Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Lower DHW temperatures will reduce heat network costs

Posted on August 12th 2020

New guidance is likely to allow lower heat network operating temperatures, thus helping to minimise heat losses, lower risk of overheating, maximise contributions from heat pumps and consequently deliver better carbon performance. To date, lowering hot water temperatures has been hindered by some building warranty providers which has a requirement for delivery of hot water at the kitchen tap at …

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Delivering Social Value – Why is it important?

Posted on August 12th 2020

The main driver of social value is to provide long-lasting, high-quality developments, and is fast becoming a priority for developers and local planning authorities. Social value must be looked at from a local context; stakeholders need to liaise with the local people, community groups and the local authority to establish what will benefit the local area, as well as the …

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What more could you do to improve the sustainability of your project?

Posted on July 9th 2020

Achieving compliance with local policy is often not enough to appease planners, now more than ever they are requesting developers to go above and beyond in terms of sustainability. We have outlined some ambitious but achievable ways that demonstrate exemplary building performance to local authorities: WELL assessment – Incorporating a WELL strategy on both residential and commercial buildings will assist …

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Are air source heat pumps the only solution?

Posted on July 9th 2020

Air source is not always the best option for Heat Pumps. Although they generally have lower capital costs, other issues such as roof space availability, visual intrusion, noise impacts and cold pluming from the external units can be considerable constraints along with lower carbon performance and higher heat costs to residents. Often through lack of available other options, air source …

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Ambient heat network a planning risk in London

Posted on July 9th 2020

Ambient temperature heat networks are increasingly being considered, however, are not recognised to be heat networks by the GLA, thus presenting a planning risk where developments are in heat network priority areas. They designate them as individual heating systems which they say should only be specified where heat networks are determined to be unfeasible – this is unlikely to ever …

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Driving concept design to reduce overheating

Posted on July 9th 2020

Addressing overheating early in the design process makes it easier to comply with the increasingly challenging TM59 overheating criteria. Our use of the new Good Homes Alliance (GHA) tool provides an excellent framework for doing so. Understanding the site context that surrounds the proposed buildings is important as much as the dwelling characteristics. Considering the use of light coloured surfaces …

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How to approach the new London Whole Life Carbon policy

Posted on May 14th 2020

Obtaining planning consent in London now requires addressing Whole Life-Cycle Carbon (WLCC) emissions. Here we explain our approach to this now and how it may evolve in the future. At present, WLCC emission assessments are undertaken for BREEAM purposes and for general understanding of a building’s embodied carbon content However, the Draft London Plan, once adopted, will require improvements to …

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We are moving office

Posted on May 14th 2020

After almost 6 years based in Harrow we are moving to a new canal-side office in Rickmansworth. We are excited for the opportunities the new office brings in terms of providing a high-quality space in comfortable surroundings whilst retaining excellent transport links to central London and further afield. With excellent natural daylighting, efficient modern building services and many facilities for …

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No Place for SAP 10.1 Factors in New GLA Guidance

Posted on May 14th 2020

Recently released Energy Assessment Guidance from the GLA continues to ‘expect’ applicants to utilise outdated SAP carbon factors that result in significantly higher capital costs to developers. The GLA expect that SAP10.0 CO₂ emission factors are used in planning applications as opposed to the more up to date SAP10.1 CO₂ emission factors. Energy strategies which opt for heat pumps in …

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Has the Home Office fallen out of design?

Posted on May 14th 2020

Incorporation of some key design features in new homes can meet the expected aspiration for home-buyers to work from home in a healthy, effective and environmentally friendly manner. Providing for a single home-worker needs the following to be considered and incorporated into designs to improve wellbeing and productivity: Home office space provided in a room other than the kitchen, living …

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