Reaction: Building to net zero recommendations

Following the recommendations made by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in its ‘Building to net zero: costing carbon in construction’ report, Patrick Chauvin, Executive Director – Homes at Stonewater, commented:

Patrick Chauvin

“Without accelerated intervention and further investment from the government, the UK will miss its net zero targets by some decades.

“Mandatory whole-life carbon assessments will enable housebuilders and providers to take a more holistic approach, rather than just focusing on operational emissions, to achieve net zero. Understanding the wider impact of building as well as maintaining homes, in conjunction with the materials used, is something we have been working towards with supply chain partners through our Environmental Forum.

“In conjunction with this work, we are also creating a specialist role within our sustainability team to primarily focus on undertaking lifecycle costing and assessments – supporting the recommendations made by the EAC.”

Regarding the skills gap and national retrofit programme:

“We recognise the challenges presented by a lack of skills and capacity within the supply chain to deliver retrofit at scale, which is exacerbated by government grant funding being subject to such tight delivery timescales.

“Whilst we are currently looking to train to some of our surveyors to become retrofit assessors and have recently trained one to be a retrofit coordinator to support our scaling up of retrofit, more investment and a long-term decarbonisation plan is needed.

“As recommended by the EAC, this approach could support the government to stimulate and give confidence to the supply chain, create jobs and tackle fuel poverty. This was the findings in our research ‘All Hands to the Pump’ with the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), which found that the development of a national retrofit programme could create up to 275,000 jobs in England by 2035.”