Environmental Audit Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee has launched a new inquiry considering the sustainability of the built environment. It will look at the best routes to net zero for our future building needs from low carbon materials through to policies to minimise the whole life carbon impact of new buildings.

This consultation is a pivotal opportunity to highlight the role that timber construction can play in reducing embodied emissions and helping us achieve net-zero by 2050.

Your response and comments will be collated and discussed within the Sustainability Steering Group of Timber Development UK (comprising members of TTF and TRADA) as we form a response. We will also be asking other key stakeholders such as STA for input and feedback.

The deadline for your responses is end of day on Sunday 2 May.

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* 1. To what extent have the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations on decarbonising the structural fabric of new homes been met?

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* 2. How can materials be employed to reduce the carbon impact of new buildings, including efficient heating and cooling, and which materials are most effective at reducing embodied carbon?

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* 3. What role can nature-based materials play in achieving the Government’s net zero ambition?

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* 4. What role can the planning system, permitted development and building regulations play in delivering a sustainable built environment? How can these policies incentivise developers to use low carbon materials and sustainable design?

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* 5. What methods account for embodied carbon in buildings and how can this be consistently monitored and applied across the sector?

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* 6. Should the embodied carbon impact of alternative building materials take into account the carbon cost of manufacture and delivery to site, enabling customers to assess the relative impact of imported versus domestically sourced materials?

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* 7. How well is green infrastructure being incorporated into building design and developments to achieve climate resilience and other benefits?

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* 8. How should we take into account the use of materials to minimise carbon footprint, such as use of water harvesting from the roof, grey water circulation, separate foul and surface water drainage systems, porous surfaces for hardstanding, energy generation systems such as solar panels?

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* 9. How should re-use and refurbishment of buildings be balanced with new developments?

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* 10. What can the Government do to incentivise more repair, maintenance and retrofit of existing buildings?

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