WHEN TO SPECIFY A GREEN BUILDING
All buildings should have green features. New legislation improves insulation and the new UK Code for Sustainable Buildings provides a framework.
The following should be kept in mind when looking at sites:
- Using brownfield or urban spaces for new infill buildings helps to protect urban sprawl into the green belt or countryside.
- Placing residential buildings in commercial or semi-industrial area sis good as it reduces the commute - assuming people move in that work in that area.
- Houses and estates on good public transport routes will reduce car use. Most Council UDP (Unitary Development Plans) have this sort of requirement.
- When specifying a green - or green/normal - building consider Lifecycle Analysis and Whole Life Costings in order to see if any particular feature is worthwhile.
- Some technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels are expensive and not suitable for all types of roofs and roof orientations, especially if other types of renewable energy is available.
- Upgrading old buildings is more eco friendly than demolishing and building new, so this should be explored.
- UK VAT tax breaks do not favour this though as new build is zero rated and refurbishing is not.
We are awaiting new legislation with the new government in the UK so we will update shortly.