As Government policy gradually relaxes prescriptive standards for sustainable urban planning and housing quality, the challenge for developers is to find new ways to demonstrate sustainable development for planning applications.
A number of key environmental issues are increasingly seen as important, including resident comfort (overheating, ventilation and daylighting), climate change resilience, microclimatic assessment and accessibility. The assessment of these is essential to ensure that the proposed development is high-quality and fit for the future. Planners can be reassured that the proposal will be sustainable.
We are working on projects using market leading simulation techniques to balance overheating, ventilation and daylight, and assess how this impacts on building orientation, daylight/sunlight and façade design. In addition, we are able to combine this work with an assessment of overshadowing, glare, air quality and wind analysis to ensure local microclimatic comfort is maximised with design.
Environmental assessment techniques such as BREEAM Communities can reward this best practice approach to masterplanning by awarding a specific environmental rating. This is a valuable assessment tool which is understood and appreciated by planning authorities.
As chartered town planning professionals, we combine our planning knowledge with our technical energy and environmental expertise. As developers look to develop more challenging urban sites in heavily populated areas, these assessment techniques are becoming increasingly valuable.