Big Heat Bills Make Community Heating Inappropriate for Small Developments

A community heating strategy with Combined Heat & Power (CHP) can have a big impact on resident heat bills. This is particularly the case for smaller developments of less than 100 homes where heat bills can be 50% higher than with individual gas boilers. To avoid being committed to an energy strategy that results in [...]

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Part L 2013 & The London Plan – What The New GLA Guidance Means For You

To align with the recently introduced Part L 2013, the GLA has issued new guidance for the preparation of Energy Statements. The main changes are: – 1. Policy 5.2 target for a 35% reduction in Regulated CO2 emissions over Part L 2013. There is a transition period up to 5th July 2014, during which Stage [...]

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Addressing the Energy Performance Gap: Post Occupancy Evaluation

To address the ‘clear evidence of a performance gap between the design & as built performance of new homes’ [1] the Zero Carbon Hub is proposing that from 2020 it must be demonstrated that 90% of all new homes must meet or perform better than the designed energy performance. In addition to this emerging industry [...]

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Planning Success at Woodberry Down

The London Borough of Hackney have recently resolved to grant planning permission for the revised Woodberry Down Masterplan. Berkeley Homes’ 20 year, £1billion regeneration of the neglected Woodberry Down estate will now provide in excess of 5,500 homes, at least 40% of which will be affordable. Set over 64 acres and adjacent to the Stoke [...]

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Minister Launches Community Energy Strategy at Woodberry Down

Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change launched the Community Energy Strategy at Berkeley Homes’ Woodberry Down development in North London. Prior to the launch, Donald Sinclair of Richard Hodkinson Consultancy outlined the vision for energy at Woodberry Park to the Minister: – High level of energy efficiency measures reducing demand substantially [...]

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Energy Efficient Street Lighting as an Allowable Solution?

The emerging requirements for allowable Solutions will be an extra cost to housing developers. In addition to potentially being a cheaper alternative to Allowable Solution payments, by providing on-site Allowable Solutions, developers can realise a benefit from this cost. Allowable Solutions are expected to be necessary to achieve the ‘zero carbon home’ standard that is [...]

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Planning sets the Allowable Solutions price

The London Plan policy target for CO2 emissions is scheduled to increase during 2013 from 25% to 40% over Building Regulations (2010). This is true of policies in other areas too. Whilst the increased targets will be achievable on many developments, planning authorities recognise that it may not be technically or economically possible on all [...]

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Masterplanning for District Heat Networks

The location and timing of the provision of Energy Centres on large multi-phase development sites with district heat networks is complex as there are a number of often competing factors: – Overall capital cost Cash flow Operational efficiency & costs (which influences resident energy costs) Phasing flexibility Matching Energy Centre output to development heat demand [...]

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Nuisance Pluming from Flues

In addition to the emission of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), flue gases from modern single dwelling boilers and Energy Centres boiler flues can be very visible. Whilst not in itself harmful to humans, the visible nature of plumes may be of concern to residents and is therefore a customer care issue. Careful consideration of the [...]

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Northstowe New Town a Step Closer

Gallagher’s development of the first phase of Northstowe is a step closer after the joint committee of members of South Cambridgeshire  District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council resolved to grant outline planning permission, subject to the completion of a legal agreement. Richard Hodkinson Consultancy supported the application through preparation of an Energy Statement for the [...]

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Running costs of energy in a Code Level 4 home

Meeting higher sustainability standards, such as Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, does not necessarily mean lower energy costs to residents. The strategy adopted to achieve these higher standards can have a significant impact. It is possible for energy running costs to be increased if inappropriate strategies are adopted. We have examined the estimated energy [...]

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Delivery of district heating on phased developments – things to consider

District heat networks (generally with CHP) are increasingly common for medium and large scale developments in order to provide the CO2 reductions necessary for planning policy and Building Regulations compliance. Delivery of these networks on phased developments is complex. For effective delivery, it is important to consider a number of issues at an early stage. [...]

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Should commercial units be connected to district heat networks?

Many predominantly residential developments also contain small ground floor commercial units. Where district heating (including CHP) is proposed for the dwellings, planning authorities generally seek for the commercial units to also be connected. We have concluded that this is not necessarily technically appropriate or viable. The aim of district heating with CHP is to facilitate [...]

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Lighting design for Part L Compliance

Addressing the energy demand and associated CO2 emissions from lighting is a key element in complying with Part L of the Building Regulations (2010). Good lighting design is fundamental to cost-effectively meeting the standards. Furthermore, there are added benefits of a good lighting design in terms of occupant comfort and potentially lower running costs. Good [...]

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Part L Consultation: Energy Efficiency Requirements

The Part L 2013 Consultation proposes the use of new Fabric Energy Efficiency Standards for dwellings. Through testing of typical house types we have concluded that a challenging specification uplift is required for compliance with these standards. We also outline a number of complicating issues which may pose a risk to achieving the required standards. [...]

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ASHPs and the Code in the British Climate

Introduction Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) can be an effective route to achieving carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets under Code  for Sustainable Homes Levels 3 and 4 and they can meet Part L1a of the Building  Regulations. Whilst ASHPs can reduce absolute emissions of carbon dioxide when compared with conventional gas heating, there are a [...]

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Part L and community energy averaging

Building Regulations require that all dwellings connected to a district heating network are apportioned the same CO2 reduction. This has significant consequences for phased developments where phases are subject to differing planning or Building Regulations requirements. It is important to consider this issue early in the build program to ensure that sufficient provision for Energy [...]

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CHP versus biomass: air quality

On many of our projects we are faced with a choice between Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and biomass boilers as the best way to achieve reductions in CO2. There is a widely held view that biomass is bad and CHP is good in terms of air quality. Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter [...]

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Biomass, deliveries and ash management

How much more attention do biomass boilers really need? The comparison to the ‘stoker’ associated with coal fired steam engines may be unfair and extreme but it does go some way to painting a picture of the difference between biomass and gas fired boilers. Biomass (wood chip or pellet) is a solid fuel which requires [...]

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Community heating – costs to users

Evidence is emerging about the high running costs for community heating schemes that are required to meet planning   requirements. Often these include Combined Heat and Power facilities and biomass boilers in addition to the more  conventional gas boilers. Heat meters are used within each dwelling to measure the heat energy provided through the  circulating hot [...]

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