COP26 Exhibition Calls For Construction Focus

With world leaders about to gather in Glasgow for the COP26 climate forum, a key question will be which areas will get the most focus when it comes to action and targets.

However, in many cases these categories can cross over, an example being the link between the built environment and energy use. While it is better for energy to come from low or zero-carbon sources instead of burning fossil fuels, making properties easier to heat and better insulated is also part of the solution, as they require less energy and thus generate fewer emissions to start with.

This issue is being highlighted by the Green Building Council through the Build Better Now exhibition in Glasgow, which is highlighting the importance of a greener built environment.

Among the ways buildings can be more energy efficient is the use of underfloor heating, especially when tied into a district heating system or biomass source. Developing such systems in the capital would require increased demand for quick drying screed in London to get these systems in place.

According to Dezeen, the exhibition has identified just the kind of properties that abound in London where retrofitting could make a huge difference to emission levels and energy efficiency.

It listed the 17 buildings highlighted by the Green Building Council as exemplars of what is possible, including a tenement block in Glasgow itself. It noted that while there are 182,000 buildings of this kind in Scotland, there are over a million Victorian terraces in London – which means a focus on retrofitting them could have a major impact.

The other UK examples in the list included the use of prefabrication to upgrade existing homes in Nottingham, something that may be applicable to terraced homes in London.

Of course, underfloor heating could also be one of the elements of new build properties that make them greener, alongside elements like better insulation, low-carbon building processes and solar panels. The list of 17 buildings also included new-build modular homes in Bristol built according to these principles.