As part of its efforts to fight climate change, the government of the United Kingdom has proposed that all newly constructed homes must be non-fluorocarbon emitting by 2016.
“Climate change is a real and imminent threat,” says Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary of State for the United Kingdom. “With a rising population and more people living in smaller households, the demands on housing are only set to increase. So it is vital that homes and other buildings are as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.”
In a typical home, heating, cooling, and running electrical appliances results in more than 1.5 tons of greenhouse-gas emissions each year.
The consultation document, “Building a Greener Future: Toward Zero Carbon Development,” lays out several benchmarks toward noncarbon emitting home development:
* By 2010, new homes would have to be 25% more energy efficient. The government hopes that modest improvements in heating efficiency, lighting, and insulation will help builders to reach this goal.
* By 2013, homes would have to be 44% more efficient compared with 2006. Meeting this more ambitious objective will mean that heating, cooling, and power would have to come, in part, from a carbon-free energy source such as solar or wind.
Originally published in THE FUTURIST, July-August 2007.