New government regulations state that domestic buildings built after 2025 will need to produce around 70-80% less carbon emissions, while non-domestic buildings currently require a 27% improvement on carbon emissions, making sustainable architecture and the increased use of nature-based building materials essential.
Under the Future homes Standard, coming into effect from 2025, new homes in England will need to be built to high energy efficiency standards and with low-carbon heating systems in place. According to a recent survey by Savills this poses particular challenges in rural areas, where buildings are typically less efficient than in an urban environment, due to more historic building fabric, more extreme environmental conditions, and a reliance on oil-based heating systems.
Michael Collins, a RIBA & RIAS sustainable accredited architect (pictured left), who will be chairing a conference session dedicated to sustainable architecture and nature-based building materials at the Low Carbon Agriculture Show in March next year, said:
“Rural infrastructure and dwellings will see many changes in the years ahead, the amount of energy they give off will have to be reduced by increasing insulation levels as well as new carbon saving technologies,”
“Essentially, the places where people live and work in these areas need to become much more efficient.
“Farmers and landowners have the benefit of incorporating innovative systems into building infrastructure, but unlike urban areas, can also tap into whole estate to create more integrated energy strategies,” he says.
“There are generally great opportunities in renewable energy generation and micro energy generation, to produce energy for own-use and, if applicable, to export the rest to the grid.”
Michael goes on to explain that buildings will need to be made from sustainable, low carbon or carbon negative materials in the future:
“Carbon intensive concrete will be phased out for example, and new timber technologies and ‘nature-based’ materials, such as hemp or wool insulation, wood fibre boards, mycelium insulation – which is fed off agri-waste, will be phased in. And MMCS or ‘Modern Methods of Construction’ will be used, whereby modular building components are made offsite and assembled in situ.
“There is so much opportunity in rural sectors – and the countryside is very much a key driver of future innovation, where we will see major breakthroughs from the rural economy.
“There is so much opportunity in rural sectors – and the countryside is very much a key driver of future innovation, where we will see major breakthroughs from the rural economy,” adds Michael.
Farmers and landowners wanting to explore their options and find out more about how the new regulations will effect them should attend the Low Carbon Agriculture Show, taking place on 8th & 9th March 2022 at NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. The session on sustainable architecture and nature-based building materials will focus on:
- What makes a building sustainable, explaining key factors to take into consideration when embarking on a rural commercial or domestic newbuild, including carbon footprint, impact on the local environment, water use, biodiversity and energy performance
- The Planning application process, with practical guidance given
- Modern methods of construction and the choices of nature-based building materials
- An estate that has completed a number of sustainable buildings on their site, providing first hand info on the lessons learned.
The Low Carbon Agriculture Show is focused on the driving down of emissions and increased sustainability within the agricultural sector, through the generation of renewable energy, environmental best practice, regenerative farming and the adoption of the latest innovations in low-carbon technologies. A large exhibition of key industry suppliers will be accompanied by a cutting edge conference programme, demonstrations of the latest agri-tech and test drives of low/zero emission vehicles and machinery.
For more information and to register (for free) visit www.lowcarbonagricultureshow.co.uk.