Energy Performance Standards

A 3-stage set of realistic and workable energy performance standards lies at the heart of the CarbonLite Programme. Applicable to both residential and non-residential buildings, these performance standards act as clear and achievable targets designed to help guide all those involved in the delivery and use of energy-efficient, low-carbon new-build properties.

Expressed in terms of energy use and CO₂ emissions per square metre and year, the standards are based on a combination of limits on space heating energy consumption, primary energy consumption and CO₂ emissions. They can also be expressed as the percentage saving in energy and CO₂ relative to the same building type in the existing building stock. The standards also expect buildings to be monitored post-occupancy. This enables us to measure any gap between design intent and actual performance, and to achieve the levels of real-world accuracy required to make a significant impact on CO₂ emissions.

As well as being safe, comfortable, healthy and functional, buildings constructed to the three standards will help to meet the CO₂ performance requirements of the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes, together with the proposed requirements of the Code for Non-Domestic Buildings. Research shows that working towards these standards represents the quickest and most effective way in which the building sector can contribute to a significant reduction in overall carbon dioxide emissions. For more detailed explanations of each of the three standards, please refer to specific documents available for download.

 Silver Standard – A low-cost, low-risk and easily achieved introduction to high performance building

The Silver Standard is aimed at those wishing to create high-performance buildings using widely available technology at little or no extra cost. We estimate that this low-risk option will reduce overall CO₂ emissions by 70% compared to the UK average for buildings of each type – a highly significant result given the relative ease and low cost with which this standard can be met. Individual self-builders and large-scale residential and non-residential developers could make a valuable contribution to low-carbon building by meeting this standard.

Silver Standard Certification is handled at the Low Energy Building website and you will be required to either create an account or log in to process certification.

PassivHaus -Europe’s best-known standard uses proven technology to minimise risk as well as emissions

Passivhaus Standard takes full advantage of existing energy-efficient technology without entailing the perceived risk associated with radical innovation. A considerable improvement on normal UK building practices, we estimate that the Passivhaus standard would reduce overall CO₂ emissions by approximately 80% compared to the UK average for buildings of each type. Some imported products are required to meet this international best practice standard, but most of these products are already available through agents based in the UK.

Gold – Best suited to developers and builders looking to innovate,

The highest of our three standards sets the lowest limits on CO₂ emissions and overall primary energy use. We estimate that the Gold Standard would reduce overall CO₂ emissions by 95% compared to the UK average for buildings of each type, since this standard is almost identical to the Passivhaus Standard in terms of thermal efficiency but sets even lower limits on CO₂ emissions and overall primary energy use. As well as a requirement for energy-efficient electrical appliances, this standard demands a greater emphasis on electricity-producing renewables to offset power used for lighting, appliances and ventilation. Building costs would be higher than those associated with normal properties, though careful design and planning, coupled with growing expertise and experience, could help reduce these additional costs in future developments. Again, specialist technology would need to be imported but is already catered for by UK agents.

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