Sustainable cities- rethinking sustainable building
1st June, 2009
Sustainability consultant Dr David Strong tells Pat Thomas why the way we think about sustainable building needs to be demolished and rebuilt
In the recent budget, the chancellor committed the UK to the world’s first carbon budgets, which fix binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions over five-year periods, including carbon dioxide reductions of 34 per cent by 2020.
That target may be below the recommendations of Lord Turner’s committee on climate change, but experts point out that it’s still a gargantuan task – especially given that the bulk of the savings must come from our buildings, which single-handedly account for about half of the country’s carbon emissions.
Take housing as an example. A recent report by the Economic and Social Research Council has shown that if the Government is to meet its carbon targets, virtually all of the UK’s 24 million existing homes would need some attention to reduce their carbon emissions by the required amount. To do that job over the next 40 years would mean refurbishing a city the size of Cambridge every month. That’s approximately 23,000 teams of people working on each building for a two-week period, and keeping that rate of refurbishment going non-stop for the next 500 months.
Dr David Strong, chief executive of sustainability consultancy...
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