Carmarthenshire, Wales (UK)



Sustainability is a core principle of everything the Welch Government and its Local Authorities implement, hence Carmarthenshire Council are keen to strive for high environmental standards across all construction activities in the region. Since 2009, the majority of developments have been required to achieve BREEAM certification to demonstrate their environmental credentials. However, the Council now wish to strive for very low energy in public buildings, supplemented by renewable technologies to set an example for the region and to ensure their own ongoing running costs are manageable now and in the future.

At present there are no national or regional financial incentives for private developers to aim for nearly zero energy standards in construction. However, by considering the lifecycle costs within the Council’s own buildings, they have been able to justify piloting the Passive House Standard on a new junior school project in the small coastal village of Burry Port. The scheme also aims to utilize PV to supplement the energy demand of the school. If successful, the Council intends to embrace these principles on all future Local Authority projects and help develop a local skills base and supply chain for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) that will improve construction standards and quality in wider building projects in the region. They are thus looking to improve regional standards beyond national/Welsh regulatory standards, at least on the building projects they can influence (i.e. for which they provide development land).


One of the challenges in the short term will be the ability to cost-effectively source appropriate Passive House components. The Council endeavours to support the local economy and manufacturers but product availability is currently limited and it is likely they will need to use imported or uncertified products. However, if they become confident to set very low energy standards on future developments, this should prompt the local market to supply appropriate products, which will have long term benefits. 


PassREg Success model - Carmarthenshire, Wales (UK) [pdf 0.8MB]

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