Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Planning implications for schemes with large water using features

Posted on April 22nd 2013

There are advantages and disadvantages of incorporating large water-using features into landscape designs. On the one hand water features add amenity value, ecological value and can be used as a technique for attenuating surface water run-off. On the other hand they usually require large volumes of water and can often consume large amounts of energy. The option of using recycled …

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Looking forward to 2013

Posted on December 19th 2012

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 degree of conflict with the …

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Implementation of Flood Water Management Act moves closer

Posted on March 20th 2012

Implementation of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010) moved a step closer last week with the closing of the consultation period on the National Standards for SUDS. The Act will make the incorporation of SUDS compulsory for new development, with approval for surface water drainage design from a SUDS Approval Body (SAB) required before construction work can commence.  This approval can …

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Strategy for ensuring Code compliance

Posted on November 21st 2011

1. START EARLY The Code Assessor is an important member of the team, who will not only be responsible for completing the Code compliance requirements for the development, but can also assist on which credits should be aimed for and how they can be achieved. It is recommended that a core team is formed, to include the developer, architect, civil …

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Why do green roofs die?

Posted on October 1st 2010

There are several different types of green roofs.  Intensive roofs are thicker and heavier more like roof gardens and require regular maintenance.  Extensive roofs are lighter and typically sedum based, requiring less maintenance, often only once a year depending on the location of the roof. Typical requirements of an extensive roof is yearly fertilizing and weeding, and in autumn clearing …

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Biodiversity benefits of brown roofs

Posted on February 8th 2010

Industrial brownfield sites can include valuable ecosystems, supporting rarely found species of plants, animals and invertebrates. When the site is re-developed this biodiversity can be preserved by the use of a ‘brown roof’. In order to encourage biodiversity the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 the ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’ (CBD) was adopted and set the target of achieving by 2010 …

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Code for Sustainable Homes: surface water issues – October 2009

Posted on November 16th 2009

This note identifies key housebuilding experiences in achieving Code Certification for the Surface Water Credits. It has been prepared for technical representations to BRE and CLG. In summary, it is considered that the current SUR 1 mandatory elements are overly prescriptive and often inappropriate to achieve their stated outcomes. They should be replaced with a performance based approach that could …

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Greywater recycling and CO2 emissions

Posted on April 20th 2009

Using greywater for WC flushing is less energy efficient than using the mains water supply. Traditional water saving techniques such as aerated taps and dual flush WCs remain the most important technologies to improve water efficiency. We have calculated that the CO2 emissions with greywater recycling systems are around 1kgCO2/m2. This offsets typical savings of 5kgCO2/m2 in reaching Code Level 3. …

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