Organization: BRE
Publication Date: 1 January 2010
Page Count: 8


Cutting CO2 emission levels by 80% by 2050 is no easy task, and is now an international objective following the agreement reached by the G8 nations in July 2009. If businesses are to succeed in hitting the target, they will have to make significant changes to all aspects of their operations. In the built environment, significant change has been under way for some time with a shift to highly insulated buildings and on-site renewable energy technologies, prompted by regulations such as Planning Policy Statement 22 for renewable energy and voluntary standards such as the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The UK's geothermal energy resource may not be on a par with that of countries like Iceland, where hot springs reach nearly 90°C, but its relatively constant daytime and night-time temperatures are still of use due to solar gains and losses in the upper levels of the ground. A host of buildings are already tapping into geothermal energy, including the MPs' offices at Portcullis House in Westminster and countless office blocks, schools, hospitals and homes.