The group’s remit is to advise the Scottish Government on the steps required to ensure significant carbon reductions associated with the built environment, in order to meet climate change obligations.
Covering private, public, domestic and non- domestic buildings, the group will be looking at improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings, zero carbon new build, and considering the actions that need to be taken to create an environment where a market for district heating and renewable micro-generation can thrive.
The remit also includes targets, planning rules and policy measures to support the mass roll out of energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures.
Group Priority Objectives and Actions for 2013
Support the acceleration of building retrofit across Scotland. Building on the work completed last year, and the projects being completed by partners, the Subgroup will begin to develop mechanisms to overcome the barriers to retrofit in Scotland by creating a platform to collect and share best practice information which can be used to inform Scotland’s National Retrofit Strategy. This will involve the development of “Retrofit Scotland”, an online virtual organisation who will take on the responsibility of providing information on refurbishment projects, best practice, modelling and assessment tools, and finance mechanisms.
Track home buyers appetite towards energy efficiency – is it becoming more important and are they willing to pay more for it. GSPC are using Glasgow University to review sales statistics on take up of energy efficiency measures put in place by householders and whether or not any additional value has been /will be added to the house values or the saleability of properties. GSPC believe they have enough data to provide the foundation of a robust study but lack the funding and expertise to carry out a study. The Built environment subgroup could lend support in both areas.
2012 Progress Update
In 2012 the 2020 Built Environment subgroup concentrated its efforts on aligning closely with the work done by the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Housing Strategy Group. In considering the remit for this top level, strategic body, initially chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Alex Neil MSP and now under the leadership of the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP the Built Environment subgroup members focussed on two key components:
- They agreed to undertake some initial work designed to assist in identifying the energy saving technologies and housing archetypes that should be prioritised for Government investment in order to achieve maximum CO2 impact and value for money.
- The Built Environment subgroup also contributed to the production of an evidence based report on the suitability of the existing and available Retrofit Assessment Tools and this work was closely linked with the development and production of the first ever database of over one hundred Scottish Retrofit Case Studies, all of which have robust, scientific and technical information often with measured benefits.
The subgroup members have worked towards informing decision–making by offering recommendations to the Building Standards Office relating to Zero Carbon Homes. In addition, the subgroup played a role in advising the Scottish Government on how to increase uptake of measures defined in the Energy Efficiency Action Plan as well as District Heating Policy. This advice followed research into district heating that was carried out in relation to; the barriers to uptake, developing appropriate financial mechanisms and successful case studies. The subgroup’s research has also aided in the identification and clear communication of savings opportunities from energy efficiency for homeowners. The commercial opportunities relating to the savings were also promoted to Scottish businesses.