Flooding in London

Regionally, London has the highest number of people at risk from flooding. In the Greater London area, there are 542,000 properties and around one million people located in the floodplain. Although London has the largest number of people at risk (458,000), 18% of properties at risk in London are in areas with a low chance of [...]

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Assessing Existing Buildings with BREEAM In-Use

  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 [...]

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Planning implications for schemes with large water using features

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. [...]

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Looking forward to 2013

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 [...]

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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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BREEAM Surface Water Runoff on Code for Sustainable Homes Sites

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 [...]

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What people really think about the environment

  “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 [...]

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Heat recovery from waste hot water

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 [...]

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Importance of selecting white goods for the Code

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 [...]

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Implementation of Flood Water Management Act moves closer

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 [...]

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Product data and the water use calculator

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 [...]

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The changing face of the Code—impacts from the new guidance on the SUR1 credit

On 16 December 2009 BRE published ‘Supplementary Guidance on the Assessment of the Management of Surface Water Runoff (SUR1)’. Our download provides a detailed analysis of the main changes. In summary these changes are: Existing planning consents and statutory requirements can meet the Code requirements by default.  For large phased developments with existing drainage infrastructure [...]

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Why do green roofs die?

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 [...]

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Biodiversity benefits of brown roofs

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 [...]

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Benefits of a green roof

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’, [...]

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Code for Sustainable Homes: surface water issues – October 2009

This note identifies key housebuilding experiences in achieving Code Certification for the Surface Water Credits. It has been prepared for technical representations to BRE and CLG. In summary, it is considered that the current SUR 1 mandatory elements are overly prescriptive and often inappropriate to achieve their stated outcomes. They should be replaced with a [...]

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New water consumption calculation for dwellings

Last month saw the publication of the Code for Sustainable Homes Internal Water Use calculator. This gives results 10% less onerous than previous versions. An example is shown in the download which also highlights the change in specification that developers can use to meet the 105l/person per day target for Code Level 3. Revised Part [...]

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Greywater recycling and CO2 emissions

Using greywater for WC flushing is less energy efficient than using the mains water supply. Traditional water saving techniques such as aerated taps and dual flush WCs remain the most important technologies to improve water efficiency. We have calculated that the CO2 emissions associated with greywater recycling systems are around 1kgCO2/m2. This offsets typical savings [...]

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