Aberdeen, Scotland

Carbon neutral construction in Scotland

By A. Ross Taylor, Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP

The “Granite City” of Aberdeen, the slate of Balachulish, and tar by John Louden McAdam. For centuries, Scotland has held a worldwide reputation for quality and innovation in construction. However, historically this has involved the harvest of natural resources, damaging our environment. Held in the industrial heartland of Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November 2021, COP26 resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact. The Pact:

“recognises that limiting global warming to 1.5 °C requires rapid, deep, and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century...”

In December 2021, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre remarked:

“The key will be to create a legacy from COP26, turning good intentions and pledges into concrete action – and 2022 has to be the year that happens”.

Tapping into the Circular Economy, Modular Construction is one way of doing so. The process customarily involves the use of recycled materials, which can be further recycled at end of use. In advance of COP, the Scottish Government noted its belief that:

“…making greater use of offsite construction will help to… address the challenges facing the supply of new affordable homes such as decarbonisation…and make a significant contribution towards achieving net zero”.

The Scottish Government had previously published a Heat in Buildings Strategy. In February 2021, it set out plans to adapt more than one million homes and an estimated 50,000 non-domestic buildings to use net zero heating systems by 2030.

In November 2021, Scottish Futures Trust, in partnership with the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, and NHS National Services Scotland developed standards to help them achieve net zero outcomes for their new buildings or major refurbishment projects.

There’s a lot going on in Scotland right now to realise carbon neutral ambitions, which advance its innovative heritage in the built environment – and leaves the granite, the slate, the tar…and the concrete behind.


A. Ross Taylor

A. Ross Taylor

GGI member firm
Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP
Law Firm Services
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
T: +44 141 248 3434
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Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP is an independent Scottish law firm offering the full range of corporate, dispute resolution, and private client services. They are GGI’s sole Scottish member.

A. Ross Taylor is an accredited mediator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He specialises in Construction Dispute Resolution and Avoidance. His UK-wide practice focuses on SME’s, professional advisors, and self-builders.

Published: Real Estate Newsletter, No. 14, Summer 2022 l Photo: Catello - stock.adobe.com


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