Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Retrofitting Domestic Buildings

Posted on April 15th 2015

  Refurbishment of existing homes to improve energy efficiency not only helps to address CO2 requirements under the Climate Change Act but also has significant impacts on resident energy bills. We have analysed the impact of a range of energy efficient refurbishment measures for existing homes. Focusing effort on roof insulation and new boilers are expected to be the most …

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Ministerial Statement, Housing Standards Review, 25 March 2015

Posted on April 15th 2015

DCLG recently announced that local planning authorities should not set policies relating to the construction, internal layout or performance of new dwellings in their local plans. In summary the Statement confirmed: The Code for Sustainable Homes is being formally withdrawn. Legacy cases, including projects with planning conditions or signed S106 requiring specific Code levels, or with funding requirements for the …

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Lifetime Homes Compliance on a Refurbished Victorian Property

Posted on April 15th 2015

In August last year we worked with a private developer to demonstrate Lifetime Homes compliance on the refurbishment of an existing Victorian property in Belsize Park, London which has now been granted planning approval. In accordance with Policy DP6 ‘Lifetime homes and wheelchair standards’ of Camden’s Development Policy, the council required the developer to demonstrate how all applicable Lifetime Homes …

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The Heat Network Regulations Duty to Notify Deadline Delayed Until December 2015

Posted on April 15th 2015

A welcome extension to the deadline to notify the National Measurement and Regulations Office (NMRO) of all communal and district heating systems has been confirmed in The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015. The new deadline to notify is 31st December 2015. This will be welcomed by developers who face civil and/or criminal penalties if they do not declare …

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Designing Buildings for Good Internal Air Quality

Posted on March 9th 2015

Poor internal air quality in UK homes is having a serious effect on the health of occupiers. This is a direct consequence of more airtight, energy efficient houses with inadequate ventilation. Through good design, both energy efficiency and ventilation can be optimised, providing high quality housing which will benefit health and wellbeing. We are able to advise on successfully balancing …

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Renewable Heat Incentive for New Build Housing

Posted on March 9th 2015

There are two distinct Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes: Domestic and Non-Domestic. Paradoxically, it is the non-domestic scheme that is of most relevance to housing developers and can offer opportunities to reduce operational costs and hence resident heat bills. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was brought in to provide long-term incentives to switch from use of fossil fuels to renewable …

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Alfred Homes Complete Their First ‘Zero Carbon’ Home

Posted on March 9th 2015

Alfred Homes have recently completed their first ‘zero carbon’ home on their Alarth, Dean Lane development in Winchester. Alarth is a development of three spacious detached houses in a semi-rural location and designed with traditional exteriors to fit in with the local area. We assisted Alfred Homes from the planning application stage through the detailed design, culminating in the production …

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The Importance of Considering Noise Issues at Planning

Posted on March 9th 2015

Noise assessment is becoming an increasingly important issue for urban development to meet planning requirements. Proposed residential development in high density locations, often in brownfield or previously developed commercial sites, may require one or more types of noise assessment to provide assurance to local authorities that noise issues have been appropriately considered and mitigated. BS 8233:2014 and BS 12354-3:2000 give …

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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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