Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Assessing Existing Buildings with BREEAM In-Use

Posted on January 16th 2014

  BREEAM In-Use is an environmental assessment method for existing non-domestic buildings whereby buildings are assessed using a standard methodology through an independent certification process. The aim of BREEAM In-Use is to identify sections of a property portfolio that is under-performing and will benefit from refurbishment or improvements in management practices. Carrying out this assessment promotes positive changes in the …

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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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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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BREEAM Surface Water Runoff on Code for Sustainable Homes Sites

Posted on October 15th 2012

Design teams working on mixed-use sites assessed under both the Code and BREEAM need to apply caution before assuming that a Code compliant flood risk and drainage strategy will automatically qualify for the equivalent credits under BREEAM.  Whilst BREEAM and Code surface water runoff and flood risk credits appear similar, there are some key differences which this article will explain. …

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What people really think about the environment

Posted on May 30th 2012

  “In the face of economic challenge, there is a perception that the public no longer cares about climate change, or living more sustainably. The reality of public opinion on environmental issues is more positive. Support for action on climate change remains strong, and austerity has made saving energy and cutting waste more normal and important. Most people want their …

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Heat recovery from waste hot water

Posted on May 16th 2012

Achieving CO2 savings in new-build dwellings has, to date, focussed on the reduction of space heating loads and application of low and zero carbon technologies. As fabric specifications are pushed to the limits, particularly on sites with limited space for increasing wall thicknesses, turning attention to reducing domestic hot water (DHW) demand can provide another route to achieve challenging CO2

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Importance of selecting white goods for the Code

Posted on April 13th 2012

It’s about both energy and water use   The Code for Sustainable Homes requires that washing machines and dishwashers achieve an “A” rating under the EU Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme and tumble driers and washer driers achieve a “B” rating in order to achieve credits under ENE 5 Energy Labelled White Goods. However, what is sometimes forgotten when buying white …

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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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Product data and the water use calculator

Posted on January 17th 2012

With the introduction of the maximum internal water use set through Part G of the Building Regulations, manufacturers of bathroom products are finding ways of masking the actual water use or capacity of their products to ensure the limit of 125 litres per person per day is met. The water use calculator that has to be used for the Code …

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