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Departmental Buildings

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many houses on the Ministry of Defence estate will be refurbished in each of the next five years. (217308)

Refurbishment of property is not readily distinguishable from other maintenance or upgrade expenditure when compiling costings and planning for service families accommodation (SFA).

We intend to spend in excess of £8 billion on accommodation over the next decade, of which over £3 billion will be on improvements and upgrades.

Based on current funding levels, the MOD plans to upgrade at least 600 of the worst condition SFA properties in the United Kingdom to the highest Standard for Condition in 2008-09 and at least 800 properties each year until Financial Year 2012. The upgrade programme prioritises those properties identified as being in the greatest need.

In addition, we will carry out routine works, on SFA, including maintenance and replacement of bathrooms, kitchens and boilers, which while not sufficient to upgrade a property to the next level or higher, will significantly improve the quality of life for the occupants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his Department’s policy is on improving the energy efficiency of the buildings which it (a) rents and (b) owns; what changes there have been in the energy efficiency of such buildings in the last (i) five and (ii) 10 years; and whether his Department has adopted targets on energy efficiency improvements in the buildings it occupies over the next (A) five and (B) 10 years; (221095)

(2) what account his Department takes of the level of energy efficiency of buildings before entering into agreements to (a) rent and (b) purchase those buildings.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to meeting the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets for improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from buildings relative to 1999-2000 levels and achieving carbon neutrality on its office estate by 2012.

In 2006-07, the last period for which published figures are available, we achieved an improvement in energy efficiency per metre squared of 29 per cent., and reduced carbon dioxide emissions from buildings by some eight per cent., against the relevant SOGE reduction targets of 30 per cent., by 2020 and 12.5 per cent., by 2010-11, respectively.

In addition, the MOD has gone further than the 12.5 per cent., reduction in carbon dioxide emissions required by 2010-11 and has put in place a 15 per cent., reduction target relative to 2004-05 levels, which is to be achieved through increased energy efficiency and greater use of renewable and low carbon technologies.

Where existing buildings are being considered for acquisition or rental, the energy efficiency information provided by the Energy Performance Certificate will be taken into account.

Where new build is concerned, the MOD integrates carbon reduction and sustainable development considerations into its building design and construction projects.