“The UK is committed to a reduction in overall national carbon emissions of 80% by 2050, and the Government has indicated that in order to achieve this there must be a near-100% reduction in the emissions from buildings – both new and old, both residential and non domestic.”

I am an Architectural Masters Student and for my Thesis I am looking at building regulations relating to change of use and conversions to Domestic use.

The 2013 building regulations have been well publicised that new buildings need to meet new ‘Zero Carbon standards’ but nothing has changed since 2010 for renovations and conversions.

I am trying to gather figures on the amount of renovations and conversion that are happening nationally, as well as get a general opinion from people carrying out the work if they feel the current regulations are adequate, excessive or not enough.

If anyone knows where this information is available It would be very much appreciated, as well as hearing your opinions and experiences..

  • Tony Taylor


    More should be done to improve the thermal efficiency of our existing and renovation stock. Emphasis is put on new housing with tight targets for building emission rates, however, I personally believe that these do not go far enough.

    When we are faced with an infrastructure that has very little spare capacity, rolling blackouts and scenarios where utility companies cannot guarantee that supplies will be restored following a major fault, the focus of our attention must surely be on reducing the amount we consume, not just in energy terms, but everything.

    I realise this is not what anyone wants to hear, but it is the stark reality we face.

    I have donated a significant amount of my time to provide free information and advice with regards renewable technologies on my website and I am in the process of writing a new page to give guidance on what we can all do for the future, unfortunately it is difficult to tell which direction is best placed.

    Energy efficiency has got to be at the forefront of modern building design and we need to find a way to include the renovation and existing markets to the same standards. Gone are the days of cavity walls with 50mm insulation, we need to be looking at 300mm or more in some cases and also find architects willing to incorporate this level of insulation in their designs, which is harder than you might imagine.

    Unfortunately I cannot help with figures for each sector, a directed search should yield some good results though.

    Best wishes for your Masters.


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