Building Britain: The path to sustainable growth for the built environment

The UK is still lagging behind on most indicators and undershooting the sector targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2010 residential buildings represented 28% of our UK greenhouse gas emissions and the commercial and public sector added a further 14%. The importance of improving our building stock is therefore clear. It also leaves the longest legacy, locking future generations into resource use way beyond that of other sectors of the economy, due to both the longevity of the stock and the cost of replacement.

But it appears that the policy landscape is still riddled with contradictions. During the cold year of 2010, the take up of professional cavity wall and loft insulation fell by 30%1. Such a big drop is hard to account for by the recession. Could it reflect a perverse reaction to the prospect of the welcome policy of the Green Deal, meaning it seemed better to wait?