Mitsubishi Electric - Free guide helps crack the code for Sustainable Homes
Mitsubishi Electric has produced a free
guide to the Code for Sustainable Homes – the new national
standard for the sustainable design and construction of homes
that the Government introduced in December 2006.
More than 27% of the UK’s CO2 emissions currently come from heating, lighting and the use of appliances in our homes with the average household producing approximately 5.64 tonnes of CO2 per year. The Code has therefore been brought in as part of an increasing raft of Government legislation aimed at significantly reducing carbon emissions from homes throughout the UK.
Owing to the predicted shortfall in housing, the building of new homes is set to increase by up to 23% over the next 20 years. The Government will use this opportunity to cut energy use, along with reducing water consumption and tackling the amount of waste generated.
“At present the Code is voluntary, but it looks set to become mandatory by April 2008,” explained Ian Parry, Business Development Manager for Mitsubishi Electric’s Air Conditioning Division.
The Code uses a one to six star rating system, with a One Star home being above the standard of current Building Regulations. By integrating elements of the voluntary Code and obtaining assessments against it, developers will be able to obtain a ‘star rating’, to demonstrate the performance of the homes they build.
The UK Government is committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050 and over 60 local councils throughout the UK are introducing planning regulations to enforce the use of renewable energy sources within their boroughs.
“Developers who in the past have been reluctant to use renewable energy sources in their building projects due to costs, must include them now if they want to get planning permission and these changes are only the first step in what is set to become rather stringent building laws,” added Mr Parry.
In future, a key element at the start of any building project will be to carry out an Energy Assessment, in order for planners to see exactly how renewable energy is being used on site. The assessment will include the building’s energy or heat needs; other usage, such as cooling, heating, hot water, ventilation, lighting and appliances, will also need to be assessed.
“Decisions such as what cooling or control systems to install in a building used to be a long way off the planning stage, but now their impact on energy use will mean that they come much higher on the agenda,” added Mr Parry. “People also need to realise that this is only the start and the intention is to increase this requirement to around 30% for residential and 20% for commercial buildings by 2010.”
Seven key renewable energies are highlighted by those councils who already have a 10% Renewable Energy Target in operation. These are: Wind; Solar thermal; Photovoltaics; Ground source heating; Ground source cooling; Biomass heating; and Biomass combined heat and power (CHP). Mitsubishi Electric’s free guide also details the types of ‘green’ technologies that don’t make the list such as passive solar heating or natural ventilation, and highlights where to get further information from.