Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

We Invest in People – Gold Accreditation

Posted on June 23rd 2021

We are pleased to announce that we have recently been awarded the We invest in people gold accreditation. With only 17% of assessed companies achieving this standard it represents a very high level of performance. We are particularly pleased to have achieved this at a time of significant change and challenge in the world and in the industry. As well …

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Walker Primary School – A Project Success in Enfield

Posted on June 23rd 2021

Appointed as sustainability consultants and BREEAM assessors by Spatial Initiative, the new Walker Primary School successfully achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’, under the New Construction 2018 scheme. Located in the London Borough of Enfield, the new school particularly excelled in the Waste, Land Use & Ecology, and Water BREEAM categories. As part of the BREEAM assessment and to …

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SAP10.2: A Future for CHP?

Posted on May 6th 2021

Recent Government proposals show compliance with CHP-prioritised heat networks is likely to be near impossible. This is despite recent indications from Government that the new Part L in Building Regulations would support CHP. The low CO2 emissions factor for electricity in the proposed Part L 2021 pointed towards the end of CHP. A government statement recognised the industry’s concern and …

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EV Chargepoints to enter Building Regulations

Posted on May 6th 2021

Electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints will soon be essential for new homes due to the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars (hybrids to be banned from 2035), with Government now also proposing to mandate their inclusion through the Building Regulations. The widespread uptake of EVs and chargepoints suffers from a classic chicken and egg dilemma. A …

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Adapting buildings to a warmer climate

Posted on May 5th 2021

The UK climate is changing and it is important that the design of buildings takes this into account. By 2070, summer temperatures  in the southeast of England are expected to be 3 to 5°C higher than current, flooding events will increase owing to increased precipitation, and hot spells will be more frequent. All of the above affect building function, longevity, …

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Preventing condensation may not stop mould growth

Posted on May 5th 2021

Dealing with this distinction is paramount when assessing the quality of buildings, pre and post construction. Surface condensation can cause issues such as decay of finishes, corrosion of materials, or destruction of organic based materials (e.g. wood, plaster). Mould growth, aside from being aesthetically unpleasant, is a risk to building users as it is associated with a range of respiratory …

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Overheating Mitigation to become Regulated

Posted on April 7th 2021

The proposed Approved Document ‘[X]’ prioritises key design changes to mitigate overheating, taking the London Plan cooling hierarchy approach nationwide. It will compel design teams to consider overheating mitigation in conjunction with noise, air quality, safety and security. The consultation version of the guidance provides two approaches for developers to choose from: Option 1: Simplified method – prescribes a maximum …

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Preventing pipe corrosion from phenolic insulation

Posted on April 7th 2021

It’s not an easy switch to mineral wool to address pipework corrosion risk caused by phenolic insulation. On Low Temperature Hot Water (LTHW) systems the thickness of mineral wool required to achieve the same insulating properties may be considerably more than you think. For example, more than 1.5 times the insulation thickness may be required when using mineral wool compared …

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Where does modular construction save carbon?

Posted on April 7th 2021

Modular construction offers a significant reduction in carbon emissions when compared to traditional construction. The gains are primarily achieved through improved transport, construction impacts, repair, maintenance, and deconstruction. Significant savings are unlikely to come from embodied carbon specifically, due to the similarity in materials used. Modular buildings can be disassembled, and the modules relocated or refurbished for new use. This …

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Be Seen: a reputational minefield?

Posted on April 7th 2021

The GLA’s ‘Be Seen’ policy will empower residents by providing public access to a development’s design and in-use energy performance data. It requires explanations and potential mitigation measures for differences between design and in-use performance. With increasing public awareness of energy and sustainability issues, inaction could have a significant reputational impact. Energy estimates are based on controlled variables such as …

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