AECB Chair’s End of Year Message

Peter Wilkinson reflects on 2016 and announces a new partnership

It has been a turbulent time for the UK and the world since this time last year. When I look back at the reflections of the 2015 major events affecting the AECB, they seem to pale into insignificance compared with the dramatic events which unfolded in 2016.

The political landscape has become increasingly challenging for the AECB to navigate. Whilst the UK still has its legal responsibilities pinned to international legislation and its commitment to the 2050 target for CO2 emissions, UK domestic policy appears to be in disarray – lost, with no clear direction, even though the challenging issues that face us all have not changed.

After over a quarter of a century since the AECB was established, members have rallied together as a progressive organisation and the events of the past 12 months clearly show that the work of the AECB is more relevant now, than it ever was before. The UK Government’s policies may be stranded in a vacuum of uncertainty, but AECB members know where the future lies for meaningful and measurable change in the UK’s fight against global warming within the built environment.

The AECB continues to forge ahead with pioneering initiatives. The CarbonLite Retrofit (CLR) on-line training course for building refurbishment, was rolled out in 2016. Over 40 participants took part in the first cohort, with an additional 30 currently engaged on the CLR course. Feedback from participants has been very positive and the AECB is now engaging with a number of partners to spread the CLR course wider than the AECB membership – see the AECB’s website for further details on how to sign up and be part of the `Building Knowledge’ revolution.

The Passivhaus Trust, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the AECB, continues to strengthen the rationale for a measurable and achievable benchmark building standard for the UK. The Passivhaus Trust’s increasing influence within the UK is being noticed around the world, as the Passivhaus Trust becomes a role model for other passivhaus organisations.

2017 will see the AECB strengthen its ties with others in Europe. Our colleagues in Ireland should soon be an integral part of the AECB, allowing links with our European partners to be maintained (more on this in the New Year).

Wishing you all the best for the season and a prosperous New Year.