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Building the future today

Transforming the economic and carbon performance of the buildings we work in: How non-domestic buildings can play a leading role in the UK's transition to a low carbon economy.

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Publication date: December 2009
Information in this report was correct at the time of publication

 

Publication date: December 2009

What would a carbon reduction target of at least 80% mean for non-domestic buildings in the UK in terms of Government policies and the subsequent action from industry needed to deliver it?

Non-domestic buildings - commercial buildings such as offices, shops and hotels; the large number of public sector buildings; and industrial buildings - are critical in the move to a low carbon economy. They account for 18% of the UK's total carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust believes that they can and must play a significant role in reducing the UK's CO2 emissions.

  • Non-domestic buildings use as much energy as Switzerland produces in a year.
  • Non-domestic buildings are where the UK generates a large proportion of its GDP, and where most of us spend the majority of our waking hours.

"Building the future, today" confirms that an urgent focus on the non-domestic building sector is needed to keep the UK on track to deliver carbon reductions of 80% by 2050. Currently, 18% of the country's emissions can be attributed to the non-domestic building sector and these emissions have remained static for the last 20 years.

If the right strategy is followed, the carbon footprint of non-domestic buildings can be reduced by more than one third by 2020 and a net benefit of £4billion can be delivered to the UK economy through energy savings, the report finds.

Central to this strategy is the roll out Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to all non-domestic buildings by 2015 to provide transparency of energy performance across the sector.

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