Strict new environmental and energy standards for new homes could save 17,500 tonnes of carbon a year across London.
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new London Plan green standards, mean a saving which equates to more than 17,000 return flights between London and New York City according to new City Hall analysis.
As part of the ambition to make London a net zero carbon city by 2030, developers wishing to use City Hall funds to build affordable housing must meet the new thresholds.
They include making all developments of 10 or more homes net zero carbon and air quality neutral. The standards are designed to encourage the shift towards low carbon heating solutions (such as heat pumps or connections to a heat network) rather than gas boilers, and for any suitable roof space to be used for solar panels.
The measures far exceed national regulations and encourage developers to embrace new technology to minimise their impact on the environment and last year referable developments in London achieved a carbon reduction 46.2 per cent greater than those required by national legal requirements for new buildings.
London’s existing housing stock is responsible for around a third of all the capital’s emissions and extensive work is required to make those homes warm, affordable and ultra-low carbon properties.
The Mayor has declared a ‘retrofit revolution’ in London through a package of measures to create low-carbon buildings.
Measures include an innovation partnership to connect social housing providers with building firms capable of scaling up deep retrofit work, a Warmer Homes project to help fuel-poor Londoners access energy efficiency improvements, and the creation of Solar Together London which has already seen almost 1,000 London households install more than 8,000 solar panels, generating 2.4MW of renewable energy.
Next year, the Mayor and London councils will jointly host a retrofit summit to coordinate and inspire action and set a path for retrofit action this decade.
Not only will the green home agenda reduce emissions, it will also help to address fuel poverty.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Having spent time with world leaders and campaigners at COP26 last week, I know we stand at a landmark moment in the battle against climate change. We must take bold action now or face dire consequences, with catastrophic impacts on our environment, the climate and the air we breathe further down the line.
“In London that change begins in our own homes. I am determined to build the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need – but they must be homes that are fit for the future and help to tackle the climate emergency rather than make it worse.”
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), said: “It’s positive to see the Mayor’s office setting a sustainability criteria for its affordable homes programme that goes well beyond Building Regulations.
“With our homes representing around 16 per cent of total UK domestic emissions, it is critical that we get it right first time and ensure all new homes are equipped to deliver the energy performance levels required for net zero, which is why UKGBC are calling for a net zero carbon homes definition that includes actual in-use regulated and unregulated energy demand and upfront embodied carbon emissions, alongside detailed performance targets for each of these.”
The boroughs covered by London West account for 20 per cent of the capital’s dwellings and 17 per cent of affordable homes.
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