Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

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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Fabric Efficiency First?

Posted on May 20th 2013

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 for Sustainable Homes in 2010 …

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BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment and Planning

Posted on April 15th 2013

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 that: “To support the move …

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Northstowe New Town a Step Closer

Posted on October 30th 2012

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 development. Working with Gallagher we …

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ASHPs and the Code in the British Climate

Posted on February 3rd 2012

  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 number of issues to …

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CHP design considerations

Posted on August 23rd 2010

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 not a constraint on the …

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Biomass, deliveries and ash management

Posted on February 22nd 2010

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 more manual intervention than natural …

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Masterplan strategies and the Code

Posted on August 24th 2009

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. For Code Levels 5 (a …

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Zero Carbon consultation: cost of compliance

Posted on May 18th 2009

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 required high levels of on-site …

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