Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Sourcing Sustainable Steel

Posted on November 29th 2021

Sourcing UK steel won’t improve the sustainability of your projects and steel with a high recycled content isn’t the best way to reduce embodied carbon. Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right; sourcing locally reduces A5 transportation emissions whilst a high recycled content engages with the circular economy, reducing A1-A3 materials emissions. Right? The truth is that is an over-simplification …

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Planning Success for Countryside Properties

Posted on November 29th 2021

We supported Countryside Properties in their joint venture with Bracknell Forest Council to achieve planning consent for the regeneration of the Coopers Hill site. To ensure affordability, we balanced out energy efficiency measures such as high levels of insulation and high efficiency systems with low running cost heating systems tailored to the scheme. We also worked on the sustainability strategy …

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Funding applications for optimisation of heat networks open

Posted on October 27th 2021

The Government is making funding available for heat network optimisations that could help reduce heat bills to residents. Public and private operators managing existing district heat networks or communal heating systems can apply for funding for optimisation and improvements works associated with their heat network. The government has launched the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES), a £4.175m grant scheme. Applicants …

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BEIS Heat and Buildings Strategy Summary

Posted on October 27th 2021

The Heat in buildings strategy is short of new announcements for major developers but does aggregate policy work since 2016. It explains the current position, what needs to change and expected timelines (up to 2035) covering regulations, supporting programmes, and technological changes. A short thematic summary below provides an update of the central points: New Building Regulations Part L, still …

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Air Quality Monitoring for Safe Indoor Working Spaces

Posted on October 27th 2021

CO2 monitoring in commercial spaces is a cost-effective way to manage spread of Covid-19 through optimising ventilation. Poorly ventilated spaces increase the risk of virus transmission. Yet, it can be difficult to manage effectively because air is invisible, making ventilation a less obvious mitigation measure. Monitoring indoor CO2 concentration is a useful proxy for understanding occupancy levels and ventilation rates, …

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The Commercial Value of BREEAM Certification

Posted on October 27th 2021

Recent research shows that full BREEAM certification can lead to appreciable increases in rental values of commercial spaces. Tenants and lessors understand that sustainable buildings are more likely to be protected against future legislation changes, meet strong mandates coming from investors, and meet occupier demands to provide high quality working spaces for their employees. BREEAM aims to significantly reduce building …

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Domestic Hot Water is getting cooler

Posted on September 14th 2021

CIBSE has recently published new guidance on domestic hot water temperatures for heat networks. The new document recommends the adoption of a 50°C target for the DHW generated at the hydraulic interface unit (HIU) outlet, with 45°C being reached at the kitchen tap within 45 seconds or less (notable exceptions exist, such as for vulnerable customers). The document has been …

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Is enough being done to tackle overheating?

Posted on September 14th 2021

Since 2017, overheating has been recognised as a significant risk by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), but current regulations may not be doing enough to prevent it for the lifespan of buildings. Addressing this risk is fundamental to ensure resident health and satisfaction, especially since heatwaves in the UK are poised to be more frequent. The latest CCC report states …

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‘Zero Carbon’ Development – Consider the Detail

Posted on September 14th 2021

The intention of a Zero Carbon development might seem simple enough, but its meaning is often open to broad interpretation by both housebuilders and planning authorities, with very real consequences for carbon reductions and project costs. By considering the methodology used, significant differences between one approach to a Zero Carbon development and another can be observed. Some of the key …

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RIBA Award Winning Project

Posted on September 14th 2021

The Officers House in Royal Arsenal has just won the South East Regional Winner at the RIBA London Awards 2021. We supported Berkeley Homes East Thames in delivering the energy and sustainability strategy for the scheme, achieving a 40% reduction in carbon emissions. The heritage nature and listed status of the existing building posed a number of challenges around the …

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