Construction industry cries out for more aggressive emissions regulations

Construction industry cries out for more aggressive emissions regulations

It’s not often you see more than a hundred major names in an industry line up and agree their industry is actually under-regulated.

But according to the authors of Part Z, a proposal to regulate embodied carbon in the building sector, that’s exactly what the construction industry is saying.

Embodied carbon?

Embodied carbon, for the uninitiated, is the carbon emitted from construction materials, their use, their transport, erection, and demolition. This is in contrast to operational carbon – the emissions generated from the use of a building.

According to the authors of Part Z, these embodied emissions are of ever-increasing concern as the UK’s energy grid weans itself off fossil fuels.

According to the authors, embodied carbon is currently as much as two thirds of a new building’s lifetime emissions, and the proportion will only become more as the national grid approaches net-zero targets.

Part Z would introduce regulations to measure, and then eventually limit, embodied emissions. And according to the authors, the construction industry is more than ready for it.

In fact, they’re crying out for it.

An industry demanding tougher regulation?

The authors behind Part Z have assembled more a hundred testimonials from major organisations in the construction industry, all calling for more action on embodied emissions, and many calling for more regulations to push the necessary changes forward.

The list includes major names like Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall Group, the Royal Institute of British Architects, Cundall, Urban Splash, Willmott Dixon, and many more.

Across architects, developers, engineers, and chartered institutes, the message presented by the authors of Part Z is clear – tougher emissions regulation, please!

It should be noted, however, that while these organisations call for more regulation, not all have explicitly endorsed the proposed regulatory contents of Part Z itself, although some have.

Which begs the question – just what does Part Z propose?

What is Part Z suggesting?

Part Z outlines regulations on the mandatory reporting of embodied carbon in the built environment. This change would guarantee that embodied carbon is assessed on all projects as part of a whole-life carbon assessment.

While initially only suggesting mandatory measurement, Part Z would eventually ensure that embodied emissions on all major construction projects are capped – initially through limiting up-front embodied carbon, then limiting all aspects of embodied carbon on building projects in the future.

Who are the authors?

Part Z has been penned by a panel of five engineers, architects, carbon and sustainability specialists, and environmental specialists.

Where can I learn more?

A copy of the full Part Z proposal, along with all of their assembled testimonials from the construction industry, are available on the Part Z website here.

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