  • Rob Bumby, Director, Stack Architects
  • John Wright, Sustainability Director, Stride Treglown Architects
  • Mark Richards, Founder, Studio24 architects LLP
  • Mark Parsons, Director, Studio Polpo
  • Simon Sturgis, Managing Director, sturgis carbon profiling
  • Gabriel Wondrausch, Managing Director, SunGift Energy
  • Nick Parsons, Consultant, Sustainable Building
  • Paul Sutcliffe, Operations Director, Sustainable Commercial Solutions
  • John Peapell, Managing Director, Sustainable Solutions UK Ltd
  • Terry Hyland, Principal, Sustainable Wood Architecture & Building
  • Simon Brown, Principal, SustainByDesign
  • Alan King, Managing Director, Syntegra Consulting
  • Simone Wright, Partner, Tandem
  • Mark Wakelin, Director, Tangent Space Architectural Design
  • Jonathan Clemens, Head of Marketing - Construction and Infrastructure, Tata Steel
  • Ruairi Kay, Director, Taylor Kay Architecture
  • Steven Johnson, Owner, The Architecture Ensemble
  • John Bonning, Commercial Director, The Building Centre
  • Michael Foley, Director, The Energy Practice
  • Lucy Pedler, Director, The Green Register
  • Diana Ray, Owner, The Living Green Centre
  • Martin Chandler, Consultant, The Making Project
  • Guy Battle, Director, The Sustainable Business Partnership
  • Peter Ranken, Senior Associate, The Tooley & Foster Partnership
  • Fraser Haran, Chief Executive, The Westcrowns Group
  • Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts
  • Gunnar Hubbard, Principal and Sustainability Practice Leader, Thornton Tomasetti
  • Judith Tranter, Director, TM Architects
  • Tom Foster, Principal, Tom Foster Architecture
  • Reuben Wilkinson, Director, Touchwood Homes
  • John Emery, Owner, Treework Flooring
  • Mike Jacob, Trunk Low Energy Building
  • Mat Lown, Partner, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor
  • Chris Twinn, Principal, Twinn Sustainability Innovation
  • Paul Ruyssevelt, Professor of Energy and Building Performance, and Partnerships Director, UCL Energy Institute
  • Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive, UK Green Building Council
  • James Cameron, UK Green Building Council Board Trustee
  • Paul Gard, Director, Umbazi
  • Professor Will Swan, School of Built Environment, University of Salford
  • Marianne Heaslip, Sustainability Consultant, URBED (Urbanism Environment Design)
  • Dave Worthington, Managing Director, Verco
  • Estelle Littlewood, Director & Passivhaus Designer, Verve Architects Ltd
  • Stuart Elmes, CEO, Viridian Solar
  • Colin Williams, Architectural and Energy Consultant, WCK Design & Conservation
  • Professor Phil Jones, Chair Architectural Science, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
  • Alex Flach, Property Director, Whitbread
  • Jackie Richards, Director, Whole House Energy
  • Jim Eyre, Founding Director, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
  • John Frankiewicz, Divisional Chief Operating Officer, Willmott Dixon Ltd
  • Ian Wood, Director, Wood & Sons (Properties) Ltd
  • Lin Worthy, Worthy Business Development Ltd
  • Trevor Hutchings, Director of Advocacy, WWF UK
  • Nick Perks, Director, Wyvern Construction
  • Ricardo Moreira, Managing Director, XCO2 Energy
  • Paul Bourgeois, Director, Zero Carbon Britain Ltd

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