The built environment is the fabric within which most of us in the UK lead our daily lives. Our homes, ofﬁces, schools, hospitals, leisure facilities, public buildings, and the infrastructure which supports and connects them, are central to the way in which we live, work and spend our leisure time. Evidence suggests that the carbon footprint of existing domestic and commercial buildings continues to grow; and all the while we only replace buildings – currently a resource intensive activity in itself – at a rate of between 1% and 1.5% per year. The legacy of unsustainable construction, ill equipped to deliver our needs for the future, will frustrate not only our, but future generations, endeavours to deliver a low carbon economy.
If we are to have any hope of reducing emissions in the UK by 80% by 2050, we must rapidly and consistently reduce the impact of existing and new buildings and the wider built environment. The purpose of this report is to present the key issues, evidence and proposals for robust regulatory action so that far greater progress can be made across the UK in addressing our highly unsustainable built environment.