New green designs for Scottish homes could hamper delivery
Scottish housebuilders claim new design standards based on the German Passivhaus system will hamper meeting the country’s housing needs.
Public affairs director Jennifer Kennedy said: “New homes are only a small proportion of the overall housing stock and are already highly-energy efficient with further improvements to come through building standards.”
She added: “If politicians are serious about tackling fuel poverty and the climate emergency, the focus must be on retrofitting the bulk of existing properties that are predominantly responsible for residential emissions.”
Her comments follow the Scottish government’s decision yesterday to adopt Passivhaus-equivalent standards for new homes in its domestic building environmental standards bill.
Zero carbon building minister Steve Harvie said: “This is not just about reducing carbon emissions, critical though addressing the climate emergency is; it is also essential if we are to meet the cost of living challenge and remove the vulnerability that people are exposed to through high and volatile fossil fuel prices.”
Government to consult building industry over definition
Mr Harvie said the government would work with the construction sector on defining and delivering the new standards before passing secondary legislation in 2024 to bring them into force.
Passivhaus standards include eliminating thermal bridging, using superior windows, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery, plus high-quality insulation and airtight construction.
Passivhaus chief executive Jon Bootlalnd said: “The Scottish parliament is to be applauded for taking this crucial step towards meeting their net-zero climate emergency goals. Now we must ensure the bill is well developed and implemented to deliver the greatest impact on the actual performance of .”
The legislation stems from MSP Alex Rowley’s private members’ bill last year following the Scottish Climate Assembly’s recommendations, where 97 per cent voted for the eco-home measure.