Development of a strategy for monitoring the environmental performance of apartment buildings in Swansea: measuring progress towards zero carbon homes in Wales
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The UK Government has established a policy agenda for all new dwellings to be zero carbon by 2016, and early implementation of this target is proposed for dwellings in Wales. This paper describes the regulatory framework defining how these zero carbon targets are to be met in the UK and Wales, and explores the main challenges facing housing developers in reaching zero carbon, particularly in relation to meeting the requirements of Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH). In particular, the paper identifies the importance of monitoring dwelling environmental performance to evaluate if, in practice, low carbon design translates into low carbon construction and performance in-use, and reviews published research in this area. To support the accelerated timeline towards zero carbon new dwellings in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government provided additional funding within the Registered Social Landlord (RSL) Development programme in 2008 to develop 22 'Pathfinder' housing schemes built to levels four and five of the CfSH. The paper introduces the aims and objectives of a three-year research project that is investigating the environmental performance of housing units in apartment buildings, including one of the 'Pathfinder' schemes. The project aims to address gaps in existing knowledge and practice, in terms of collecting data on the actual environmental performance of dwellings - specifically apartment buildings - designed to meet levels three and four of the CfSH, and by providing practical and non-technical guidance for RSLs that explains how monitoring studies can benefit RSL development programmes. The paper will be of interest to researchers reviewing environmental performance in the UK and EU.
RICS, COBRA 2010, London, 2010
Conference paper. All COBRA 2010 conference papers can be downloaded from http://www.rics.org/site/scripts/downloads.aspx?categoryID=720
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