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Target Zero delivers final guidance

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The complete series of Target Zero guidance reports covering five building types – schools, warehouses, supermarkets, offices and mixed-use developments are now freely available in hardcopy version.

Each report provides reliable, fully-costed feasibility level guidance on how much sustainability benefit can be achieved and at what cost.

By identifying the most cost effective combinations of materials and technologies needed to construct low and zero carbon structures, Target Zero provides designers with all the essential information they need to make the right decisions when designing cost effective sustainable buildings.

The guides inform construction professionals how they may meet the Government’s ambitious targets to achieve zero carbon buildings. When these targets were initially set there was very little guidance available and engineers, in many cases, had to simply make assumptions as to which materials and technologies offered the best solution for particular projects.

The £1M Target Zero project was commissioned by the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) and Tata Steel and produced in partnership with AECOM, Sweett Group and the Steel Construction Institute.

During the initial research actual buildings were used for each of the guides. These projects were then theoretically ‘stripped back’ to make them more ‘typical’ and to meet the minimum requirements  for the 2006 Part L of the Building Regulations. These changes to the fabric and services of the actual buildings created the base case buildings which were used as benchmarks for the study.

Target Zero investigated three key areas of sustainable construction and the research for each building type involved producing a report that considered operational carbon and how this can be reduced; BREEAM assessments and how to achieve the three highest ratings; and the embodied carbon of buildings and how this can be measured for different forms of construction.

Many of the recommended measures to reduce energy consumption and increase BREEAM ratings require very little outlay in cash terms, but just require some forethought during the design stage.

The reports can be downloaded at , or to receive a hard copy of any of the five guides, please call 0207 747 8131.

Raising awareness

An event was held in mid February to promote the recently completed Target Zero guidance.  Over 100 senior figureheads from industry gathered in central London to hear about the study and other aspects of sustainable low carbon design.

Speaking at the event keynote speaker Liz Peace (pictured), of the British Property Federation, said: “It is a difficult time for the property industry but we must ensure that ‘green’ construction remains at the top of the agenda. In order for this to happen, there must be an industry led drive to provide quality information on achieving green construction that applies to refurbishment of existing stock, as well as new builds. The suite of Target Zero guidance is a big step in that direction – an independent, freely available resource for the whole industry.”

The guides

The Target Zero schools guidance is based on the Christ the King Centre for Learning secondary school in Knowsley, Merseyside.

The warehouse guidance report was modelled on the DC3 distribution warehouse at Prologis Park, Stoke.

The supermarket guidance report was based on the Asda food store in Stockton-on-Tees.

The offices (commercial) Target Zero guidance report is based on One Kingdom Street, a steel framed office development in Paddington, London.


The Target Zero Mixed use guidance report is based on the Holiday Inn tower located in MediaCityUK, Salford.

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