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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Fabric Efficiency First?

There is a recent trend in planning policy to emphasise energy demand reduction ahead of more costly low carbon energy supply options. In 2009 the zero carbon hub consulted on a new parameter to encourage more consideration of the Fabric Energy Efficiency (‘FEE’) of a home’s construction. The FEE credit was introduced into the Code [...]

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BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment and Planning

Existing buildings are currently responsible for approximately 27% of CO2 emissions produced in the UK. With local planning authorities updating their policies to reflect the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), in the absence of the adopted local plan, the use of BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment is expected to increase significantly. Paragraph 95 of the NPPF states [...]

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Northstowe New Town a Step Closer

Gallagher’s development of the first phase of Northstowe is a step closer after the joint committee of members of South Cambridgeshire  District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council resolved to grant outline planning permission, subject to the completion of a legal agreement. Richard Hodkinson Consultancy supported the application through preparation of an Energy Statement for the [...]

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ASHPs and the Code in the British Climate

Introduction Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) can be an effective route to achieving carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets under Code  for Sustainable Homes Levels 3 and 4 and they can meet Part L1a of the Building  Regulations. Whilst ASHPs can reduce absolute emissions of carbon dioxide when compared with conventional gas heating, there are a [...]

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CHP design considerations

The following issues should be considered at an early stage of design as part of an evaluation of the viability of CHP. Organising a connection to the grid Unless a CHP engine can be connected to the grid, its size may be significantly reduced. This is so that demand for electricity across a development is [...]

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Biomass, deliveries and ash management

How much more attention do biomass boilers really need? The comparison to the ‘stoker’ associated with coal fired steam engines may be unfair and extreme but it does go some way to painting a picture of the difference between biomass and gas fired boilers. Biomass (wood chip or pellet) is a solid fuel which requires [...]

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Masterplan strategies and the Code

For most schemes, the mandatory energy elements of the Code can be achieved through the incorporation of solar thermal and/or solar PV panels on individual houses. Once Code Level 4 (a 44% improvement on 2006 Building Regulations) is sought, serious consideration must be given to a community heating network with either biomass or CHP facilities. [...]

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Zero Carbon consultation: cost of compliance

We used real case studies for the Home Builders Associates to provide a response to the worked examples included in the Zero Carbon Consultation Document. Our study found that the cost to achieve Zero Carbon including energy efficiency, Carbon Compliance (on-site) and Allowable Solutions (off-site) varies from £10,000 – £40,000 per dwelling. The most expensive [...]

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