Building developers ‘should be required to use low carbon construction’

Construction activities are currently responsible for around 7% of London’s nitrogen oxide emissions

By Jonny Bairstow

Building developers should be required to use low carbon methods of construction to halve emissions from buildings and tackle air pollution.

That’s the verdict from think tank Green Alliance, which says construction activities are responsible for around 7% of London’s nitrogen oxide emissions and 15% of its smaller particulate pollution.

It suggests plans to deliver 65,000 more homes each year, a 250% increase on 2017’s figure, means construction emissions are likely to make up an increasingly significant share of London’s emissions.

The think tank claims reducing the amount of resources needed and using lower carbon materials means emissions can be slashed by around a fifth at no additional cost, with reductions of up to 50% being possible if more extensive changes to building design are introduced.

It also calls for developers to reduce onsite excavation, the use of heavy machinery and site deliveries to ease congestion and cut vehicle emissions.

Caterina Brandmayr, Policy Analyst on Energy and Resources at Green Alliance, said: “With plans to deliver 65,000 more homes a year and up to six million square metres of office space between now and 2041, it’s vital that we look now at addressing all the sources of emissions from buildings, otherwise construction emissions will continue to rise.”

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