Green Materials – The Environmental Product Declaration

The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardised way of measuring the environmental impact of a product, it includes verified information on the procurement of the raw materials, energy use and efficiency, content of materials and chemical substances, emissions to air, soil and water and waste generation.  It reports the results of a product Life [...]

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Reducing construction waste

The construction industry is the principal source of waste in the UK, producing 35% of the country’s total waste, according to DEFRA’s most recent data (Figure 1). The opportunities for the sector to improve resource efficiency and reduce waste disposal costs are significant.   Figure 1: Total UK waste generation by sector, 2004 to 2008 [...]

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Aircrete block supply chain challenges

Aircrete concrete blocks are often at the centre of fabric energy efficiency strategies and a crucial part of the specification for Part L and Code for Sustainable Homes (Code) compliance.  This summer has seen a significant shortage of certain types of aircrete blocks with many buyers attempting to overcome the supply chain issue by sourcing [...]

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Cutting energy, carbon dioxide and costs during construction

For most construction sites, there is significant potential for improving resource efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. We are keen to assist our clients to make these improvements and gain cost savings during the construction process. Gathering reliable data is crucial in setting out an effective CO2 emissions reduction strategy. New fuel management systems [...]

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Code 4 – Responsible Sourcing of Materials for Cost Effective Credits

Now that many developments are required to achieve Code Level 4, it is becoming more apparent that the inclusion of MAT 2 and MAT 3 credits can make a significant and cost effective contribution to overall scores. These credits aim to promote the responsible sourcing of materials in both basic and finishing building elements. A [...]

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Looking forward to 2013

Planning The wider adoption of Community Infrastructure Charging Schedules (the use of planning obligations will be more restricted from April 2014); The expiration on 27 March 2013 of the 12-month NPPF transitional period, designed to allow some protection for existing local plans depending on the date of their adoption, even where there is a limited [...]

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The changing skyline of London – green roofs playing their part

More and more green roofs are being used in schemes, predominately driven through the planning process, especially in London. In this article we look at the benefits green roofs can bring to not only the development to which it belongs, but also the local area in which it is located. Green roofs have been around [...]

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November 2010 Code guidance in practice

  Our experience in using the most recent Code guidance issued in November 2010 has highlighted the following issues.   ENE 8 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 [...]

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Simplifying Use of the Green Guide for Materials

The specification of sustainable construction materials is a mandatory requirement within the Code for Sustainable Homes, and represents a significant category within BREEAM assessments. Materials are rated against the Green Guide (Building Research Establishment, 2008), which examines environmental impact through a Life Cycle Assessment. The rating achieved is converted into Code or BREEAM credits. Currently [...]

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Green Guide to window specifications

The Green Guide to Housing Specification is an online tool and provides developers with easy to use guidance on how to make the best environmental choices when selecting construction materials and components. Our Green Guide to Windows illustrates how different specifications for windows in residential projects are rated under the Green Guide. In future months [...]

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Health implications of building materials in airtight dwellings

Health impacts of building materials As increasingly airtight dwellings are being constructed, the health impacts of building materials are becoming more  important. Many forms of paint or varnish (containing Volatile Organic Compounds), formaldehyde in glues in manufactured wood such as plywood and MDF, vinyl products and timber preservatives release toxic substances into the indoor environment. In [...]

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Materials points

Environmental performance assessment methods for buildings in the UK – BREEAM, EcoHomes and the Code for Sustainable Homes – include the responsible sourcing of materials. Given the low weighting of the point score in the residential methods, points are often sought elsewhere. In the BREEAM methodology for non-residential buildings, the score is very much more [...]

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