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?’