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New rules 'will make homes green'

Scotland will have some of the most environmentally friendly houses in Europe, if building standards to be issued in October are adhered to, infrastructure minister Stewart Stevenson has claimed.

Pollution emitted from any new building after that date must be reduced by 30% on 2007’s guidelines, according to the new building standards technical handbook.

The new rules also demand that improvements are made to the quality of windows, doors and locks, and to the insulation in floors and walls between houses. New schools must include in-built sprinklers in order to reduce any potential loss or damage.

Mr Stevenson claimed: ‘While Scotland already leads the UK in reducing emissions from buildings, these improvements will give us some of the greenest homes in Europe.’

Jonathan Fair of Homes For Scotland, which represents housebuilding companies in the trade, complained that the proposals will make firms take longer to build houses. He claimed the industry has already cut pollution from new homes by 60% on 1990’s levels.

‘The big question is whether new home buyers are willing to incur premiums of up to £8,000 for low carbon living or bolt-on renewables which seem to offer little in the way of payback, are difficult to understand and operate, or remain unproven with regards to long-term performance and maintenance?’

Readers' comments (2)

  • Well, all I can say is that East Renfrewshire have been totally lackadaisical in doing anything to reduce light pollution from illegally erected flood lights shining on to Glasgow's White Cart river where there used to be a substantial bat population. Light pollution => NO flies => bats starved to death.

    East Ren's requiring adherence to the Building Regulations in respect of the communal areas of the Riverside Park estate where I live is simply non-existent. Certain elderly [age 80+] female residents illicitly arranged the replacement of fittings with diffusers with old style 36 watt tubes with new fittings WITHOUT diffusers with 58 watt HID tubes is a nonsence.

    We now have 1,000 LUX on the landings ... obviously causing glare - and that at the top of the stairs ! Breach od the Regulations let alone being damned dangerous.

    And of course such bright lights without diffusers cause serious shadows on the stairs as well ... another damned dangerous breach.

    I am whollly surprised that they are NOW complaining about the 60% increase in their electricity charge up from £5,500 to £9,800 ... not forgetting that a rebate is made top the property manager [Peverel Scotland Ltd] under their "affinity agreement".

    Why does someone not introduce some regulations to make sure common areas are policed by the local council .... and when are we going to get smart meters which simpoly turns off power when one's monthly allowance has been used up ...

    so my annual electricity bill is £250 fpr me, and £150 for some excessively bright lights which are on 24/7. Messrs Thorn recommended circular 16watt tubes in opal fittings ... add in PIR's and the estate could reduce its consumption by AT LEAST 80% if not 90%.

    By replacing a lot of my electrical equiment [pc, fridge, and washing mc] and light bulbs I have reduced my quarterly consumption from 850 to 400 kwh - it CAN be done.

    If we were ALL made to do this ...

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  • The proposed Scottish Building Standards are absolutely moving things in the correct direction. We are still years behind the Scandinavians and mid Europeans. There will always be those who cloud visionary moves by scare tactics. Current housing is poorly designed and constructed and it is high time that the housebuilders acknowledged that and stopped moaning.

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