Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Community heating – costs to users

Posted on December 21st 2009

Evidence is emerging about the high running costs for community heating schemes that are required to meet planning   requirements. Often these include Combined Heat and Power facilities and biomass boilers in addition to the more  conventional gas boilers. Heat meters are used within each dwelling to measure the heat energy provided through the  circulating hot water system. On a recently …

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Ecology credits are important

Posted on December 7th 2009

The Ecology credits (Eco1-4) play a very important role in achieving the Code for Sustainable Homes at Level 3 or if a higher standard is required. Ecology credits are heavily weighted—the maximum 7 credits for Eco1-4 actually achieves 9 percentage points in the final assessment. This weighting is higher than for the Energy credits and second only to the Water …

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Code checklist for site managers

Posted on November 23rd 2009

A vital part of the Code for Sustainable Homes is that the final certificate is only achieved after a check at completion. Site Managers therefore need to ensure that evidence is available showing all the measures to obtain Code points. Our download shows the actions needed during construction. We recommend that at the start of construction a filing system divided into …

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Code for Sustainable Homes: surface water issues – October 2009

Posted on November 16th 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 performance based approach that could …

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Code level 3 energy measures

Posted on November 9th 2009

Our download highlights the typical improvements that are made in order to comply with a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions for Code Level 3. Please click to open. code3_energy_measures    

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Health implications of building materials in airtight dwellings

Posted on October 19th 2009

Health impacts of building materials As increasingly airtight dwellings are being constructed, the health impacts of building materials are becoming more  important. Many forms of paint or varnish (containing Volatile Organic Compounds), formaldehyde in glues in manufactured wood such as plywood and MDF, vinyl products and timber preservatives release toxic substances into the indoor environment. In the past, these substances would leak out …

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Air Source Heat Pumps and renewable energy planning policy

Posted on October 5th 2009

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS IN THE UK Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) are a mature technology, and widely used in Europe. Due to their efficiency they can  greatly reduce the energy needed for heating homes. However, they are relatively new to the UK home heating market, and their status a low carbon technology is controversial here. This is partly because …

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Affordable housing to meet Lifetime Homes criteria by 2011

Posted on September 28th 2009

The Department of Communities and Local Government has pledged an increase in the use of the Lifetime Homes standards to provide adaptable homes that match an individuals’ needs over their lifespan. The Government’s strategy ensures that by 2013 all homes are built to the standards, with the first batch of publicly funded housing to be built to Lifetime Homes Standards …

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Sustainability checklists for planning applications

Posted on September 7th 2009

Local authorities are increasingly requiring sustainability checklists to be completed as part of a planning application. Completing a sustainability checklist encourages applicants to consider the impacts that their proposals have on the natural, social and economic environment. In order to comply with a checklist, developers need to consider the checklist requirements during the early design stages to allow for spatial and masterplan implications. …

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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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