Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Demonstrating Sustainable Development to Planning Authorities

Posted on January 13th 2015

As Government policy gradually relaxes prescriptive standards for sustainable urban planning and housing quality, the challenge for developers is to find new ways to demonstrate sustainable development for planning applications. A number of key environmental issues are increasingly seen as important, including resident comfort (overheating, ventilation and daylighting), climate change resilience, microclimatic assessment and accessibility. The assessment of these is …

Read the full article

Building User Guides & Operation & Maintenance Manuals

Posted on January 13th 2015

Building User Guides can reduce operational energy use and provide savings through effective use of the building and its systems. They allow the achievement of a BREEAM credit and also provide occupants with easily accessible, non-technical information to allow them to use the building efficiently and without difficulty. The Building User Guide is separate to the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) …

Read the full article

Is it Time to Switch Your Biomass Boiler On?

Posted on January 13th 2015

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can make previously unused biomass boilers profitable to use. Retrospective registration for the non-domestic RHI (which is the applicable scheme for residential community heating) can provide a significant revenue stream for developers with biomass boilers installed on or after 15th July 2009. The RHI is a Government environmental programme that provides financial incentives to increase …

Read the full article

Benefit of Detailed Lighting Designs

Posted on January 13th 2015

Detailed energy efficient lighting designs hold the key to cost-effective compliance with non-residential Building Regulations. Lighting energy consumption in an office can account for 50% of the regulated energy use, and in a retail unit this figure is typically around 75%. The tables below demonstrate the improvements which can be achieved by specifying an efficient lighting design, incorporating daylight sensing …

Read the full article

Reducing Overheating with Thermal Mass

Posted on January 13th 2015

Materials with a high thermal mass such as concrete slabs or masonry walls will absorb sunlight and internal gains, and store it during the day. Providing there is a significant temperature drop at night, the heat will then be released, in turn shifting the period of high internal temperature to when the outside air is cooler (this effect is called …

Read the full article

Ongoing Planning Success for Hounslow Projects

Posted on December 4th 2014

Detailed planning consent has been granted recently for the development by United House of Site B, New Heston Road in the London Borough of Hounslow. We were appointed by United House to prepare the Energy Statement, Sustainability Statement and Daylight & Sunlight Report for the detailed planning application submitted in August of this year. The scheme, which has been developed in …

Read the full article

New BREEAM UK Refurbishment and Fit-out Scheme is Launched

Posted on December 4th 2014

The benefits of the new 2014 Refurbishment and Fit-out Scheme include a more flexible approach to the BREEAM assessment. This ensures that the assessment is tailored to the scope of the project. Credits Ene 03 (External lighting), Mat 01 (Life cycle impacts) and Wst 03 (Operational waste) appear more straightforward to achieve. Certain credits will be more difficult to achieve, …

Read the full article

Christmas Tree Facts

Posted on December 4th 2014

An artificial tree has a carbon footprint twice that of a real tree. Crops of Christmas trees can be grown on “recycled” land. The Norway Spruce is the most popular species of Christmas tree in the UK. The cones of the tree are a favourite amongst red squirrels. A 4ft tree holds approximately 150,000 needles. Real trees carry mold spores …

Read the full article

Sizing Radiators for Energy Efficient Homes

Posted on December 4th 2014

Recent work has shown that it may be possible to reduce radiator sizes by 35-50%, if heat losses are properly assessed and modern ventilation strategies fully considered. The development of energy efficient, increasingly airtight homes has reduced the heating demand of properties considerably. However, despite this evolution in sustainable buildings, radiators in new developments are still being specified to meet …

Read the full article

New Overheating Guidance from GLA will have Substantial Impact on Building Design

Posted on December 4th 2014

The Greater London Authority (GLA) are about to release an updated version of their ‘Guidance on Preparing Energy Assessments’ which will include a specific requirement for dynamic thermal modelling at the detailed planning stage to quantify the risk of overheating under current and future climate scenarios. CIBSE guides TM52 (2013) and TM49 (2014) should be used for the analysis. Further …

Read the full article