New offices can be emission free


Most business property can reduce its carbon emissions from energy use to zero, a new report has concluded.

The UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) study, Carbon Reductions in New Non-Domestic Buildings, has found that if "onsite, near-site and offsite renewable solutions are employed" the majority of non-domestic buildings can make the reductions.

The government commissioned the research and the UKGBC has proposed a "challenging yet achievable timeframe" to achieve zero-carbon targets.

Costs of building to zero carbon standards vary wildly – the council predicted it could range from five per cent, to 30 per cent of baseline costs.

"This is about government and industry both taking responsibility. Government needs to accept its responsibility to set good policy focusing on outcomes, and in return industry can and must respond and innovate," said Paul King, chief executive of the UKGBC.

In 2003, the London borough of Merton launched what is known as ‘the Merton rule’. It requires new business property to produce ten per cent of its energy from on-site renewables.