Net Zero Carbon

The Scottish Government have set a target for the country to achieve ‘Net Zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with numerous local authorities aiming to achieve this in their respective cities by 2030. We work closely with our clients and design teams to help deliver on their Net Zero ambitions.

New build development in Scotland has a key role to play in ensuring this target is achieved. It has therefore been highlighted as a sector where change is required in the near-term future. Most new build developments being constructed today do not achieve Net Zero status, primarily as regulation does not yet require such standards to be achieved.

In the built environment, the term Net Zero Carbon has various definitions. Some focus on the carbon reduction associated with regulated operation energy usage, others look towards unregulated in-use energy usage, while some favour the whole-life carbon emissions related to a building (i.e. The UK Green Building Council).

A transition to Net Zero is achievable, however it requires a significant shift from the typical fabric, heating, and renewables strategies being utilised at present. From initial project stages we help our clients to understand the impact and benefits of achieving Net Zero Carbon and identify key aspects which should be considered as early as concept design stage.

Being able to assess the predicted carbon emissions of a new build development is a key part of the design process. With our extensive experience and expertise in energy assessment and dynamic simulation modelling, we use a variety of techniques to create detailed energy models allowing us to propose suitable measures that achieve a Net Zero Carbon standard.

This process takes into account a wide range of influencing factors such as the building geometry, orientation, it’s location in the UK, shading from neighbouring properties, fabric insulation, window and door performance, different types of heating/cooling systems and their efficiencies, heating controls, lighting, thermal mass of the building, air leakage rates, ventilation, hot water storage efficiencies together with different renewable technologies and their individual efficiency and carbon influences.

Engaging with an independent consultant to develop fully optimised, Net Zero Carbon solutions from the outset will ultimately save time, money and of course energy.