London has taken a major step towards a greener built environment. In March, Mayor Sadiq Khan adopted two new pieces of the London Plan Guidance, which sets out requirements for whole life-cycle carbon (WLC) assessments and circular economy statements. Together, these policies aim to minimise a building’s carbon footprint from construction through operations and more sustainability manage waste and resources. Although these currently only apply to projects in planning that are referred to the Mayor of London, it could serve as an impetus for UK boroughs to adopt similar polices for developments of all sizes.
Regulatory change such as this is vital if we are to secure a non-carbon future. All carbon emissions related to the building industry need to be accounted for and reduced. It is also crucial that we design towards circular economy principles so that buildings use as much post-consumer recycled/repurposed material as possible to reduce their carbon footprint. This will enable us to move away from a cradle-to-grave approach and towards cradle-to-cradle as the service life of buildings is extended through adaptive design and designing to re-use/repurpose materials elsewhere.More info