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Last edited 10 May 2022
Industry proposes building regulations part Z
In July 2021, the construction industry proposed Part Z, an amendment to the UK building regulations to regulate embodied carbon on all major construction projects. The amendment, if introduced (currently only an industry proposal, and not backed by government),would require whole life carbon assessments and compliance with embodied carbon limits for projects greater than 1000m2 (or 10 dwellings). The proposal was publicly launched in Westminster in March 2022.
The proposal was written by 5 construction industry professionals: Will Arnold (Head of Climate Action at the Institution of Structural Engineers), Tim den Dekker (Associate Architect at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios), Dr Jannik Giesekam (Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde), Dr Julie Godefroy (Head of Sustainability, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and London Energy Transformation Initiative) and Simon Sturgis (Architect, Carbon Consultant, Royal Institute of British Architects & Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
The principle of introducing embodied carbon regulations is supported by over 150 leading organisations involved in the UK building industry (statements available at https://part-z.uk/industry-support). These include The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Chartered Institute Of Building (CIOB), The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), The Steel Construction Institute (SCI), The Structural Timber Association (STA), UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), Off-Site Homes Alliance (OSHA), Construction Industry Council (CIC), along with many others and numerous leading firms.
CIOB has confirmed its support for a proposed amendment to the UK Building Regulations 2010 to create an Approved Document Z requiring the assessment of whole life carbon emissions, and limiting of embodied carbon emissions, for all major building projects.
The ‘Part Z’ amendment has been drafted by industry sustainability experts and builds off existing industry guidance, providing policymakers with a quick solution to tackling built environment industry emissions. By setting limits, rather than setting specific requirements on individual elements, the flexibility to design the most appropriate solution for each brief is retained, but now with resource use given an equal footing with cost, quality and time.
“CIOB is supportive of regulatory moves which enable a focus on embodied carbon, not just operational carbon emissions, and add weight to its consideration as part of the construction and development process. Sustainability is already something which informs much of our work - and will for years to come - and we have been clear to our members that opportunities to take a more environment-centred approach, combined with practical measures and clarity in legislative requirements, should be welcomed. The industry needs to walk the walk on minimising climate change, not just talk the talk, and we expect CIOB members to update their knowledge through CPD and understand how they can make a meaningful positive contribution to achieving net zero.”
 Further Information
- BPIE report urges EU to incorporate the carbon footprint of construction into policy.
- Carbon dioxide.
- Carbon footprint.
- Climate change act.
- Climate change science.
- Climate Emergency Design Guide.
- Cradle to grave.
- Embedded carbon emissions.
- Embodied carbon.
- Embodied energy.
- Greenhouse gas.
- PHribbon tool calculates embodied carbon of designs.
- Upfront emissions.
- Use stage embodied carbon.
- Wood, embodied carbon and operational carbon.
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