Posted Oct 13 2023 | By

Folkestone and Hythe's Net Zero Carbon Toolkit

We are excited to announce the release of the Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s collaborative effort with Kent County Council – the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit for New Builds and Retrofits. This practical, user-friendly guide is now available to the public and aims to provide invaluable support for planning net zero development projects.

Last year, in partnership with Etude and Introba, we worked on a project to create a net zero toolkit that incorporates industry best practice design guidance in achieving Net Zero Carbon. This comprehensive toolkit is aimed at homeowners, small to medium-sized house builders, architects, contractors, self-builders, and consultants, covering every step from pre-planning to construction using the RIBA plan of works and planning permission processes.

This guide was made possible through the generous funding from Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s Climate Change reserve fund and Homes England. It takes inspiration from ongoing work on proposed developments within the Folkestone & Hythe District.

The toolkit is a non-statutory document developed with joint funding from Homes England. It may not be a legal requirement, but implementing the measures outlined within it will help deliver net zero, environmentally friendly developments that align with the Council’s cross-cutting priorities as outlined in their Corporate Plan and Low Carbon Action Plan. It will also play a pivotal role in supporting the Council’s future review of the Local Plan, acting as an evidence base document to facilitate more ambitious climate change policies.

The Net Zero Carbon Toolkit consists of three parts:

  • Part One – Strategic Objectives: This document sets the strategic objectives and lays the foundation for the Toolkit documents by explaining legal climate change requirements and policy context. It underscores the importance of being ambitious with Net Zero Carbon new buildings.
  • Part Two – New Buildings: Building on the objectives set in Part One, this section delves into how new developments can be designed and constructed to align with climate change objectives. Covering both domestic and non-domestic developments, it includes practical one-pagers. Focusing on new buildings, which are more straightforward to make net zero carbon, this section provides guidance on implementing energy-efficient and carbon-reducing methods for heating, cooling, and ventilation. It includes checklists for new build projects, clear lists of necessary actions using the RIBA plan of work, and step-by-step design guides for flats, houses, and non-domestic buildings. We’ve also worked with our Place studio (Landscape and Urban Design) to develop holistic sustainability measures that extend beyond operational energy of the home, looking at the wider site.
  • Part Three – Retrofit: This document highlights the importance of retrofitting and simplifies the key improvements needed to align with the two guides above. It also provides useful guidance and signposts to retrofit resources. We also included guidance retrofitting some of the council’s building stock.

This valuable resource represents a significant step towards a greener, more sustainable future. The guides are now available for download on the Folkestone & Hythe District Council website.