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Net zero buildings: What materials are on offer and how can the planning system support sustainability?

15 November 2021

The Environmental Audit Committee holds its third evidence session exploring the sustainability of the built environment and embodied carbon.

Purpose of the session

The Committee has previously heard that the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy fails to emphasise the urgency required to reduce embodied carbon emissions from our buildings. The built environment represents a significant proportion of UK emissions which need to be reduced to meet net zero.

During this session, the Committee will be hearing from industry experts over two panels. The first panel will discuss the sustainability of different building materials on offer, ranging from concrete and steel to timber. Meanwhile, the second panel will then explore how the planning system and building regulations can facilitate a sustainable built environment.


From 13:10:

  • Michael H. Ramage, Director at Centre for Natural Material Innovation, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
  • Elaine Toogood, Head of Architecture at MPA The Concrete Centre, and Representative for the Mineral Products Association
  • Louisa Bowles, Representative for the LETI (London Energy Transformation Initiative), and Head of Sustainability at Hawkins Brown Architects LLP
  • Dr Joe Jack Williams, Associate, Researcher at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios


From 14:10:

  • Will Arnold, Head of Climate Action at The Institution of Structural Engineers
  • Sam Liptrott, Director at OFR Consultants, Fire and Risk Consultants
  • Rhian Williams, Principal Strategic Planner (London Plan) at Greater London Authority

Further information

Image: CC0