Greening the UK building stock: Historic trends and low carbon futures 1970-2050

A I Brown, Geoffrey P Hammond, C I Jones, F J Rogers

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Historic trends and future projections of energy use and carbon dioxide emissions associated with the United Kingdom building stock are analysed for the period 1970-2050. Energy use in housing is found to rise at a slightly slower rate than the increase in household numbers, which totalled some 25.5 million in 2000. It appears feasible to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the UK domestic building stock by more than 65% by 2050. But this would require a significant take-up of energy saving measures and the adoption of various low or zero carbon (LZC) energy technologies. Non-domestic buildings consisted of some 1.98 million premises in 2000. Anticipated changes in the UK Building Regulations will lead to reductions in energy use and carbon emissions of up to 17% and 12% respectively for 2010 standard buildings. Improvements in the non-domestic building stock and industrial processing could lead to a reduction of nearly 59% in CO2 emissions, via the adoption of LZC energy technologies. Thus, the potential for 'greening' the UK building stock - making it environmentally benign - is large, but the measures needed to achieve this would present a significant challenge to the UK government, domestic householders, and industry in the broadest sense.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-104
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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