Property Market Collapse Will Impact On Low Emission Building Initiatives, According To New Report

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A report published this week by CarbonFree sees sub-prime mortgage woes forcing a shift away from new-build based low emission installations and towards renovations-based projects that include a significant amount of retrofitted energy saving technology.

Rising interest rates and the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market are threatening to push the US construction sector into recession - a process that is likely to be repeated in other countries around the world, such as the UK and Australia.

While, at first sight, the end of the construction boom appears to be bad news for suppliers of low emission building technology and services, a number of well-placed companies should be able to turn current market conditions to their advantage. That is one of the conclusions of a report published this week by Cambridge, UK based analysts CarbonFree. The report, 'Zero and Low Emission Buildings', sees specialist developers and architects carving out a niche in the sustainable construction market and predicts a shift away from new-build based low emission installations towards renovations-based projects that include a significant amount of retrofitted energy saving technology.

The report points out that while governments are under pressure to provide low cost housing for key workers in urban areas, developers find it relatively easy to 'opt out' of any renewable energy initiatives put in place by planners. However, according to CarbonFree, a fall in property prices would see a significant number of second homes and properties purchased as an investment come back onto the market. This, according to the report, could cause long-term disruption within the property market and leave planners better placed to enforce tougher building emission standards.

CarbonFree also sees increasing activity within the building conversion and renovation sector providing opportunities for vendors with building related energy saving technology. According to Remi Wilkinson, Analyst with CarbonFree, there are three key strategies that can be deployed to reduce carbon emissions associated with buildings: "First, architects and planners need to consider building energy use at the building design stage. Second, developers must be encouraged to include renewable energy technology within new developments. And thirdly, the amount of energy that leaks out of buildings must be reduced - and this is perhaps just as relevant to existing housing stock as it is to new developments."

CarbonFree sees architects and developers using zero and low emission building techniques as an important differentiator in a construction market that is becoming increasingly competitive. The report also describes how CAD (Computer Aided Design) vendors have managed to add value to their legacy products by building in intelligent software that models the energy use of buildings and, in some cases, provides comparative analyses of a range of renewable energy technologies.

The report 'Zero and Low Emission Buildings' is available from CarbonFree.

About CarbonFree
CarbonFree carries out research and analysis in a wide range of alternative energy related fields and disseminates results in its highly focused CarbonFree reports.


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