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Green construction likely to add up to 40% on cost of new properties

Creating a zero carbon home could increase construction costs by 25 to 40%, says the report.

It points out that whilst climate change is still a priority in the medium to long term; it is energy security that has become a very real issue for many European countries in the short term.

Securing the energy required to operate production facilities and buildings, to transport goods and not least to keep households warm in winter is becoming increasingly difficult. The recent example of gas supplies from Russia being cut off has added to concerns.

The European Property Sustainability Matters Report by King Sturge points out that the high cost of meeting low emission targets will have an impact on property development and urban regeneration in particular. But there is still considerable confusion about the concept of sustainability.

Not only will meeting targets slow development in the short term but it is also likely to have an impact on property values in the medium term. Rents and capital values will have to rise to pay for these extra costs.

But King Sturge urges governments not to soften energy emission targets. The European Parliament is, however, quite clear that buildings are an important part of achieving energy saving targets and the best time for energy improvements is during building or renovation. However analysts do not expect many eco towns to be built in the short term.

There are now an increasing number of tools assessing the environmental impact of a building but these vary greatly country by country. Meanwhile the European Union is still working to lay down a common methodology for the measurement of energy performance requirements, including all retro-fits and improvements, and member states are required to have national plans in place by 2011.

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