The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today submitted its comments on the Building A Greener Future consultation paper to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Among the key points made by the RIBA are:
A clear and communicable definition of zero carbon is required
All new homes should achieve at least Code Level 1 by April 2008
Better assessment and proper enforcement are vital to achieving the targets
Post-occupancy evaluation should take place as a matter of course
The Code must be only the first step to covering all buildings, including commercial, industrial and existing homes
Local planning authorities should be free to aim for higher building standards
RIBA President Jack Pringle said:
"The RIBA welcomes the Government's ambitious proposals to take new homes to zero-carbon emissions within ten years. Achieving this will require architects, planners, developers and the construction industry to work in partnership, but it is important that in the rush to zero-carbon, good design is not forgotten. Better assessment and proper enforcement of the building regulations are vital in achieving the Government's targets, and we are delighted to be advising on the reform of the building regulations.
"It is important to remember that action targeted at new homes can only be the start, given that two-thirds of the housing stock in 2050 has already been built, and so we will continue to lobby for the Code for Sustainable Homes to be expanded to cover all buildings, including existing homes, commercial and industrial buildings."