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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The changing skyline of London – green roofs playing their part

Posted on November 13th 2012

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 for hundreds of years with …

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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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How to move from Code level 3 to 4

Posted on February 1st 2010

With the new Energy Use Building Regulations coming into effect later this year, with a predicted 25% improvement, there is an increasing requirement to meet Code Level 4 for both private and affordable housing. The jump in credits, 57 to 68, is predominately met through meeting the Mandatory Energy issues. This usually requires higher levels of both insulation and renewable …

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Benefits of a green roof

Posted on January 11th 2010

Sustainability benefits of green roofs Also known as ‘living roofs’, green roofs can make a significant contribution to sustainability at the planning application stage, as well as having the potential for achieving Code and BREEAM credits in the Energy, Materials, Surface Water Runoff, Health/Wellbeing and Ecology Sections. There are two types of green roof: ‘intensive roofs’, which are thicker and can …

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Ecology credits are important

Posted on December 7th 2009

The Ecology credits (Eco1-4) play a very important role in achieving the Code for Sustainable Homes at Level 3 or if a higher standard is required. Ecology credits are heavily weighted—the maximum 7 credits for Eco1-4 actually achieves 9 percentage points in the final assessment. This weighting is higher than for the Energy credits and second only to the Water …

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