The energy consumed in constructing, occupying and operating buildings accounts for about half of all the UK's carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to climate change, consuming non-renewable resources and adding to pollution. In Sweden, energy for heating purposes makes up about 40 per cent of the total energy use and buildings (apartments, offices etc) are responsible for about 20 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions.
Waste from construction and demolition materials and soil is 90 Mtonnes annually in the UK. The industry produces annually three times the waste produced by all UK households combined. Making buildings and construction more environmentally sustainable can make a massive contribution to meeting our environmental challenges. This includes a huge number of existing buildings that need to be refurbished and renovated, with improvements to energy efficiency and appropriate ventilation.
Sustainable building is also about building places where sustainable communities can thrive - well-planned places where people want to live and work, which meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life.
These issues were highlighted at the launch of the Joint UK Sweden Initiative by Mona Sahlin, Swedish Minister for Sustainable Development, and Elliot Morley, then UK Minister for Climate Change and Environment.
To read about the Framework for Sustainable Construction as it stands in the UK, please CLICK HERE
To read about the Framework for Sustainable Construction as it stands in Sweden, please CLICK HERE