Janeeth Devgun, CCF’s insulation and external category manager, considers what the government’s recent pledge to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030 through ‘modern construction practices’ really means for the building industry.
When Prime Minister Theresa May spoke about the government’s Industrial Strategy at The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank, one of the subjects tackled was energy efficiency in buildings. Mrs May mentioned that “In the clean growth grand challenge, we will use new technologies and modern construction practices to at least halve the energy usage of new buildings by 2030”. This bold statement is a welcome one, but with just 12 years to go to reach such an ambitious target, how will it work?
The answer is that the UK certainly has the means to access and specify quality products in order to produce highly efficient buildings. For example, innovations in building fabric products such as insulation, and modern membrane solutions designed to adapt to changes in climate, are making it even more intuitive and effective to minimise heat loss and keep a property at the ideal temperature for occupants.
It is important that buildings are built with efficiency and air tightness in mind, and where possible should exceed the minimum building standard energy efficiency requirements. The building fabric, after all, is the foundation for efficiency, and the more energy efficient it is, the less reliance there will be on energy consumption in buildings. This is key, as like the PM mentioned: “Heating and powering buildings accounts for 40 per cent of our total energy usage”.
We know that the UK has previously tried, and subsequently scrapped, energy efficiency building policies. Taking this into account, it is clear that the construction and energy industries now require a clear and consistent approach, backed by government, in order to reach these targets. Policy will inform change, both for construction practices and to help people to be able to access and use greener energy sources more affordably.
Insulation and External Category Manager