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Energy inefficient buildings face public shaming

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INEFFICIENT, BADLY insulated public buildings could be named and shamed as a result of changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, consultants warned this week.

Public buildings face having to display certificates revealing their carbon footprint - the amount of carbon dioxide their energy consumption produces annually. The government is also considering publishing their rankings annually.

& Power was last revised in 2002 and was not due for further revision until 2007.

But FaberMaunsell director Ant Wilson told a seminar on Monday that the latest revision is being brought forward to January 2006. This will coincide with the introduction of the European Performance of Buildings Directive.

'Many people still haven't come to terms with the last revision and this will be even more comprehensive, ' he said.

'I feel sorry for architects in particular, they simply don't have the in-house skills to calculate the carbon footprints of the buildings they design.'

FaberMaunsell has been advising the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) on the revision of Part L, which is out for consultation now.

The 332 page discussion draft is available on the ODPM website. Wilson said there were several key changes in the new draft.

'The focus is very much on refurbishment, ' said Wilson.

'Thermal modelling is at the heart of these new regulations, ' he added.

'Recent research has shown that the worst offender among non-domestic buildings is the retail sector, closely followed by hotels and catering and education.

'Commercial office buildings, often held up as examples of non-sustainable construction, came in fourth.'

Current calculations suggest that the cost of complying with the latest draft would be around £19/m 2, approximately 2% of building costs.

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