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Sustainable Buildings

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to ensure newly-built public buildings in Northern Ireland incorporate energy efficient measures. (80950)

A number of steps are being taken to ensure newly built public buildings in NI use energy efficient measures. These are:

(i) A revision to the NI Building Regulations will apply from the end of November 2006. This will mean an improvement of around 40 per cent. on current energy standards.

(ii) The Achieving Excellence Agenda for Construction. Under this agenda, a Policy Framework for Construction Procurement has been developed and implemented. The policy framework requires that, for all new Government buildings, energy efficiency measures over and above those required by the building regulations should be considered. These measures include low carbon design, energy targets, whole life costing and energy efficiency and management. In addition all new Government buildings should minimise energy used in construction and should aim to achieve a rating of Excellent using the Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Method (BREEAM).