Brighton & Hove City Council
Carbon neutral standard: implementation test case
Summary Context: BHCC carbon neutral policy, carbon compensation sum
Example: Test case: American Express office development, Brighton, November 2009
SPD 08 Sustainable Building Design was implemented in Sep 2008. This included a carbon neutral standard
for new build residential development of 3 or more units where new build should emit zero net annual CO2
emissions from energy use (regulated and unregulated emissions). The intention of the policy is to prevent
the increase in the city’s carbon footprint through new build residential development. The approach is
adapted to Brighton & Hove from a policy pioneered in Milton Keynes.
Where carbon neutrality is NOT delivered on site, SPD offers 2 options for off-setting outstanding onsite
ß via financial contribution (£1/kg CO2/annum*) to council’s energy efficiency and renewable energy
grants for local householders; or
ß via improvements to existing stock delivered by developer.
Legal and planning processes have been developed to implement this approach.
* £1/kgC/annum or £1,000/tonneC is a one off payment was consulted on for SPD08 (see SPD annexe) and
represents the financial cost of reducing emissions in housing through a series of measures to be
implemented through grant funding (based on BRE research paper). Measures include e.g. insulation (loft &
cavity wall etc), boiler replacement, draught proofing and solar thermal installation.
This approach relates closely to govt proposals to achieve Zero Carbon Homes through ‘Allowable Solutions’
and government are researching through the Zero Carbon hub thoses councils that are implementing this
type of approach in order to gain insight on the practicality of the approach.
The B&H carbon compensation sum appears to be less than the cost per tonne being considered for
Allowable Solutions where a figure of £100/tonneC for a lifetime assum