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Carbon effective buildings
New Scottish buildings will soon be among the most carbon efficient in Europe.
New building standards for homes and non-domestic buildings will reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent beyond current standards.
The moves, to be introduced in October next year by the Scottish Government, flow from the Sullivan Report which looked at ways to make homes and buildings more energy efficient.
The new standards will reduce carbon emissions, create jobs and could save many householders and businesses money.
There will be a detailed consultation this summer on the best way to implement the new standards.
Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said:
"Scotland is demonstrating global leadership in tackling climate change and creating a sustainable, low carbon economy.
"Our Climate Change Bill, the most demanding in the world, will set a mandatory target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 - and we are already taking action.
"Energy use in buildings makes up over 40 per cent of all carbon emissions and improving even further the carbon performance of new homes offices, factories, schools, and hospitals is crucial.
"Scotland already leads the UK in both carbon emission standards and thermal insulation for new buildings and the improvements I am announcing today will give us some of the best standards in Europe.
"Revising energy standards will create new jobs and cut energy bills to householders and businesses. There will be increased demand for small scale renewables technologies, such as heat pumps and solar panels, as developers look at ways to meet the new standards. And cutting out energy waste will save the building occupier money on fuel bills.
"The Sullivan report recommended a 50 per cent reduction in carbon for non-domestic buildings in 2010 and I recognise there will be a cost associated with these improvements. In light of the economic situation, I have taken the view that a 30 per cent reduction is an appropriate level that strikes the right balance as we look to ensure our long term climate change targets are met."
Ken Ross, Chairman of the Scottish Property Federation and member of the expert panel which produced the Sullivan report, added:
"The Scottish Property Federation welcomes the Minister's decision. The SPF acknowledges that our industry has an important role to play in delivering reduced carbon emissions from new non-domestic buildings. But we must have realistic targets in view of the current economic circumstances and this is a welcome step by the Scottish Government."
In 2007, Ministers convened an expert panel under the chair of Lynne Sullivan to look at ways to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. The Sullivan Report, 'A Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland' made recommendations for enhancing the energy standards in building regulations towards a goal of zero carbon new buildings.
In 2010, building regulations will have reduced carbon emissions from new buildings by around 70 per cent compared to 1990 standards, the benchmark year for emissions. For example:
- An average office building constructed to 1990 standards would emit 105 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Constructed to 2010 standards it would emit 31 tonnes per year, a reduction of 70 per cent.
- A three bedroom detached house of 100 square metres constructed to 1990 standards would emit 6.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Constructed to 2010 standards it would emit 1.7 tonnes, a reduction of 73 per cent.
- A two person, one bedroom flat of 56 square metres constructed to 1990 standards would emit 2.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Constructed to 2010 standards it would emit 0.9 tonnes, a reduction of 67 per cent.