If you are building homes in London boroughs you could now be subject to new zero carbon rules. Failure to meet these requirements will make you liable for extra costs.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) will be enforcing the new requirements for all stage 1 schemes received from 1st October.

Take a look at the new rules below to make sure you don’t get stung!

What are the new zero carbon rules for London?

All residential buildings in London will need to be built to the new zero carbon standard from 1st October 2016.

So what does this actually mean?

Any major developments in the capital already require a detailed energy assessment to be submitted to the GLA as part of the proposal. This outlines the measures that will be put into place to help reduce carbon emissions in order to meet the targets set out by the GLA.

The difference from 1st October is that new Stage 1 schemes in London will need to comply with the following according to the Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG):

  • 35% reduction in regulated CO2 emissions (beyond Part L 2013) on-site
  • If this target is not met developers will need to pay into the carbon offsetting fund

Each London borough will be in charge of their own carbon off-setting fund and use the funds to invest in energy efficiency methods on existing housing in the area such as cavity and solid wall insulation.

Who will be affected?

Developers building in London will be the hardest hit by these new rules as they will have to invest in methods to reduce carbon emissions or risk paying into the carbon offsetting fund.

However it may not affect all developers in the region as the zero carbon targets only apply to “homes forming part of major development applications” which implies that smaller developments may be exempt. According to the GLA “major developments” would consist of the following criteria:

  • development of 150 residential units or more
  • development over 30 metres in height (outside the City of London)
  • development on Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land

The impact will not be limited to developers, but will likely affect the entire supply chain. Architects looking to work on major developments in London will have to maximise energy efficiency at the design stage. Developers are likely to look to sub-contractors to improve their efficiency standards and there is also an opportunity for manufacturers who provide better energy performing products.

For more information on the new zero carbon requirements please visit www.london.gov.uk.

By Anna Symington