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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Low-Energy Building Optimisation for Concept Design

As building designers, we are continually challenged with trying to optimise building design to achieve low-energy, yet financially viable solutions. Hodkinson Consultancy have adopted an innovative approach to optimisation, working closely with software developers and research academics to advance sophisticated simulation techniques. The optimisation process applies the Darwinian evolutionary selection theory to identify variables that [...]

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Part L 2013 – The Increased Importance of Thermal Bridging

  SUMMARY Achieving compliance with Part L1A 2013 will require detailed consideration of thermal bridging in all new dwellings. For some dwelling types, this is already common practice.  For non-traditional construction types where developers have typically used default values for thermal bridging, design teams have a choice of either making significant improvements to all other [...]

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We Contribute to Planning Success at London Dock

London Dock in Wapping, is an historic site covering 6.1 hectares.  Last week, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets resolved to grant planning permission for up to 1,800 new homes, as well as new public spaces, pedestrian and cycle routes, a range of shops, restaurants, cafes and land for a secondary school. The application was [...]

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Emerging Housing Standards in England – a Comparison

Within the last fortnight two strategic policy documents have been published in England: the London Plan Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance on Sustainable Design and Construction (published by the Greater London Authority) and the conclusions of the Housing Standards Review, setting out new Nationally Described Standards, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Both [...]

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Secured by Design and the location of letter boxes

We have recent experience in not achieving Secured by Design (SBD) in apartment blocks where letter boxes have not been located in an isolated lobby, separate from a further secure lobby (with access to dwellings). This is aimed to design out direct unauthorised access to dwelling entrances by deliverers. Where this has not been properly [...]

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The Technical Housing Standards Review and the NPPF

An announcement from the Technical Housing Standards Review Panel is anticipated imminently which we hope will signal improvements to the relevance and compliance efficiency for the currently wide range of housing related standards. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published in March 2012. As we reported last month, the 12 month transitional arrangements formally ended [...]

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Nuisance Pluming from Flues

In addition to the emission of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), flue gases from modern single dwelling boilers and Energy Centres boiler flues can be very visible. Whilst not in itself harmful to humans, the visible nature of plumes may be of concern to residents and is therefore a customer care issue. Careful consideration of the [...]

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Part F and drying clothes indoors

  Many new homes, particularly flats, are being designed without adequate facilities for drying laundry. A study in Scotland, by the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit, showed that 87% of households dry their clothes indoors during the heating season, with 64% drying laundry on or near heating sources. The average amount of moisture produced in [...]

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Lifetime Homes – is it practical?

Lifetime Homes is a housing quality standard consisting of 16 design criteria. It was developed in the 1990s to set a range of principles for good housing design that maximises utility, independence and quality of life. The 16 design criteria consider ‘visit-ability’ of the property as well as the potential future needs of the homeowner. [...]

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Affordable housing to meet Lifetime Homes criteria by 2011

The Department of Communities and Local Government has pledged an increase in the use of the Lifetime Homes standards to provide adaptable homes that match an individuals’ needs over their lifespan. The Government’s strategy ensures that by 2013 all homes are built to the standards, with the first batch of publicly funded housing to be [...]

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Lifetime Homes and smaller dwellings

The 16 Lifetime Homes criteria have been set down to enable adaptable accommodation which will increase the longevity of tenure. However, it is hard for developments to comply where dwellings have limited space such as small studio/one bedroom or houses with narrow frontages. It is especially difficult for developers to meet criteria 7) and 10) [...]

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