Manchester is considering net-zero carbon new builds by 2023

A working group composed by the city council of representatives from the private, public and third sector calls for the radical target for all construction projects without CO2 compensation or CO2 tax.

All new developments should also be obliged to achieve a significant reduction in gray carbon in construction from 2023, with stricter requirements being introduced in the future, recommends the Manchester Climate Change Partnership.

Contractor Laing O’Rourke, developers Muse, Bruntwood, Urban Splash and consultants Aecom, Arup, BDP, Buro Happold and WSP make up the council’s high-level task force.

The city council has cautiously welcomed the ambitious plan to make the city a role model for climate action in the run-up to an autumn-winter consultation on the updated municipal plan.

Luthfur Rahman, vice chairman of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is committed to becoming a carbon free city.

“The partnership’s roadmap, including the proposed Manchester New Build Standard, is a welcome addition to the important discussion on how we will achieve this goal.

“Climate change will be at the heart of the upcoming Manchester Local Plan update.

“We will examine how our planning and development system can support zero carbon goals and we will consider the partnership’s suggestions as part of this process.”

The Task Force’s report recognized that the feasibility of developments is influenced by the cost of building to meet the Manchester standard.

With net zero carbon emissions in operation, this is increased by 4-6% for office projects and 8-10% for residential projects.

For the reductions in embodied CO2 proposed for 2023, this is estimated at 20-30% for office and residential properties.

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