Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Achieving the 10% Draft London Plan Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential Buildings

Posted on February 14th 2018

The recently published Draft London Plan (December 2017) sets new, ambitious targets for the fabric energy efficiency of buildings. Following Grenfell, concerns surrounding the fire risk of PIR and phenolic insulation are making reductions in external wall U-values increasingly difficult in tall buildings, leaving the question of how these reductions in energy use will be achieved? Policy SI2 of the …

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Acoustic Design for High Quality Housing

Posted on February 14th 2018

An increasing demand for housing is leading to the continuous development of urban areas and infill of brownfield sites. As a result, the impact of environmental noise is becoming an increasingly important consideration for developers when designing high quality new buildings. External noise affects health and quality of life, as well as impacting on the availability of natural ventilation through …

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Tips to Help Pass an Air Tightness Test First Time

Posted on February 14th 2018

An Air Tightness Test (which is also known as air leakage test, air pressure test or air permeability test) is a government regulated test to ensure buildings do not leak or retain too much air. Before an air test is carried out, we need to make sure the building is complete and is clear of all trades in order to …

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BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 – Closure of Registrations

Posted on February 14th 2018

The final preparations are being made to the BREEAM 2018 manual and it is due to launch on the 7th March 2018. Registrations for the current 2014 New Construction scheme will be permitted until the 23rd March 2018. Following this date registrations will have to be made under the 2018 New Construction scheme. After the closing date it may still …

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A Part L Zero Carbon home performance or a Passivhaus?

Posted on January 18th 2018

The energy performance of buildings is assessed through Part L of the Building Regulations. All buildings must meet these standards as well as targets formed through planning policy. The Passivhaus Standard is a voluntary certification that demonstrates a high level of energy performance. However, Passivhaus homes still need to demonstrate compliance with Part L and their performance therefore needs to …

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Acoustic Design for High Quality Housing

Posted on January 18th 2018

An increasing demand for housing is leading to the continuous development of urban areas and infill of brownfield sites. As a result, the impact of environmental noise is becoming an increasingly important consideration for developers when designing high quality new buildings. External noise affects health and quality of life, as well as impacting on the availability of natural ventilation through …

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Announcement of Christmas Quiz Winner

Posted on January 17th 2018

We are delighted to announce that the winner of our 2017 Christmas quiz was David Udall of St George. David generously nominated Cancer Research to receive our £500 donation, a charity that uses donations to carry out world-class research working to help prevent cancer, diagnose it early and develop new treatment. Thank you to all those who took part and …

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Implications of Achieving BREEAM Outstanding

Posted on January 11th 2018

To gain an Outstanding BREEAM rating design teams need to fully embrace sustainability and embed it into their design from the very onset of a project. A research paper by Sweett Group and the BRE in 2016 confirmed the cost uplift for different BREEAM ratings and use types, these can be seen below: The uplift in costs for Very Good …

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Work Completed at 190 Strand for St Edward

Posted on January 11th 2018

Last month, we saw the final completion of dwellings at St Edward’s flagship development 190 Strand. We have been supporting St Edward on the scheme since 2011 in order to deliver bespoke apartments and penthouses of exceptional quality and environmental standard. Working closely with the design and construction team, we have advised on the most effective way to comply with London …

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New Carbon Price set out in New Draft London Plan

Posted on December 6th 2017

The long awaited New London Plan was published by the Greater London Authority for consultation last week. As part of its viability assessment it has used a 50% higher price for carbon than is currently the GLA’s suggested offset price. The new London Plan (p. 327) states that ‘a nationally recognised non-traded price of £95/tonne has been tested as part of …

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