Our experience in using the most recent Code guidance issued in November 2010 has highlighted the following issues.
The latest Code guidance requires communal cycle stores to meet various aspects of Section 2 of Secured by Design (SBD) New Homes 2010. These security requirements are mostly defined within the ENE 8 section of the Code under definitions ‘secure entrance lock’, ‘secure fixing’, ‘secure stand’ and ‘secure storage’. However, one requirement which has not been detailed in the guidance is how external communal stores with individual stands for securing bicycles need to be ‘located in view of habitable rooms of the dwellings’. Communal stores must also have no windows, which is a significant shift from previous guidance, and aligns the requirements more to BREEAM. To achieve these credits we closely work with architects and designers early in the design process to ensure that all requirements are met in the most appropriate way.
In previous versions of the Code, houses and flats with no Local Authority waste collection scheme were required to locate external storage bins within 30m of an external door in order to obtain the full 4 credits for WAS 1. This was removed from the Code for planning reasons but it is important to note that although there is no longer a distance requirement, Section 1 of the Inclusive Design Principles (IDP) Checklist states that the route to the waste storage space must be the ‘shortest possible’.
Another important point to mention is that where a Local Authority collection scheme is to be used, it is only a requirement for the access route from the dwelling’s entrance door to the external storage space to be compliant with the IDP Checklist and not for the external storage space to the area of waste collection.
In theory, this makes compliance easier to achieve but the usability and practicality of the waste facilities must always be considered.
Table Cat 6.1 in the Code guidance provides a list of foamed and non-foamed insulation materials. The non-foamed materials automatically give compliance, whereas with the foamed materials the GWP of the blowing agent must be checked.
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) is a foamed insulation material that is becoming more popular due to enhanced fabric performance. Careful consideration must be taken when purchasing this product to meet the POL 1 credit requirements as it has been found to have a considerable variance (1 to over 1,000) of Global Warming Potential (GWP). This provides great room for failure in meeting the credit requirements, given that the GWP must be less than 5.
In the past problems have arisen where, in a phased development, final PCR Certificates have not been issued by the BRE due to the absence of final Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) certificates. This poses a problem when, for example, non-residential (i.e. retail) is being constructed on the lower floors which are being fitted out post completion of the above residential units. BRE have suggested that the whole ‘site’ be registered as one site to begin with, but phased with an initial end date to coincide with the completion of the residential units. The necessary reports can then be conducted on this first phase and the relevant certificate issued when appropriate. The second phase can then be re-registered as a separate site that would commence immediately after the completion of the first phase but just covering the retail element.
The CCS have recognised that some certificates are required before completion and have now started issuing certificates following final site visits to alleviate problems with delays at the BRE certification stage. Please note that this matter should be discussed with the CCS ahead of starting on site.
In January 2013 a new “Five Point” Code of Considerate Practice will be launched by the CCS. This will include new checklists, report formats and a new scoring system for both company and site registration. How the Code for Sustainable Homes will respond to this change has yet to be released by BRE/CLG.
Posted on August 28th, 2012