Building regulations need updated to meet environmental standards, says Armstrong

Building regulations in Northern Ireland need to be updated to ensure we meet future environmental standards, Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said.

The Strangford MLA had asked Finance Minister Conor Murphy when building regulations would be reviewed, updated and published to ensure all new builds will meet zero carbon targets. In his reply, the Minister said his Department was monitoring proposals current under consideration in England and Wales for uplifts which would apply carbon performance improvements of up to 80 per cent in new buildings from 2025.

In addition, the Department is exploring options to independently improve local energy efficiency standards for new buildings.

“The Minister for Communities has outlined ambitious target for new homes to be built across Northern Ireland, in order to meet housing stress and future need. It is important those homes are built in a way that reduces carbon emission output and which is environmentally sustainable, as part of the fight to achieve net zero carbon emissions,” said Ms Armstrong.

“Recommendations by organisations such as Conserve Energy Future include building smaller homes with eco-friendly techniques, having proper insulation, using recycled material and installing solar panels.

“If we discuss this matter with the building industry and subsequently update regulations as soon as possible, we can ensure we create better homes for a more sustainable future. No longer can we delay delivery of environmental targets.”