Zero carbon buildings
From 2016, all new dwellings in England are to be built to zero carbon standards. The zero carbon definition has been controversial: initially it counted all energy from a dwelling, including occupants’ unregulated energy use. To achieve ‘carbon compliance, limits have been set for the amount of carbon that can be emitted in a building. The carbon compliance limits are dependent on building typology to acknowledge limitations of each. Once carbon compliance has been achieved, ‘allowable solutions’ need to be used to offset the remaining regulated emissions. The building industry is under increased pressure to be accountable for all regulated building energy demands. Perversely, policies’ focus on renewable energy generation in buildings, without equivalent building efficiency subsidies, means that the essential ‘fabric-first’ approach is undermined. Actual energy bills, where available, predicted energy use from models or typical energy dem and benchmarks can be used for preliminary estimates.