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West Midlands taskforce seeks to speed up delivery of low-carbon homes

Words: Laura Edgar
Energy efficient housing / Shutterstock_125838122

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has set up a task force to help the region ‘accelerate’ the construction of low-carbon homes that are energy efficient.

The Zero Carbon Homes Taskforce will help to make sure all new homes meet zero-carbon standards from 2025 onwards. The region is aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2041.

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at the UK Green Building Council, will chair the task force.

The group will provide local and expert insight into how the region plans for a net-zero future, with zero-carbon homes “critical” to the region’s wider plans for a successful green economic recovery from Covid-19.

WM2041: A Programme for Implementing an Environmental Recovery outlines small-scale and region-wide initiatives, such as retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient.

In the coming months, the task force will hold meetings to develop a charter and roadmap that guides the region in meeting its goal to deliver zero-carbon homes as well as help to build consensus across major public and private sector organisations.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Housebuilding has been one of the West Midlands’ best success stories in recent years, with record numbers of homes being built and the vast majority of them on brownfield land.

“Now, not only must we look to continue that success in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but we must also think more about how housebuilding can help tackle the climate emergency we are facing and help the region reach its net-zero goal of 2041.

“This new task force will help do exactly that, building on work which is already under way to understand our existing performance and what more needs to be done.”

Hirigoyen added: “We have secured a multidisciplinary and highly experienced group of representatives from business, local government and academia, all of whom I am confident will play a critical role in ensuring that the WMCA adopts an ambitious and impactful approach to delivering zero-carbon homes closely aligned with UKGBC’s own framework definition for net-zero carbon buildings,” she said.

“The task force will inform the development of a charter and a roadmap for zero-carbon homes that the WMCA has a direct stake in, but importantly it should also set an example for other local authorities in the region to follow. This is a unique opportunity to bring the public and private sectors together to build back better by delivering homes fit for the future.”  

The task force comprises representatives from the construction, finance, academia and energy sectors, including: Lendlease, Urban Splash, NatWest, CITB, West Midlands and Housing Association Partnership.

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