Green buildings rule

New buildings and developments in Bath and North East Somerset will have to be more energy efficient and better adapted to climate change following the launch of a new green buildings policy.

The Bath & North East Somerset Sustainable Construction Checklist sets out how developments can be more energy efficient and better adapted to the impacts of climate change.

It details how planning applications should comply with existing policies within the Responding to Climate Change section of the council’s Placemaking Plan.

Specifically, the checklist covers a range of issues, including a benchmark that all new build development should achieve a 19% reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing climate change and that medium development or larger on existing buildings should achieve a 10% reduction in emissions.

Development should also be future-proofed to avoid overheating, which is becoming a problem as the climate warms. New buildings should also save water, reduce waste and use sustainable materials.

Councillor Bob Goodman, Cabinet Member for Development and Neighbourhoods stated that “The cost of sustainable construction is falling all the time. The council has led by example with our new Keynsham Civic Centre building which is very energy efficient and cost no more to build than a conventional building. We will now use our powers as a planning authority to ensure that other development in the area rises to the challenge.”

Councillor Mark Shelford, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “The council has ambitious targets on climate change, aiming to reduce district-wide carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2029. Buildings that reduce greenhouse gases and are ready for the future climate also deliver other benefits. These buildings will be higher quality, comfortable and healthy to inhabit and less costly to run. In many cases they will also have a more secure, renewable energy supply. These are the sorts of buildings we want in our area.”

The new Sustainable Construction Checklist Supplementary Planning can be found at the Council’s One Stop Shop in Manvers Street, libraries and at www.bathnes.gov.uk/SustainableConstruction. Queries can be emailed to planning_policy@bathnes.gov.uk