Addressing the Energy Performance Gap: Post Occupancy Evaluation

To address the ‘clear evidence of a performance gap between the design & as built performance of new homes’ [1] the Zero Carbon Hub is proposing that from 2020 it must be demonstrated that 90% of all new homes must meet or perform better than the designed energy performance. In addition to this emerging industry [...]

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Minister Launches Community Energy Strategy at Woodberry Down

Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change launched the Community Energy Strategy at Berkeley Homes’ Woodberry Down development in North London. Prior to the launch, Donald Sinclair of Richard Hodkinson Consultancy outlined the vision for energy at Woodberry Park to the Minister: – High level of energy efficiency measures reducing demand substantially [...]

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Part L1A 2013 sets high energy efficiency targets

The Approved Document L1A, 2013 edition was published in November alongside the Standard Assessment Procedure 2012.  These two documents bring long-awaited clarity to the subject of energy and CO2 performance targets for new dwellings and will allow house builders to begin planning their routes to compliance. Both the Target Emission Rate (TER) and newly introduced [...]

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London Plan moves to 40% carbon dioxide reduction on regulated energy

As we reported in September, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has clarified that the move to a 40% CO2 reduction over Building Regulations Part L 2010 (London Plan Policy 5.2) came into effect from the 1 October 2013. This applies to both residential and non-residential development. The GLA is seeking this reduction on all referable [...]

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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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Special report on Building Regulation changes to Part L 2013

Expected in April, and now finally with us, are the first details of the Government’s proposals for the Building Regulations Part L 2013 for England. It was announced on the 30th of July that new versions of the regulations will come into force in April 2014. We have produced a Special report on changes to Part L 2013 to [...]

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The use of new simulation techniques for building design optimisation

As heightening legislative pressures demand significant improvements to building performance standards, we face growing challenges when attempting to design low energy buildings within escalating design and budget constraints. Designers are therefore faced with the task of striking a balance between competing objectives. Richard Hodkinson Consultancy is currently undertaking research to test a method for establishing [...]

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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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Planning sets the Allowable Solutions price

The London Plan policy target for CO2 emissions is scheduled to increase during 2013 from 25% to 40% over Building Regulations (2010). This is true of policies in other areas too. Whilst the increased targets will be achievable on many developments, planning authorities recognise that it may not be technically or economically possible on all [...]

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What might a delay of the new Part L mean for London Plan Policy?

New guidance for Part L of the Building Regulations is late, and there are mounting industry concerns that the next version of the Regulations may not come into force until April 2014.  A delay will have knock-on effects for any planning policies predicated on the Government’s zero carbon homes timetable. An example is the London [...]

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Fabric Efficiency First?

There is a recent trend in planning policy to emphasise energy demand reduction ahead of more costly low carbon energy supply options. In 2009 the zero carbon hub consulted on a new parameter to encourage more consideration of the Fabric Energy Efficiency (‘FEE’) of a home’s construction. The FEE credit was introduced into the Code [...]

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Ventilating dwellings in noise exposed areas

Developers must carefully consider the technical impacts of any planning requirements which preclude the use of openable windows in residential developments.  The limited technical solutions currently available mean that any such requirements will severely constrain the ventilation strategy and have a direct impact on Part L1A CO2 compliance. Where planning requirements for developments in areas [...]

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BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment and Planning

Existing buildings are currently responsible for approximately 27% of CO2 emissions produced in the UK. With local planning authorities updating their policies to reflect the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), in the absence of the adopted local plan, the use of BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment is expected to increase significantly. Paragraph 95 of the NPPF states [...]

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We extend our work on Europe’s largest regeneration project

Hampton House – Nine Elms Following our work through the planning process, Richard Hodkinson Consultancy has recently been appointed to continue involvement on this high-quality mixed-use scheme.  We are to provide a range of environmental assessments through the design and build program. The Nine Elms project, on the south bank of the Thames, is the [...]

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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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CASE STUDY: CHP viability in domestic scenarios

  In line with the London Plan, energy supply through CHP is becoming the norm in new London developments. The Mayor has introduced mandatory use of CHP in developments of 500+ dwellings through planning guidelines. Nonetheless, Richard Hodkinson Consultancy is experiencing an increasing number of London based Local Authorities demanding CHP on new residential developments, [...]

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Delivery of district heating on phased developments – things to consider

District heat networks (generally with CHP) are increasingly common for medium and large scale developments in order to provide the CO2 reductions necessary for planning policy and Building Regulations compliance. Delivery of these networks on phased developments is complex. For effective delivery, it is important to consider a number of issues at an early stage. [...]

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Assessment of thermal mass gives Part L 2010 advantage

A review of the treatment of thermal mass under Building Regulations Part L1a suggests that, rather than relying on default assumptions, there is an advantage to be gained by undertaking an individual dwelling assessment. The results of a thermal mass parameter assessment are similar for a range of house types on the same development. This [...]

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Electric heating for Code for Sustainable Homes level 4

The 25% dwelling emission rate (DER) improvement over Part L1A 2010 CO2 standards required for Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 compliance is being achievable via multiple routes. These have focussed on the use of decentralised energy, heat pump technology, or high efficiency gas boilers, with further CO2 reductions through the use of renewable technologies. [...]

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Carbon Reduction Commitment reports

It’s going to be a busy few weeks for businesses involved in the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme. All annual Carbon Reduction Commitment reports and evidence for the 2011/12 financial year must be submitted by the last working day of July. However, many companies will have only just received annual energy statements from their [...]

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