Recently appointed new build lead at the Langley Group, Simon Griffiths is calling on the government to urgently legislate for all new developments to feature at least one green or sustainable element.
Langley’s calls follow an Autumn Statement which saw the government pledge to invest in the country’s energy efficiency and make a renewed commitment to a 68% reduction in UK emissions by 2030 as agreed at COP26.
Describing the number of empty roofs in the country as “a wasted opportunity for our planet and our wellbeing” Griffiths suggests that all new buildings should wherever possible be fitted with at least one of the following: a green or wild roof to enhance an area’s biodiversity, a blue roof to manage rainfall, or a solar or bio-solar green roof to generate clean energy.
As of June 2022, the government mandated for all new builds with the requirement of associated parking to have electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed during construction. There is currently, however, no obligation to choose an alternative eco element if parking is not required.
Langley’s calls, if acted upon, would see the UK fall more closely in line with other European countries which have already introduced new laws to ensure future building is turned into an eco-orientated opportunity. Germany has already mandated that from 2023 onwards, solar panels must be installed on all new buildings and, just last week, France created a new law to ensure every carpark would see a solar roof added. Simon Griffiths, Langley’s new build lead said the UK “must act now” to avoid falling behind.
Simon Griffiths, Langley new build lead, said: “With the ink barely dry on the COP27 agreement now is the perfect time for us to turn the rhetoric into action. We’ve been at a climate crossroads for some time now as a country and, while there has been some incredibly inspiring, industry-changing initiatives taking place across the private and public sectors alike, we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible. It’s almost criminal to think of the number of new buildings still being designed in 2022 where solar, green or blue roofing hasn’t been factored in.
“The end-user appetite is there and although many individual organisations are already doing their bit, for effective and widespread change to happen we need mass take-up. To achieve a level of demand which will drive innovation – that ultimately leads to lower price points and accessibility – we need the government to legislate for change and create financial incentives to encourage everyone down a more sustainable path.”
The Langley Group, which has operated under the Langley name since the 1960s, recently brought its core offerings – from waterproofing to flat to pitched conversions – under one roof as it invests in its mission to create innovative roofing solutions for the built environment that have a lasting, positive impact. It’s diverse offering spans design, supply, build, consultancy, maintenance and training.