We're contributing to the first ever Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard

30 November 2022

We are helping to shape the UK’s first standard for identifying and verifying buildings as net zero carbon.

When completed, the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will provide a single definition of what constitutes a net zero carbon building.

Leading industry organisations have joined forces to develop the standard, including RIBA, RICS, LETI, UKGBC, the Carbon Trust, CIBSE and others, lending their expertise to task groups covering different sectors.

From Max Fordham, Principal Sustainability Consultant, Ingrid Berkeley, is contributing to a group on operational energy, Director, Colin Darlington, to culture and entertainment, Principal Engineer, Hareth Pochee, to schools, and Director, Mark Palmer, to sports and leisure.

“We are pleased to be contributing to the process of defining a UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard. This new standard will be used to set targets for carbon in the design, construction, and operation of buildings. By providing these targets and a framework for reporting on them it should become a crucial tool in the drive to decarbonise the construction industry in the UK - moving beyond good intentions to delivering it in practice. We hope to inform the standard so it is appropriately ambitious, informed, practical and delivers on its objectives.” - Colin Darlington, Director, Max Fordham

The standard will replace a range of existing frameworks and rating systems and provide one universal methodology for both new and existing buildings.

It will set out performance targets for operational energy and embodied carbon emissions to align with the UK’s emissions targets for tackling climate change – a 78% reduction by 2035 and net zero by 2050.

It is hoped the standard will make it easier for the industry to prove their built assets are net zero carbon and end cases of ‘greenwashing’ by ensuring landlords and developers are all working to the same guidelines.

“This piece of work is vital to set out clearly and unambiguously what needs to be done to achieve net zero carbon for all the UK's buildings. It will benefit groups such as developers, designers, building owners, local authorities, tenants, and ultimately society as a whole.


"A key strength of the standard is that it is being developed collaboratively between these and many other influential and respected industry organisations. We very pleased to be involved. We have a wealth of expertise that we can offer to help develop the standards. We believe that UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard is a vital component of the UK's toolkit needed to reach net zero carbon.” - Hareth Pochee, Principal Engineer, Max Fordham

The standard will replace the current main guidance for verifying Net Zero Carbon buildings, the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework.

Earlier this year Max Fordham House in Camden became the first verified Net Zero Carbon home in the UK under this framework, achieving net zero carbon for both operational and construction carbon, and winning the RIBA prize for Sustainability.