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TOOLKIT SHOWS THE WAY TO NET ZERO

Folkestone & Hythe District Council is collaborating with industry experts to develop a new toolkit which will provide practical, easy-to-follow advice for those planning future building projects.

Published: January 13, 2022

windmill on grass field during golden hour

Folkestone & Hythe District Council is collaborating with industry experts to develop a new toolkit which will provide practical, easy-to-follow advice for those planning future building projects.

It is hoped the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit will help the UK reach its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The toolkit provides a pathway for this transition by giving step-by-step guidance on embedding ‘green by design’ into projects. It will also include advice on how to improve biodiversity, reduce transport emissions by encouraging walking and cycling, and measures to reduce how much water we use.

The toolkit will be aimed at making net-zero carbon new build and retrofit more accessible to a range of users, including small- or medium-sized house builders, architects, contractors, self-builders and consultants, and will cover steps from pre-planning through to construction.

It will also provide homeowners looking to retrofit or extend their existing property guidance and advice on what they need to consider and how they can implement energy-efficiency measures and begin the process of decarbonising their homes in an affordable and phased way.

The toolkit, which is being match-funded by a grant from Homes England, will draw from innovations being developed in the Folkestone and Hythe district, such as new garden town Otterpool Park and Highview, a zero-carbon-in-use development of 30 homes (all for affordable rent), which has been designed by F&HDC’s in-house team

Leading technical consultants Etude, Levitt Bernstein, Elementa Consulting, and The Passivhaus Trust, who have led several projects for local authorities (including guidance for net-zero buildings) will work with F&HDC.

Cllr Lesley Whybrow, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said while the language of net zero is becoming more common, many people will benefit from the accessible and succinct advice in the toolkit.

“There is also scope to widen the advice to include community, institutional and commercial buildings, as well as existing housing stock. We hope the toolkit will be the ‘go-to manual’ for practical advice and help others reach net zero to speed up the UK’s collective response to the climate emergency.

“It will help deliver net-zero, environmentally-friendly homes aligned to the targets, values and outcomes of our nine-year corporate plan, Creating Tomorrow Together. This reflects the council’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency which commits the council to reduce its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. We will also play a leadership role to help the local community meet its own 2030 carbon neutral target.

“Making significant reductions to a home’s carbon emissions also means lower energy bills for homeowners, more people out of fuel poverty and homes that are comfortable and healthier to live in.”

The council will work with the consultants over the coming months and it is hoped the toolkit will be available to download from F&HDC’s website in late spring.

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