Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Addressing the Energy Performance Gap: Post Occupancy Evaluation

Posted on March 31st 2014

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 requirement, home buyers are becoming increasingly …

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Minister Launches Community Energy Strategy at Woodberry Down

Posted on February 6th 2014

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 over the homes that are …

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Part L1A 2013 sets high energy efficiency targets

Posted on November 25th 2013

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 Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) …

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

Posted on November 6th 2013

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 schemes submitted after this date, and they encourage London Boroughs …

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Green Materials – The Environmental Product Declaration

Posted on August 26th 2013

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 Cycle Assessment and is classified …

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The use of new simulation techniques for building design optimisation

Posted on July 29th 2013

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 the optimal façade design of …

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Aircrete block supply chain challenges

Posted on July 22nd 2013

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 lightweight aggregate blocks as an …

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Planning sets the Allowable Solutions price

Posted on July 2nd 2013

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 developments. As an alternative to …

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

Posted on July 2nd 2013

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 Plan Cross Cutting Policy 5.2. …

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Fabric Efficiency First?

Posted on May 20th 2013

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 for Sustainable Homes in 2010 …

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