Under Section 7 – Sustainability, all new buildings in Scotland must be provided with a "Statement of Sustainability", or Sustainability Label, to comply with Standard 7.1 of the Scottish Building Regulations. The labels should be submitted alongside a completion certificate for any new building in Scotland where Section 7 applies.
The labelling system of the Technical Handbooks rewards new buildings that demonstrate a baseline level of Building Standards compliance with a Bronze level label.
Further optional upper levels of sustainability for dwellings are defined by Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. At present, Section 7 of the non-domestic Building Standards has only been developed for schools. Therefore, all other building types can currently only achieve a Bronze or Bronze active level.
Section 7 also includes ‘Active’ levels that identify where buildings incorporate low or zero carbon generating technologies (LZCGT).
The system can be utilised by developers or planners who may wish to demonstrate their environmental commitment by referring to this standard. The system could also be used to link with local development plans to give planning authorities a consistent route to achieve their obligations.
The intention of the Sustainability standard is to:
- recognise the level of sustainability already achieved by the building regulations
- encourage more demanding sustainability standards through enhanced upper levels e.g. Full Silver Level compliance (Aspects 1-8).
- encourage consistency between planning authorities that use supplementary guidance to promote higher measures of sustainable construction in their geographical areas. By making reference to this standard, local aspirations can be met by selection of clear national benchmarks.
Aspect is the term used for the subject area of sustainability. Due to the coverage of building standards and the position of the warrant process in the overall development process, aspects covering resource use and performance are more prominent in this standard. Examples of aspects named and defined in this standard for dwellings are:
- Energy for space and water heating
- Well-being and security, and
- Material use and waste
Level is the term used as a banding, where all the aspects of sustainability have reached a certain cut-off point i.e. Bronze, Silver, Gold or in the future Platinum.
Engaging with Carbon Futures during early design stages has proven to deliver significant value to new-build developments. By working closely with design teams, we can assist in the development of sustainable, energy efficient strategies that meet or even exceed the standards set by Planning and Building Standards in a cost-effective manner.