UK-GBC Task Group seeks to define zero carbon for non domestic buildings

The UK Green Building Council is launching a new Task Group to help define and build support for an ambitious definition of zero carbon for non domestic buildings that works for industry.

The policy for all new non domestic buildings to be zero carbon from 2019 was introduced by the Labour Government in 2008. The Coalition Government has recommitted to this target, and in July announced it would strengthen energy efficiency standards for new non-domestic buildings from April 2014 (see notes to editors).

UK-GBC’s diverse membership includes architects, developers, contractors, product manufacturers and others who will be tasked with delivering zero carbon buildings from 2019.

However, there is still no clear definition of zero carbon for non domestic buildings. This Task Group will enable industry to investigate and recommend a way forward, as well as building the business and economic case for action.

Sarah Cary, Sustainable Developments Executive at British Land and Chair of the Task Group, said: “I’m delighted to be chairing this new Task Group to take forward the definition of zero carbon for non domestic buildings. The implementation date for zero carbon non domestic -2019 - is not very far away and the earlier we can get clarity on the definition, the better for industry.

“This group offers a chance for industry to set out what it thinks should happen next, and help build a strong business and economic case for action.”

The Task Group, which is sponsored by British Land, Saint Gobain, BAM and BRE, will launch its final report in February 2014.

The Zero Carbon Non Domestic Task Group will be made up of the following UK-GBC members:

Sarah Cary, British Land (Chair)

Tessa Hurstwyn, Zero Carbon Hub

Dan Jestico, Hilson Moran

Marco Marijewycz, E.ON

Dave Worthington, Verco

David Clark, Cundall

Stephen Richardson, Sainsbury’s

Tom Taylor, BRE

John Davies, Derwent London

Mark Allen, Saint-Gobain

Rokia Raslan, UCL

Terry Clarke, Segro

Emma Hines, Lafarge Tarmac

Simon Cox, Prologis

Sylvie Sasaki, M&S 

The Task Group will focus on three key areas: 1) The business case for action – building on the BIS Construction Sector Industrial Strategy to establish the economic benefits to UK plc of delivering zero carbon non domestic buildings, as well as the costs of uncertainty.

2) The technical detail of the zero carbon definition – including metrics, the Allowable Solutions framework, the issue of unregulated energy and the relationship of zero carbon to the EU’s ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ 2020 policy.

3) The institutional structure/governance to oversee the implementation and delivery of zero carbon for non domestic buildings. 


UK-GBC has a long association with the zero carbon non domestic policy. Following the announcement of the zero carbon 2016 target for homes in 2006, UK-GBC set up a Task Group in 2007 to investigate whether a similar target should be set for non domestic buildings. The Task Group’s Carbon Reductions in New Non-Domestic Buildings report recommended that a target of 2019 should be set for all new non domestic buildings to be zero carbon. The Labour Government subsequently adopted this as policy in 2008.

The Labour Government went on to consult on the definition of zero carbon for non domestic buildings, and UK-GBC ran a series of consultation workshops around the country with DCLG. You can view the consultation summary report here.

Following the change in Government in 2010, the Coalition recommitted to the 2019 target, but reviewed the definition again. DCLG asked Aecom to undertake some work to inform this. This can be downloaded here.

In July 2013 the Government published a Written Ministerial Statement setting out a 9 per cent uplift for non domestic buildings over Part L 2010 Building Regulations (from April 2014).

Date: 15/10/2013