Launch of the Zero Carbon Hub

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The launch of the Zero Carbon Hub was announced by the Housing Minister Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP on 26 June 2008.

In response to the Callcutt Review recommendation, a new independent ‘Zero Carbon Hub’ has been established to make Zero Carbon homes a reality from 2016.

The new public and private partnership is responsible for galvanising action and working with government, councils and industry to overcome barriers to ensure this ambitious policy is implemented.

Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council has been appointed as Chairman of the Zero Carbon Hub Board and Neil Jefferson, General Manager NHBC, has been appointed Chief Executive.

The board will include representatives from CLG, NHBC, the Home Builders Federation, Construction Products Association, Robust Details Ltd and the Local Government Association.

Announcing the new Hub, Paul King said: “The establishment of the Zero Carbon Hub is an essential and urgently needed step to overcoming the barriers to delivering mainstream zero carbon homes from 2016. It represents a commitment from both private and public sectors to find solutions that enable the delivery of an ambitious but necessary policy. It’s essential we succeed if we’re to tackle the contribution of new homes to the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions.”

Reporting to the 2016 Zero Carbon Task Force (the cross-sectoral committee co-chaired by the Housing Minister Caroline Flint and Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF), the new delivery body will lead and manage a series of work streams to drive forward the implementation of the 2016 Zero Carbon new homes policy.

Housing Minister Caroline Flint said: “Building all new houses to zero-carbon standard from 2016 is one of the toughest timetables in the world, and to achieve this we need leadership from the industry as well as from Government. Establishing the Zero Carbon Hub is a critical step in this process and will provide a real focus and resource for coordinating activity, identifying and sharing learning.

“My thanks go to those who have put a lot of hard work into launching the Zero Carbon Hub but the toughest challenges remain ahead.”

Neil Jefferson said: “There are many organisations already active in the delivery of Zero Carbon homes but there is significant risk of overlap in some areas and important gaps in others. It is vital that we rapidly develop an overall program and time line to coordinate effort across all sectors, private and public, and track progress. The Hub will provide a forum for all groups to engage with an overall delivery program for Zero Carbon.

“Although the housebuilding industry is facing tough times, we do need to continue to make progress and I am confident that the Zero Carbon Hub, with the support and funding from both Government and industry, gives real opportunity to achieve this important and ambitious target."

Within the first six months of operation the Hub will work with the government and industry to build an overall delivery program based on a range of focused work groups, continue the development of a practical and workable definition of Zero Carbon, start identifying a series of exemplar buildings particularly to help small and medium housebuilders, whilst providing an opportunity to engage the whole supply chain and Local Authorities.

Neil Jefferson will be assisted by David Adams, seconded from Knauf Insulation and staff secondments from other relevant organisations are anticipated.

For its initial phase the Zero Carbon Hub will be based at the offices of Fulcrum Consulting in London, and NHBC offices in Milton Keynes.

ENDS

For further information please call 0845 888 7620

Notes to Editors

In November 2007, one of the recommendations in The Review of Housebuilding Delivery – The Calcutt Review, stated that “Government and the housebuilding, construction products and energy supply industries should jointly sponsor a delivery unit to monitor, co-ordinate and guide the zero carbon programme.”

In the March Budget, Government committed to pump-prime funding for the new body. In addition, private sector contributions have been committed from NHBC and Robust Details Ltd, in addition to in-kind contributions from the NHBC and Fulcrum Consulting. CLG has matched the private sector funding with £500k for the first year.

The Chairman and Executive Team have been appointed on an interim basis until March 2009.