A group of leading industry organisations, such as the Royal British Institute of Architects, have come together to create a building standard that will verify net-zero carbon buildings in the UK. This was after a report was conducted that concluded that a more robust means of verifying buildings as net zero carbon was desired by the UK real estate sector.  

The standard will be named the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard and it will aim to help the industry to ensure and prove that buildings claiming to be net-zero are holding up to that claim.  

It is expected that claims will be required to validated on basis on in-use measured data and interim verification of an asset at design stage or once the asset is built but not yet operating may also be considered. 

It is hoped that this standard will encourage industry to decarbonise and help the country meet its 2035 and 2050 emissions targets.  

RIBA president Simon Allford stated: “This is a really exciting and timely initiative that will help the entire industry to move forward in its efforts to reach net-zero carbon. Working together we will address current ambiguities around the much-used term and develop a common understanding, based on clear performance targets, to support all those involved in the procurement, design, construction and operation of buildings.” 

Net-zero carbon buildings are designed to eliminate all emissions over a building’s lifetime. This takes into consideration both embodied carbon, which are emissions caused by the construction supply chain, and operational carbon, which are emissions caused by a buildings use.  

The built environment is responsible for around 40 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, net-zero carbon architecture could help the UK meet its decarbonised targets.  

The UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will verify both new and existing buildings and consider their operational and embodied carbon emissions.