Building priorities

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Contrary to concerns raised this week, the construction 
industry is fully behind the drive for higher standards of energy efficiency in Scotland’s built 
environment.

The issue is more one of timing and the right order of priorities. New-build energy efficiency has made huge progress in recent years. But a great deal of work remains to be done to raise the standard of energy efficiency within Scotland’s existing built environment.

In the short term, the impact of stricter new-build regulations will be significantly reduced by historically low numbers of new homes now being built. European Union legislation requires continued improvement in the energy efficiency of new-build homes. But moves to gold plate that legislation by requiring “near zero energy” standards in new buildings three years ahead of schedule will only serve to hamper recovery in the housebuilding industry.

The first priority must be a national retrofit programme to upgrade energy efficiency throughout the existing built environment. This would support thousands of jobs and 
apprenticeship opportunities and enhance skills in both the construction and energy conservation industries.

Michael Levack

Scottish Building 
Federation

Crichton’s Close

Edinburgh