Building in Green

10 January 2013 – 8:13 am


Pre-recession there was a major push for increased energy efficiency. This has widely taken effect in the commercial building sector and has been so successful in the transport space that HM Government now has to review road tax, in light of an increase in lower taxed less pollutant vehicles.

The private residential market however, has not seen the eco-growth predicted. The previous mini-boom of solar installations and ground source heat pumps has curtailed. There are a number of reasons for the loosening of this once growth market; the initial up-front costs for new green technologies are high, taking years for the homeowner to see an ROI (many installation subsidies have now been withdrawn), a high volume of legacy housing stock means costly retro-fitting (a significant tranche of private property is over 100 years old) and regular changes to government policy (the reduction of the feed-in tariff is just one example of green technology now being a less attractive proposition than a few years back).

As energy costs and population rise, along with a slowly strengthening economy, it is likely there will be a new emphasis on green building initiatives and the drivers will come from economics rather than state hand outs.


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