Comment - Energy and Climate Change
Not Green enough!
Last Autumn Enfield Council published its sustainability strategy,
Enfield 2020, for consultation.
The strategy contains wide-ranging and very ambitious goals and
we welcome it. EGP's response concentrated on the ways in which
the Council can affect greenhouse gas emissions from local
It's easy to show that national targets for greenhouse gas emissions
require the emissions from individual buildings to fall by more than
80%. Since about 80% of the 2050 housing stock has already been
built this requires a big effort on renovation. However, it is difficult
to pioneer the radical new approaches needed on renovation work
so we will start by considering new build. Here we believe that the
targets are too modest and the strategy inappropriate.
1. The performance targets under are insufficiently ambitious. A
development can be approved even though it requires more than
three times as much heating energy as best practice.
2. In a recent paper Bruce Tofield of the University of East Anglia
pointed out that buildings that comply with low-energy standards
on paper generally do not achieve the implied energy efficiency.
This is mainly due to poor practice in the UK construction
Experience shows that really low energy use can only be achieved if
efficiency is designed in from the start and realised in practice by a
high-quality construction process. It requires changes in building
practice, not just building standards. The only proven way is to
follow the passivhaus method.
Also, these standards don't require either developers or local
authorities to measure the energy efficiency of buildings but rather
to rely on calculations. Actual measurements, in the few cases
where they have been done, show that the calculations are often
Enfield Green Party strongly recommends that Enfield Council
1. Require all new Council-funded buildings commissioned after
April 2013 to use passivhaus.
2. Make passivhaus-equivalent performance a Planning approval
condition for all new buildings.
3. Work with local developers and building professionals to ensure
that they understand the new standards and how to achieve them.
Our full submission is at
First published in the EGP members newsletter, February 2013
Published and promoted
by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13