Government publishes new guide to decarbonise public sector buildings

The Net Zero Estate Playbook aims to give departments, the public sector, and government property professionals clear guidance on the design, implementation, and monitoring of net zero strategies and delivery programmes.

It is intended as a guide by anyone responsible for managing government property across the public sector, and seeks to ensure consistent approaches, such as using solar panels, LED lighting and greener building materials, are applied across public buildings, to maximise carbon savings

The guidance, which will be applied to both existing and new properties, will also help the Department of Health and associated public bodies improve sustainability of their hospitals through the use of low carbon materials and improved understanding of a building’s environmental impact over its entire lifespan.

Public sector support

The government says the document will be constantly evolved and improved as policy develops and technology improves. The public sector estate is Britain’s largest property portfolio, generating 2% of the UK’s total emissions, and 9% of all building emissions in the UK.

In the recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy, the government acknowledged that it is important for the public sector to “lead by example” in its carbon reduction efforts. It launched the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding in September 2020 to tackle emissions from heat, and recently announced it will spend a further £1425 million on the scheme up to 2024/5.