Newsletter - Links - Advertise - Contact Us - Privacy

Architects take net zero mainstream with new housebuilding strategy

May 4 2021

Architects take net zero mainstream with new housebuilding strategy

Anderson Bell + Christie has launched a new housebuilding strategy, guaranteeing net zero carbon emissions for new homes.

Utilising existing building specifications and widely available materials the scheme can be rolled out at speed and scale, slashing carbon emissions and fuel bills in the process.

Described as the first mainstream approach toward delivering the net zero standards the method is claimed to be deliverable at a premium of between 10 and 12% on current practise by relying solely on existing construction techniques. This has the dual benefit of preventing disruption to existing procurement and supply chains as well as being applicable across the board.

Jonathan McQuillan, director at Anderson Bell + Christie, said: “Scotland has ambitions to be a net zero society by 2045, therefore it is crucial that we change our approach. The standards we currently use on new homes may save some energy and reduce the cost of living, but they do not get close to achieving zero emissions. We need a new way to build affordable houses as we work to meet Scotland’s housing needs. We need to facilitate net zero choices. We believe that a net zero society must start with net zero housebuilding.”

Built around four key components the net zero concept centres on the building fabric, inviting housebuilders to adopt pre-selected energy-efficient specifications, with less effective measures dropped entirely. The practice has also pledged to provide zero emissions renewable heat, ideally in the form of communal heat pump systems for entire estates and regeneration areas. Solar panels are also specified to meet individual hot water demand.

Finally, Anderson Bell + Christie emphasises the role of individuals in helping to offset their energy use through measures such as active travel, electric cars, local food production and green roofs.

The strategy has been adopted by The City of Edinburgh Council to support its housebuilding programme while making good on a pledge to attain net zero carbon status by 2030.


Statman John
#1 Posted by Statman John on 4 May 2021 at 21:56 PM
Appears to be a sensible approach for affordable housing developments but what are the numbers like for affordable vs private unit completions in Scotland?
These kind of strategies, similar to the passivhoos thing are great but nothing seems to be aimed at how to improve general housing, I.e something affordable and achievable on private dwellings, or units built for sale where the public purse doesn't pick up the slack.
Career Advisor
#2 Posted by Career Advisor on 5 May 2021 at 14:50 PM
They have told us nothing with this 'information release'. Nothing that a million others haven't been saying for years. Seems to me that real projects are running thin on the ground @ ABC...

The sensible ones will be looking for jobs elsewhere.
#3 Posted by John on 10 Jul 2021 at 09:42 AM
Embodied energy ignored, performance gap ignored. Adding lots of M&E kit (carbon and maintenance heavy) to a "business us usual" design. This approach will cover maybe 30% of total carbon use. The remaining 70% will still contribute to climate change. I'm surprised this is not widely criticised as simply incorrect. This approach is not Net-Zero.
Brian Donnelly
#4 Posted by Brian Donnelly on 10 Jul 2021 at 13:29 PM
Maybe you architects types can help me with this. Each person in Scotland gives out 2 1/2 lbs
of C02 each day just by breathing. Taking in oxygen, giving out carbon dioxide. How therefor can net zero be achieved, just askin like?. Also trees take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen, so we can, y,know, breath

Post your comments


All comments are pre-moderated and
must obey our house rules.


Back to May 2021

Search News
Subscribe to Urban Realm Magazine
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.