Implement an Independent System of Quality Control checks on new houses

While many developers of houses in Scotland are excellent, many are not. Missing insulation and poor construction results in on average 0.5 tonnes CO2 (*) excess emissions per annum, per house . This therefore locks in an estimated 600,000 tonnes CO2 every year that these issues is not addressed. (20,000 new houses built every year, lasting for 60 years x 0.5 tonnes per house). 

(* - this is our estimate. Through FOI we discovered that government has no analysis of 'Performance Gap' - actual energy performance of new housing from meter reads versus design energy performance in SAP. Happy for this estimate to be revised if government now has an assessment. Regardless, its a big number!)

There is an assumption that Building Control check quality and sign-off on new houses. This is not the case. Local authorities are underfunded for this, and in any case, this is not the process that is in the regulations. We see daily the results of heat loss from poorly constructed new houses through our thermal imaging and air tightness testing work. This not only results in increased heat loss and emissions, but affects the health, mental health and wealth of owners.

Why the contribution is important

Many changes to reduce emissions will require tough political decisions. However, there are no losers in building better homes. Costs of compliance could be past on to poorly performing contractors. Standards would improve rapidly. This is a win/win, and could drammatically reduce emissions in Scotland

by TomBarbour on October 26, 2020 at 07:23AM

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