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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Survey reveals housebuilders discomfort with 2016 target
Article Type: Newsbriefs From: Structural Survey, Volume 26, Issue 4
Keywords: New homes, Zero carbon, Survey
A recent opinion poll by Inbuilt shows that, despite generally embracing the Government ambition for zero carbon new homes by 2016, many major housebuilders are deeply uncomfortable about whether they can achieve this target. Dr David Strong, chief executive of Inbuilt, said: “This was a targeted survey where we could speak at length with senior managers in seven of the UK’s largest national housebuilding firms. At first almost all of them said they thought the 2016 target was achievable, albeit with significant caveats. As our discussions continued, their discomfort became palpable, expressed in warnings about the unrecoverable costs, the lack of reliable technologies, supply chain, skills or expertise, and the trouble accessing renewable energy sources”. Consequently, when we asked the 64 million dollar question about whether the housebuilding industry can actually deliver under the existing rules, there was a mixed and mostly pessimistic view – from “yes, but … ” to “very unlikely” and “extremely difficult”, with one outright “no”. Encouragingly, all respondents said that new build housing had a significant role to play in helping to combat climate change, although there was also a clear view that a lot more needs to be done to tackle the performance of existing homes as this is where the greatest environmental, social and economic returns could be made.