A new report titled ‘Building Places That Work For Everyone’, has been proposed to the UK government by the Green Building Council, revealing the drastic need for improved housing insulation.
It predicts that four out of five occupied homes in 2050 have already been built, meaning that to meet sustainability targets, 25 million homes will need refurbishing in the next 33 years.
To follow this proposal, 1.4 homes per minute would need to be refurbished from now until the mid-century. As the report points out, it’s an inescapable fact that taking steps towards improving insulation is an urgent matter, especially if the UK government is to succeed in its goal to cut carbon emissions by 80%.
Despite the current emphasis on renewable fuel, a third of carbon emissions actually come from excessive heating of poorly insulated housing. A reluctance among homeowners and misinformation as to the work required has led to many houses having inefficient infrastructure, costing occupiers more money in heating bills.
Refurbishing homes with better insulation has been shown to be beneficial in the long run, despite the worries about initial investments. The value of a house increases with its efficiency and with modern legislation favouring energy efficient rental property, landlords are finding that they’re coming up against mandatory changes regardless.
Insulation companies are also demonstrating the value of their product through efficient manufacturing methods. Glass wool insulation made by the team at Superglass is created from recycled materials, and the energy saved once installed vastly outweighs any required in the manufacturing process.
However, meeting the targets outlined in the report will still be a challenge. Green Building Council has recommended that the government introduce a zero-carbon standard for buildings from 2020, as well as setting long term goals and investments to improve home energy standards.
They’ve also stated that the construction industry needs investment, and as seen with the efficient manufacturing at Superglass, allowing for innovation is key to matching targets. With a new agenda focused on boosting the industry, it’s also been suggested that this move would create more jobs.
The UK government has responded directly to the report, stating that following on from their recent housing white paper, they would be drafting up some policies in the near future. The outcome of this report is as yet uncertain, but it’s certainly set up a clear and urgent benchmark for the years ahead.