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SECTOR GROUP: buildings



Carbon emissions from energy use in residential and commercial buildings in Cumbria are estimated to be around 1.5 MtCO2 equivalent, these emissions need to be reduced by more than 95% by 2037.

Under-pinned by data from Cumbria’s Carbon Baseline Report, the Buildings sector group has been formed  to create and steer Emissions Reduction Action Plans, in order to achieve Cumbria’s ambition of becoming carbon net-zero by 2037. 


Cumbria faces some specific challenges. Such as old buildings that aren’t energy efficient and many rural properties that are off-grid and rely on fossil fuels like heating oil to keep warm.

To cut emissions from existing properties we need to make big improvements in how efficiently they use energy. We will also need to adopt new ways of heating and cooling our homes and work spaces.

These changes will need to include using more low-carbon technologies. From smart, energy efficient appliances to generating renewable energy to power our homes and communities.

As the projected number of new properties in Cumbria continues to rise, it’s vital that they are designed for the future, to be energy efficient and using renewable energy.

Although the huge challenges of improving the environmental performance of our buildings in Cumbria may seem daunting, acting now can have multiple benefits.

By establishing robust supply chains that can retrofit and build the high-performance buildings we need, quickly and on a large scale, the county stands to benefit from a positive economic opportunity.

Making these improvements can also help address fuel poverty, lower business running costs, and promote better health and well-being.


Sector group progress update

Building a Sustainable Future in Cumbria

A diverse coalition of experts is leading the charge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through building transformation. This update sheds light on their collaborative efforts and ambitious goals. The Building sector group offers a wealth of expertise, with representatives ranging from prominent housing developers and skilled architects to local authorities, social

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Sector group progress update

What emissions are in scope?


This area of scope includes all energy related household emissions from new and existing houses. These could be from heating, property maintenance and appliances to utilities like the water supply. Emissions from the construction and demolition processes are within this area along with emissions from retrofitting properties.

Public and commercial buildings

This area of scope includes emissions from all public and commercial buildings. From heating, appliances, maintenance and utilities to construction, demolition and retrofitting older properties.

The process



1. Construction

All emissions related to the construction of new builds.



All emissions that come from using a building. Services and maintenance  e.g heating, appliances, lighting, water, repairs


Deconstruction and re-use

All emissions that come from the deconstruction process. Determining what could be put back into the cycle and avert landfill. 

Proposed net zero pathways

2 lines for bullets

Working towards net zero: buildings news from around Cumbria

Emissions sector group meeting

First sector group meeting bodes well for future progress

Four emissions sector groups consisting of 45 members in total from diverse Cumbrian organisations and businesses, met in-person on the 18th April to focus on the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Cumbria. Informed by data on Cumbria’s controllable greenhouse gas emissions, the sector groups will address emissions from

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Youth Climate Summit 2023

This year’s Youth Climate Summit was held in Kendal in July, the young people who attended were all asked for barriers and solutions in each of the sector group areas. Watch the short video for their thoughts about buildings. 

How could we reach net zero?

To tackle Cumbria’s ambitious target of reaching net-zero by 2037, the buildings sector group plays an integral role.

To help achieve this, some suggested Priority Emission Reduction Actions (PERAs) have been identified, based on extensive research across a broad evidence base ranging from IPCC and UK Government reports to emissions data from Cumbria’s carbon baseline report.

These PERAs offer a key starting point from which the Buildings sector group can develop detailed Emissions Reduction Action Plans leading to rapid countywide action.

 The suggested PERA’s  for the buildings sector group are focussed on the following areas:

Are we on track?

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Get involved

Our next meeting


Group lead: Jane Meek,Carlisle City Council

Carlisle City Council

Story Homes

Community Housing Project

Barrow Borough Council

Allerdale Borough Council

South Lakeland District Council

Cumbria County Council

Carlisle City Council

Eden District Council

Copeland District Council

Eden Housing Association

Lune Valley Community Land Trust

Sustainable Staveley/Cumbria ACT

Copeland Brough Council

Net Zero Solutions

Cumbria Home Group

View our other sector groups

Join us

Contact the partnership manager to find out how you could take part