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News

April 2011

Government recognises masonry construction reaches zero-carbon

Our friends at the Concrete Centre have been quick to point out a very satisfying commendation for traditional masonry construction from government in terms of achieving a zero-carbon home. Hidden away in the Spring Budget detail is confirmation that Code for Sustainable Homes level 5 – suitably met by good old brick, block and mortar – will be the highest level required when all new homes have to be zero carbon from 2016.

Head of architecture, housing and sustainability at the Concrete Centre, Guy Thompson, points out that tucked away in an appendix to the budget, government has announced that unregulated carbon emissions produced by cooking and electrical appliances such as televisions are to be excluded from the definition. These account for between one third and half of a home's total emissions, with the rest coming from lighting, heating and hot water production.

Under original government plans house builders would have been required to fund renewable energy projects to offset emissions from household appliances, substantially increasing the price of new homes at a time when the house building industry can ill afford it.

If you want further information on building to Code level 5, see the Concrete Centre publication ‘Achieving Code level 5 in Concrete and Masonry’ at www.concretecentre.com, but please note this is currently under review to reflect the changes in Part L outlined in a further publication, Thermal Performance: Part L1A.

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