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25/09/13 11:15

Drive for greener buildings

Tougher measures to help tackle climate change .

New buildings in Scotland are to be more energy efficient when changes to the building standards come into effect in 2015, Minister for Planning, Derek Mackay announced today.

From October 2015, improvement to new homes will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 21% when compared to the current levels.

These measures will also affect new non-domestic buildings such as shops and offices where the improvement will be greater with an average reduction in emissions of around 43%.

The Scottish Government consulted on proposed changes at the start of 2013 and considered advice from the reconvened Sullivan Report expert panel.

Mr Mackay said:

"These new measures will help Scotland become greener, a vital step in our drive to a low carbon economy.

“Over the last year I have met with many representatives from the house building and construction industry. Today’s announcement is made well in advance of improvements coming into effect, to give plenty of time to prepare for the changes.

“I’m now giving industry the certainty they asked for and importantly, an extra transitional two years preparatory period, a total of five years without change.

“This also provides a valuable period in which industry and government can work together to successfully deliver the improved standards.”

Lynne Sullivan, chair of the Sullivan Panel said:

“I am delighted that the Panel’s input has already been useful to Scottish Ministers.

“The Scottish Government has managed to provide the appropriate balance to taking forward climate change objectives and supporting the construction industry through challenging times.”

Philip Hogg, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland said:

“With the Scottish home building industry still striving to overcome the severe impact of the economic downturn, our members will welcome the additional time that has been given before the change in energy standards.

"This will provide some much needed assistance to engendering a sustainable recovery.”

Notes to editors

• In August 2007, Scottish Ministers commissioned an expert panel to give recommendations to them on how to make buildings more energy efficient. The Panel, chaired by Lynne Sullivan, originally met in September 2007 and produced ‘A Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland’, also known as the Sullivan Report.

• In November 2011, a Departmental Working Group was convened to investigate the recommendation made by the Sullivan Panel for the 2013 energy standards. Following research and development of proposals, consultation on the next set of energy standards took place between January and April 2013.

• In view of the economic downturn, in December 2012 Scottish Ministers requested that the Sullivan Panel reconvenes to revisit some of their recommendations.

• The full report of the reconvened Sullivan Panel will be published shortly and will provide additional recommendations to Scottish Ministers.