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Report 22 July 2022

Our response to the proposed Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill

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Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in Scotland.

This consultation was a proposal for a Member’s Bill from Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, to introduce new minimum environmental design standards for all new-build housing to meet the Passivhaus standard, or a Scottish equivalent, in order to improve energy efficiency and thermal performance.  

Our response emphasised our support for the introduction of standards for new homes that will deliver very high levels of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is the most effective long-term guarantee of a housing stock that uses less energy and emits less carbon. Strong fabric-first standards ‘lock in’ energy saving and make dwellings much cheaper to heat (because less heat is needed) and more comfortable to live in. They also reduce system costs as there is less demand (than would otherwise be the case) on the grid.

The fabric of a property, unlike a property’s heating system, is very unlikely to be revisited over a property’s lifetime and as such getting the fabric right when a property is built is a one-off opportunity. It makes no sense to build a home now that will need to have disruptive fabric improvements made at a later date at additional cost to the homeowner.

Last updated: 24 August 2022