Planning Success at Woodberry Down

The London Borough of Hackney have recently resolved to grant planning permission for the revised Woodberry Down Masterplan. Berkeley Homes’ 20 year, £1billion regeneration of the neglected Woodberry Down estate will now provide in excess of 5,500 homes, at least 40% of which will be affordable. Set over 64 acres and adjacent to the Stoke [...]

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BREEAM Communities Certification Demonstrates Sustainability to Eastleigh Borough Council

We are delighted to announce that we have recently achieved our first BREEAM Communities certification at Crowdhill Green, Fair Oak, in Eastleigh Borough Council. Working closely with Bloor Homes and the Highwood Group, both of whom demonstrated a strong commitment to BREEAM Communities from the outset, the BREEAM Communities Step 1 process was undertaken in [...]

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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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Part L1A 2013 sets high energy efficiency targets

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 [...]

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BREEAM and Code Design Stage Assessments Before Construction

Developments which are required to achieve BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes ratings should consider their requirements as early as possible. It is essential that pre-assessments are included within the feasibility stage of the development. The design must incorporate all of the required criteria ensuring minimal impact on the development and reducing the risk of [...]

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

As we reported in September, 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 [...]

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Major changes to environmental management on the way

  In 18 months’ time, the revised version of the international standard for Environmental Management Systems, ISO 14001, will be published.  The changes are likely to have a major impact on organisations which are currently certified. To date, Environmental Management Systems (EMS) have focussed on managing an organisation’s impact on the environment.  Part of the new [...]

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A successful 10 years at St Mary’s Island, Chatham

Our recent appointment on the latest phase on St Mary’s Island, Chatham, with Countryside Properties plc extends our involvement in one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. Our involvement in the project began in early 2000s and is currently our longest standing project, an achievement we are very proud of. In that time, [...]

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Practice Update

Over the past two months we have continued to strengthen our specialist team.  Charlotte Booth has returned to us after completing her MSc in Building Energy and Environmental Performance at Cardiff University. Charlotte has been joined by two new energy graduates, Scott Caldwell and Declan Price. Scott has recently graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology and [...]

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Pre completion checks for BREEAM, Code and Energy Performance Certificates

The final as-built check is often the most difficult part of any certification process. This is often the point at which any changes from design stage certification come to light with the additional complication of short timescales and commercial pressures during the handover process. The difficulty assessors face is that the required documentation needs to [...]

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The Increasing Importance of Thermal Bridging

Thermal modelling of construction details is a key tool for developers seeking to comply with the new fabric standards for Part L 2013 and address the technical concern of surface condensation risk. This will become increasingly valuable when statutory fabric performance requirements are introduced in April 2014. Using 2D and 3D thermal modelling software, we [...]

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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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Green Materials – The Environmental Product Declaration

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 [...]

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Reducing construction waste

The construction industry is the principal source of waste in the UK, producing 35% of the country’s total waste, according to DEFRA’s most recent data (Figure 1). The opportunities for the sector to improve resource efficiency and reduce waste disposal costs are significant.   Figure 1: Total UK waste generation by sector, 2004 to 2008 [...]

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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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Special report on Building Regulation changes to Part L 2013

Expected in April, and now finally with us, are the first details of the Government’s proposals for the Building Regulations Part L 2013 for England. It was announced on the 30th of July that new versions of the regulations will come into force in April 2014. We have produced a Special report on changes to Part L 2013 to [...]

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The use of new simulation techniques for building design optimisation

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 [...]

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Analysis of air pressure test results

We have carried out analysis of 500 air pressure tests results. The chart below demonstrates that our clients are now comfortably achieving air leakage results below 5m3/hm2 at 50Pa. And whilst setting design air leakage rates of less than 4m3/hm2 at 50Pa is not yet the preferred choice for larger projects, such results are certainly achievable [...]

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Planning sets the Allowable Solutions price

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 [...]

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

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 [...]

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