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Queens Speech June 2014 delivers highlights from new Infrastructure Bill

Published on 20 June 2014 at 10:30

The Queens speech, delivered on the 4th June 2014, covered the forthcoming Infrastructure Bill. Summarised below are the relevant highlights:

The Government is committed to implementing a zero carbon standard for new homes from 2016 ( all new buildings by 2019 ) and these performances are set through the Building Regulations. However, it is recognised that it may not be technically feasible or cost effective for house builders to mitigate all the emissions on the development / scheme.  

The zero carbon target can be met through cost effective off-site carbon abatement measures – known as ‘allowable solutions’. These provide an optional, cost-effective and flexible means for house builders to meet the zero carbon homes standard, as an alternative to increased on-site energy efficiency measures or renewable energy (such as solar panels). Importantly, small sites, which are most commonly developed by smaller scale house builders, will be exempt. The definition of a small site will be consulted on shortly, and set out in regulation.

The Zero Carbon Home standard will be set at Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, but the legislation will allow developers to build to Level 4 as long as they offset through the allowable solutions scheme to achieve Code 5.

Energy efficiency requirements for homes are set in the Building Regulations 2010 and are made under powers in the Building Act 1984. But there are insufficient powers in the Building Act to introduce off-site allowable solutions, so the Government will now bring forward enabling powers for this.

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