Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

New Pragmatic Approach to Assessing Summer Overheating

Posted on February 5th 2015

Until recently, a dwelling was deemed to have an unacceptable overheating risk if habitable rooms exceed threshold temperatures of 25oC in bedrooms and 28oC in living rooms for more than 1% of occupied hours per year. The new Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) TM52 guidance provides a much more pragmatic approach to assessing summer overheating in homes. CIBSE …

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Part L 2010 Deadline Fast Approaching

Posted on February 5th 2015

As we approach 6th April 2015, developers who have lodged an initial notice, building notice or full plans application before 6th April 2014 will need to commence works on site before this date in order to retain use of Part L 2010, thus avoiding the uplift in specification necessary to comply with Part L (2013). The DCLG’s definition of “commencement …

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Who To Trust With Housing Standards

Posted on February 5th 2015

We are continually refining the balance between cost-efficient strategies and optimising building performance for the end user. With the Housing Standards Review and the dismantling of the Code, industry faces a challenge between low cost mass-market housing, and high quality homes which are fit for the future. In our article for the CIBSE journal we look to the future and discuss …

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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 …

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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) …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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