Existing EU requirements require all new buildings to be "nearly zero energy buildings" (nZEBS) by 2020. In an exciting move at  the Paris Climate talks in December, 16 leading EU companies committed to help deliver the nZEBS standards for new buildings by 2020 and for refurbished buildings by 2023.

The 'moving towards net zero buildings' commitment is as a result of a lack of a much-needed coordinated approach to the construction of energy efficient buildings to date.  Signatories to the commitment include British Land, Ferrovial, GlaxoSmithKline, Hammerson, Heathrow, Kingfisher, Land Securities, Lloyds Banking Group, Philips, Skanska and Tesco.  It will be interesting to watch how this commitment to the standards evolves.