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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Low-Energy Building Optimisation for Concept Design

Posted on March 4th 2014

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 have greatest influence on achieving …

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Part L 2013 – The Increased Importance of Thermal Bridging

Posted on January 16th 2014

  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 fabric values, or carrying out …

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We Contribute to Planning Success at London Dock

Posted on January 16th 2014

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 submitted as a hybrid, with …

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Emerging Housing Standards in England – a Comparison

Posted on September 3rd 2013

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 these documents are currently subject …

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Secured by Design and the location of letter boxes

Posted on August 14th 2013

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 designed, developments are failing to …

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The Technical Housing Standards Review and the NPPF

Posted on April 29th 2013

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 in March 2013. Local Plans …

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Nuisance Pluming from Flues

Posted on February 4th 2013

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 location of flues and the …

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Part F and drying clothes indoors

Posted on November 27th 2012

  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 the home is 5-10 litres …

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Lifetime Homes – is it practical?

Posted on July 30th 2012

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. This defines the spatial requirements …

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