On Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at COP26, the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) recognised the Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF) as an International Centre of Excellence (ICE) for High Performance Buildings.

One of just ten such centres in the world, the SDF is tackling the climate and ecological emergency by transforming how we design, build, operate and maintain buildings to make them fit for the future, now.

The Good Homes Alliance was originally set up by the SDF in 2007 and will be a key partner in the International Centre of Excellence as part of the SDF Alliance, which includes progressive sustainability organisations such as Passivhaus Trust, Alliance for Sustainable Building Products and Building Performance Network.

SDF Director Jon Bootland signs agreement alongside Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

“The time for talking is over. Goals are good, but they’re just wishes. We haven’t delivered on the promises made in the Paris Climate Accord, agreed back in 2015 at COP21.

This is a big problem for the UK because our building stock is the oldest in Europe, and 80% of the homes we’ll live in by 2050, are already built. Our homes and buildings need an urgent rethink to meet the climate and ecological emergencies.At the SDF, our mission is to bring a sense of urgency to the adoption of exemplary sustainability practices for buildings, leading to lower carbon emissions, improved occupant comfort and more resilient communities. Our work demonstrates that this is possible NOW.

What’s different about COP26 is that today’s leaders have the evidence showing how to do this. Pioneers of building exemplars are sharing their evidence. Not only is this good news for the environment, it’s also great news for the people who live and work in these buildings because they promote health and wellbeing.

Knowledge is one thing, but we need to act now. Actions bring about change and we must change how we tackle the climate and ecological emergency and meet our goals. The UNECE Centre of Excellence status will help us to achieve the transformation needed.”

Jon Bootland – Director, Sustainable Development Foundation and Advisor, Good Homes Alliance

Exemplar case studies

The announcement coincides with the launch of a collection of real-world exemplar projects, to inspire the transformation needed to create a new era of buildings that are fit for the future.

These pioneering projects can now be viewed on the SDF website and demonstrate cross-cutting sustainability performance, designed and built to deliver whole-life net zero, promote occupant health and wellbeing and enable sustainable communities.The exemplar projects launch follows the GHA’s recent publication of a series of net zero/low energy housing case studies, created thanks to funding from MCS Charitable Foundation.



UNECE Centre of Excellence status awarded to Sustainable Development Foundation at COP26

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