De-carbonising housebuilding: What next for residential construction?

De-carbonising housebuilding is a hot topic at the moment – no pun intended.

In an article in the Architect’s Journal earlier this year, Dr Janet Young, Government Chief Property Officer and head of the Government Property Profession, said:

“Tackling climate change is a top priority. The UK is the fastest country in the G20 to decarbonise our economy since 2000. We have cut our emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990 and we were the first major economy to pass laws committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We know the vast majority of the buildings we will need in 2050 have already been built, which means that, while net zero new-builds will play an important part, a major focus for us will be in retrofitting and decarbonising existing buildings.”

So what is decarbonisation and how does housebuilding play its role?

Decarbonisation is the removal of carbon from the environment. For homeowners that can mean reducing energy use and reliance on fossil fuels, and choosing building materials that require either low amounts of carbon emissions to manufacture and transport, or actively sequestrate carbon, as in capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The ways in which a home can be decarbonised include:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Battery storage
  • Solar Energy
  • High performance windows and doors
  • Natural lighting – such as skylights which reduce need for artificial light
  • Efficient appliances and lighting

Designing homes to provide a sustainable future requires digital thinking. BuildingWorks is the first integrated software platform of its kind, seamlessly bringing together CAD, estimating, project management and more. It’s perfect for de-carbonising housebuilding.

What next? Make sure you’re at the forefront of digital transformation

With BuildingWorks, one set of sharable data flows through the whole project from concept to completion, straight ‘out of the box’. So much quicker and easier than grappling with separate packages, this unique digital construction process represents real cost and efficiency savings, and a much better way of working.

As the building plan is being drawn, it calls on a library of over 10,000 data-rich BIM products – REAL materials and objects with rich manufacturer product data including size, appearance, waste, thermal properties and more to help define your projects spec. We’re looking at carbon usage in this article, but you need to consider thermal performance of the building fabric as a contributing factor. Thermal performance is all about heat loss, so knowing the U-value of a product as you design or estimate is crucial.

BIM objects | Construction Software for Builders

The software platform comes with almost 5,000 rates (available in the UK and regularly price-checked) to generate ‘live’ costs for materials, rates and energy performance, quotation and Bill of Quants (NRM style).

You can easily and quickly produce sketch schemes, planning permission and Building Control suitable plans, elevations, 3D models and photo-realistic 3D visuals, depending on the modules chosen. Even drawings prepared in other systems can be imported into BuildingWorks and quickly traced over to generate all of the BIM data.

The software cleverly integrates data-rich model and project information databases to build a virtual representation of a project and all of its assets, whether you’re building a housing development, a one-off new build or an extension.

And as outlined above, importantly in this time of decarbonisation, you can test the feasibility of a project in terms of cost and energy efficiency. You can swap products in and out until you’re happy with the outcome.

Want to know more?

Let’s talk de-carbonising housebuilding. Call us on 0117 916 7880 or email us at and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

For a fully supported instant 30-day trial of this integrated design and estimating process visit our download page.