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Towards Sustainable Housing: building regulation for the 21st century

Investigation routes to achieve higher performing homes

The project was undertaken at the request of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation with the prime intention of instigating debate over future developments in energy efficiency aspects of the Building Regulations in the UK. The report presents a critical review of current regulations, mainly with respect to space heating and the performance of the thermal envelope. The performance of the thermal envelope, as built, is a major determinant of overall environmental impact, with implications that extend further into the future than any other physical aspect of the dwelling. While energy use and carbon emissions for lighting and appliances will account for a progressively larger proportion of the domestic sector's total over the next twenty years, we do not consider that the Building Regulations are an appropriate tool to deal with these categories of end-use.

The project report identified a range of technical, regulatory and policy developments which should be pursued in order to ensure a significant reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in the 21st Century. Although it is focused on dwellings, much of the discussion is relevant to other building types.

Research Outputs

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