Zero Carbon London – Nine Months On

It was in October last year that rules for Zero Carbon Homes were introduced in London. What impact have the rules had so far? As part of the London Plan, all new-build major developments in London must achieve a 35% reduction above Part L 2013 requirements. This has been the case for some years now, and some recent monitoring reports indicate that annual CO2 savings of just under 50,000 tonnes will be achieved by developments […]

SAP in Scotland: A Comparison with England & Wales

SAP in Scotland can be much more challenging than England and Wales. Let’s look at why. For a new home, the main target for SAP in Scotland and the rest of the UK is to get the DER (Dwelling Emission Rate) equal to or below the TER (Target Emission Rate). The DER is based upon the actual (or proposed) specification, and the TER is calculated by creating a ‘notional dwelling’ with the same dimensions as […]

The Self Build Checklist

Self Builders! Are you embarking on your first build? Confused by all these SAP calculations and air tests? Have no fear, BE is here with the essential checklist. The regs are ever changing – whether it’s your very first experience of building regulations or perhaps you just haven’t built anything for a few years, you’ll need some key items for your building control officer (BCO). 1. SAP Calculations & EPC These satisfy Part L requirements and need […]

11 Things We Talked About at Ecobuild 2017

BE was in attendance for this years headline act – so what did we talk about? 1.      Overheating is…well…hot right now Heat related deaths currently total 2,000 per year. This is set to rise to 7,000 by 2050 with the elderly especially vulnerable.  We know that the current method of assessing overheating risk in SAP is inadequate. Higher levels of air tightness, inadequate ventilation and community heating systems are all contributors. CIBSE updated us on their […]

Camden: £2,700 per tonne of carbon for new homes.

The London Borough of Camden is applying fees of £2,700 per tonne for carbon produced by major new housing schemes. As a part of Zero Carbon Homes rules introduced by the Greater London Authority in October last year, planners can apply an offset fee to developers who do not produce carbon neutral homes. This is then set aside for offset schemes within the borough. Most boroughs were expected to pick a recommended price of £60 […]

How Do You Practice What You Preach?

“80% of the UK’s 2050 housing stock has already been built.” A familiar mantra….but what about the rest of the buildings – the thousands upon thousands of commercial spaces we occupy? It’s the same story, sometimes we have to make do with what we’ve got. At BE we now know exactly what this means – our Dorset team recently moved into new offices. It’s a converted 12th century stable block with solid stone walls, electric […]

A German House on the South Coast of England: Part 2

Many of us buy cars from Germany, some do it with houses. This is the case for one of our clients who has kindly agreed for us to share their self build project. It involves the design and (lightening quick) build of a new German house on the south coast of Dorset. In the last post, we covered Day 1 of the build phase and the entire ground floor assembly had been completed. Let’s look […]

CIBSE TM49 – How London Avoids Overheating

The Greater London Authority is concerned that our climate is changing. Writing for CIBSE, Strategy Manager for Climate Change Adaptation Alex Nickson sets out the weather events that have demonstrated this most clearly to him. In recent memory, the South East has experienced the hottest summer (2006), the highest peak temperature (2003), the coldest December (2010), the wettest summer (2012), the driest two winter period (2010–12), and what became the wettest winter in over one […]

The London Plan

The London Plan is of increasing significance to many of our clients, especially since the new zero carbon requirements came into effect in October 2016.  Planning applications across all 33 London Boroughs face much more stringent sustainability requirements than the rest of the UK. Applicants must demonstrate consideration for a raft of energy and sustainability measures including decentralised energy networks, renewables water use and ecology. The London Plan We spend a lot of time writing […]

BREEAM in China – Seven Years on

‘They’ll be lots of opportunities for British firms that can design to BREEAM’, says Jaya Skandamoorthy, the Director of BRE China. BREEAM is BRE’s flagship measure of sustainable design, and since 2014 aligning this with Chinese domestic energy standards has been a top priority in the hope of attracting a new audience to the scheme. But what impact could this have? The scale of development makes success hard to define. Shanghai for example is a […]