How green is your housing policy?

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Earlier this week we participated in a talk on ‘How Green is your housing policy’ as part of the CIH South East Conference. As this is an important topic we wanted to share a few key points from this with a wider audience.

There is much in the media about the number of homes needed and how the various parties plan to help reduce these numbers. Aside from this are firstly the green policies and secondly how the targets are actually to be achieved. However previous experience means that there is a scepticism about any form of scheme that will cover the ‘green issues’.

The Code for Sustainable Homes and ECO are a prime example of how things shouldn’t be done, but why?

Neither scheme is perfect, but both schemes helped the industry achieve some special outcomes.

The Code ensured that innovation became a key action for manufacturers, meaning that our products and the methods and materials used to make them became more efficient in-use and less wasteful in the making.

Whilst ECO and the Green Deal helped change the interaction and trust between client, contractor and manufacturer, (in the form of agreed performance through a framework), both schemes helped to make homes a better place to live.

These schemes produced additional jobs within the industry, but there were considerable costs to all in setting up the schemes or by making product improvements to be used in such schemes.

And this is our concern. Such schemes require an enormous amount of goodwill and investment from the industry but there may be a reluctance to invest in the future.

Perceived and actual political pressures often mean that such schemes are changed or ended before the agreed time. This is often done to win ‘brownie points’ from the public without the understanding of how the scheme has benefitted the economy, though the links have been proved.

In an ideal world, whilst we are not saying these schemes should or should have not been changed or removed, we are suggesting that any new schemes need to be set apart from political pressures while understanding the consequences to change, as this in the long term affects good will, the quality of homes, the economy and future sustainability.

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Kingspan Insulation is a market leading manufacturer of optimum, premium and high performance rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications.

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