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The London Plan 2021 - Policy S12

On the second in our 'London Plan 2021' series we are focussing on Policy S12 which focusses on ‘Minimising Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Under the policy there is the requirement for Whole Life Carbon (WLC) emissions should be calculated for each project via a life-cycle assessment (LCA) and the actions taken to reduce WLC emissions should be demonstrated. 

This is mandatory for referable applications, but it should be noted that Greater London Authority (GLA)  guidance on WLC encourages LCA to be done for all projects in London.

The requirements of the London Plan apply to major developments only, which are known as ‘referable applications’ as these proposals need to be referred to the Mayor of London.

Broadly speaking referable applications are residential developments of more than 150 units or buildings over 30 m in height and commercial buildings over 2,500 m2. Precise criteria for whether an application is considered referable depend on factors such as whether the proposed development will be located within the City of London, inner London or the outer boroughs, adjacency to the river Thames and whether the proposed site is on green belt land. Your planning consultant can advise on whether your project is referable or not.

The GLA defines WLC as including operational carbon (heating, lighting and appliances), as well as embodied carbon from manufacture, maintenance and end-of-life.

The GLA guidance on WLC assessments follows EN 15978 (the European standard for measuring building performance) and the 2017 RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Professional Statement: Whole life carbon assessment for the built environment (which has also been adopted by RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects).

For clients looking to reduce the overcall carbon scoring of the project, the RMF Eco range can offer significant savings on embodied carbon. To view our carbon case study where our RMF Eco range has been modelled vs a new raised floor system click here. In this case study the carbon reduction over the life cycle of the building was 82%.

To work with the only raised flooring contractor globally to hold an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for a reused raised floor panel and with a proven track record on delivering large scale reuse projects, contact RMF on 01926 425289 or


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