Friday, 29 November 2013

The Sullivan Report – 2013 update

Earlier this month the re-convened Sullivan report panel published their findings in the report 'A Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland (The Sullivan Report) - 2013 Update'

The original report, published in 2007, provided recommendations for investigation within an overall route map towards ‘net zero carbon’ new buildings and was integral to the review of energy standards in 2010 and the recent announcement on 2015 energy standards.

In recognition of the economic downturn and in support of ongoing and future work, Ministers asked the Panel to reconvene in May 2013 to revisit some of the original recommendations.
Focus points of the report include:
  • Review of 2007 recommendations which may prove overly challenging following the reduction in construction activity resulting from the economic downturn and its wider implications such as loss of experience and skills within the workforce.
  •  Recommendation to extend the preparation time for the next two sets of energy standards.
  • Acknowledgement that it may not be practical for all sites to achieve net zero carbon and the resulting advocacy that the concept of ‘Allowable Solutions’ should be investigated and developed.
  • That there is the need to better understand potential performance gaps between designed and as-built energy performance of new buildings and the factors which can contribute to this.
  • That an ‘Action Plan’ should be mapped out by the Scottish Government and industry to support successful delivery of the next set of standards and to further the transition to ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings (European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2 for all new buildings to be ‘nearly zero energy’ from 2021, or 2019 for new non-domestic public buildings).
The panel considered three specific topics.  In summary the recommendations are: