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Carbon Offset Contribution – London Benchmark

Low carbon and energy efficient design now forms a key consideration in the design and planning of major developments. It is essential that associated carbon offsetting costs are taken into account from the start of a project and included in the cost of complying with the requirements of building regulations and planning policy.

We have produced this unique research note which considers the impact of carbon offset contributions from operational emissions on development project feasibility by benchmarking the carbon offset costs of a selection of medium and large-scale London developments. This is based on the London Plan, although it will have relevance for any new development, and it will be useful for local authorities, developers, investors and valuers.

Our research has found that when assessed against the Part L 2013 baseline, carbon offset contributions for operational emissions can range from £15psm and £25psm on proposed GIA, considerably impacting scheme feasibility. It is worth noting that the London Plan (2021) is adopting the updated figure Part L 2021 baseline, which may increase offset costs further given the change to the baseline. Embodied energy will also be more carefully considered through whole life-cycle carbon assessments.

We are aware others are benchmarking estimated carbon offset costs as a percentage of build costs (between 1-1.5%) and will continue to monitor and review this position.

If you would like more information on any of these topics, our expertise and knowledge in the sector, or to discuss a particular project, please do contact one of our team.

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Key Contacts

Tom Marshall


Rosanna Cole

Planning Consultant

James Wickham