Evidence for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment Inquiry into Sustainable Construction and the Green Deal
The paper has been prepared on behalf of the ERDF INTERREG IVB transnational NPP funded NEES (Natural - Energy Efficient - Sustainable) project. The NEES consortium is concerned with the issues relating to sustainable construction and energy efficiency in the northern periphery of Europe. This submission decribes a number of best practice examples and barriers identified by NEES partners within their own regions. The barriers include - â€¢ Geographical dispersion of the sustainable building industries hinders the sharing of knowledge, expertise and contacts; â€¢ Lack of maintenance of the physical, intellectual and educational sustainable building infrastructures; â€¢ Serious deficiency in traditional and sustainable building skills poses serious problems for maintenance, retro-fitting and new build; â€¢ Lack of conclusive data makes it difficult to accurately compare the whole life carbon costs of different materials; â€¢ High levels of both physical and human capital have been invested in energy intensive construction methods which has resulted in little interest in sustainable alternatives. This submission makes a number of suggestions to help alleviate the barriers identified - â€¢ Fund the development of regional knowledge exchange hubs to help manage support for the sustainable construction industries; â€¢ Encourage new education initiatives and awareness raising activities around both the benefits of using sustainable materials and the demand for skilled employees; â€¢ Update building regulations to place a higher emphasis on sustainability in conjunction with energy efficiency; â€¢ Develop the supply of locally-sourced sustainable materials and encourage consumers to select them so as to minimise the (potentially significant) carbon costs of transportation.
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