metro commercial blog

News and opinion on commercial property, energy efficiency in buildings and the environment, legislation and other loosely related topics we find of interest.
Scottish Domestic EPC reform A review of the Scottish Domestic EPC reform consultation
A review of the Scottish Domestic EPC reform consultation
Neish Property
EPC news
In July 2021, the Scottish Government launched its Domestic EPC Reform Consultation as part of its Draft Heat in Buildings Strategy. In the document's foreword, Michael Matheson, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, stated that "Over the next 24 years we will transform Scotland's homes and workplaces, so they are warmer, greener and more efficient". As part of this ambition, new regulations will be implemented, including reforming the current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). 
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Scottish Government Heat in Buildings Strategy - achieving net-zero emissions in Scotland's buildings
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Net-Zero
In his forward to the Scottish Government's publication "Heat in Buildings Strategy - achieving net-zero emissions in Scotland's buildings", Patrick Harvie, the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, said that "Our homes and workplaces account for around a fifth of Scotland's total greenhouse gas emissions". However, he added that "There are no silver bullets or easy solutions to the heat in buildings challenge", indicating that we need all available tools to increase awareness and ensure that both individuals and the sector take action.The document we review here sets out those tools and how we must apply them to achieve net-zero by 2045.
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Decarbonising the electricity grid in Scotland & the UK
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Climate change
While recent political events have underlined the need for Scotland and the UK to be self-reliant on energy, we have recognised the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels for some time. With a secure, home-grown green energy sector, we can reduce our exposure to the highly volatile international energy market while also building towards the UK goals to achieve net-zero by 2045. These aims now underpin long-term Scotland and UK energy plans. An essential pillar of this energy plan is decarbonising the electricity grid in Scotland and the UK. Here we examine what is involved in doing so and its broader implications.
CO2-World-Polluters-Blog
World Polluters CO2
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Climate change
It is now established beyond reasonable doubt that the primary contributor to global warming and climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by humans. Unless nations collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades, there will be widespread famine, flooding of major cities, the disappearance of low-lying land, and a devastating impact on human and animal life. At the time of writing COP26 is underway in Glasgow with political leaders, looking to negotiate targets and method plans to reduce CO2. Just who is top of the pops in the World CO2 Polluter charts?
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Greenhouse gas emissions: Bricks and mortar versus Online shopping
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Commercial property
In a win for bricks and mortar retailing, according to a recent scientific study, traditional shopping from bricks and mortar stores is usually less environmentally damaging than online shopping. The peer-reviewed study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, was carried out by researchers from the UK, Sweden, and the Netherlands and funded by the EU Horizon Program, used a model to compare the carbon footprints of shopping for fast-moving consumer goods from three UK retail channels. 
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UK Hydrogen Strategy - the clean fuel of the future
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Energy reduction
In August 2021, the UK government released its Hydrogen Strategy focused on fast-tracking a thriving clean hydrogen economy to deliver 5 GW production by 2030. Low carbon hydrogen is essential if the UK meets Carbon Budget Six by the mid-2030s and net-zero by 2050. 
IPCC-Climate-Change
IPCC 2021 report on climate change - just time to avert catastrophe
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Climate change
Even the most avid climate change sceptic must have moved their position somewhat in the light of the devastating weather events we have experienced over the last few years. Record-breaking rainfall and temperatures do not in themselves prove the climate is changing, yet they are a good indication that something quite frightening is happening to our weather. This is a brief outline of the IPCC sixth assessment report "The Physical Science Basis" released in 2021. 
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Reducing CO2 emissions - will COP 26 help?
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Energy reduction
COP26 – the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – will be held in Glasgow during November 2021 and hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy. Delegates will address the extent to which world leaders have achieved the aims of the Paris Agreement and set new targets for the coming years. So how effectively will COP26 help reduce carbon emissions?
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Non-domestic rented buildings in England and Wales will need to meet strict energy efficiency standards of an EPC Band B by 2030
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
News - Energy in Buildings
In line with its plans to reduce all UK greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, the UK government is getting tougher on landlords of non-domestic rented buildings in England & Wales over EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) regulations. Landlords must ensure that all buildings in that category meet EPC Band B by 2030 regardless of when they were rented. Exactly how the new regulations will be implemented is still under consultation, and the government is accepting responses from all stakeholders, including landlords, tenants, local authorities and suppliers. This is likely to have big implications for commercial landlords and tenants.
Zero-Emission-Aviation-Project-Takes-off-in-Orkney Zero emission aviation project takes off at Orkneys
Zero-emission aviation project takes off at Orkney's Kirkwall Airport
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Renewable energy
Internal flights between the Orkney Islands are to become greener. A recently launched eighteen-month project will test various low carbon emission aircraft on short routes between the islands. The aircraft power sources will include hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, and sustainable aviation fuels. The project will also assess the feasibility of using drones for delivering medical supplies.
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Scottish New Build Heat Standard
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Energy reduction
Scotland is making substantial inroads in decarbonisation and tackling climate change. The country aims to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions to net-zero by 2045 and reduce them by 15% by 2030. Already 90% of Scotland's electricity supply is from renewables, and, encouraged by current progress, the Scottish Government is now focusing on reducing emissions from heating buildings and is heavily targeting new buildings.
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Lendlease Sets Out an Ambitious Roadmap to an Absolute Zero Built Environment by 2040
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Sustainability
Lendlease Europe has recently set out a bold plan to achieve zero carbon emissions from the fuel we burn by 2025 and absolute zero-carbon without using offsets by 2040. Here we will look at how the company intends to achieve these targets and examine some of their key milestones. 
Hydrogen for heating E.ON converts natural gas pipeline to hydrogen for heating
E.ON converts natural gas pipeline in Germany to pure hydrogen
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
News - Energy in Buildings
Replacing natural gas by hydrogen for heating domestic residential and commercial buildings would have a massive impact on greenhouse gas emissions and reducing global warming. There is, of course, the important caveat that the hydrogen manufacture must be powered by renewable resources. There is no fundamental reason why this cannot be achieved, but there are significant challenges in doing so. 
Metro-Blog-hydrogen-gas-networks-text Hydrogen network for Fife homes
Fife homes to be heated by world-first green hydrogen heating network
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
News - Energy in Buildings
If we could replace our standard central heating systems with a carbon-free solution, we would have the potential to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by as much as a third. Source: OFGEM. This would go a long way towards meeting the UK and Scottish governments net-zero targets. One solution is to replace natural gas-fired boilers with hydrogen fired boilers and produce the hydrogen using renewable resources. 
Emerging-from-lockdown Safely re-occupying commercial buildings
Emerging from lockdown - re-occupying commercial buildings
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Commercial property
As the UK and devolved governments continue to provide a phased exit strategy from Covid-19 lockdown, businesses and institutions must emerge safely and in line with the latest public health advice. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published a set of guidelines on how we can accomplish this. H...
Geoengineering-ClimateChange An alternative to reducing CO2 emissions and energy use?
Geoengineering - can it help address climate change?
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Climate change
"When a weather-controlling satellite system suddenly breaks down, a scientist must race against the clock to prevent a climate cataclysm on Earth." Geostorm - Currently on NetflixYou may be confused but this is not a film review! During the recent lockdown some may have watched the film Geostorm on Netflix. 
Coronavirus-and-Climate-Change-Web The coronavirus pandemic and climate change-what have we learned?
The coronavirus pandemic and climate change
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Energy reduction
The skies are bluer, there are virtually no con-trails creating cloud cover, and the air smells so much cleaner. It's just like the olden days that our grandparents would wax nostalgically about. Doubtless, the shutdown has improved air quality in our cities, and the effect is global. But is it just a blip or will it have a long term impact on health and climate change? 
CO2-emissions-from-cement-production CO2 emissions from cement production
CO2 emissions from cement production - a new net-zero ready mixed product
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Energy reduction
 A new net-zero ready mixed cement product Concrete is the most important structural material in the world. A composite material made from cement, aggregates such as gravel, sand and rock, along with water, humankind has been using it since the times of the ancient Egyptians. However, behind concrete's many benefits lurk massive dangers t...
Climate-change-in-rich-countries Climate change in rich countries
Climate Change in Rich Countries
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
Energy reduction
While extreme weather events have their most significant impact on poorer vulnerable countries, rich countries are experiencing the effects of climate change to an increasing extent. The exposure and vulnerability of countries to extreme events are indicated by the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) published by Germanwatch. This focusses on both fatalities and economic losses. Perhaps surprisingly, some of the world's richest countries appear high on that list. For instance. For the year 2018, Germany, Europe's most prosperous country, was ranked third on the CRI scale, Japan and The Philippines filling slots one and two respectively.
Decarbonising Gas A solution to meeting zero-emission targets
Decarbonising gas - a solution to meeting zero-emission targets
Ewan Paterson, Metro Commercial
News - Energy in Buildings
​The UK Government has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with the Scottish Government having committed to become net zero by 2045. This includes decarbonising heating and hot water generation, which currently account for around a third of UK's total greenhouse gas emissions. There are two feasible options: full electrification of all h...