The Bournemouth Development Company

In the 1960s a development corporation was established to create the UK’s first modern, planned town. Milton Keynes was touted as a new garden city that followed an American style block system that was all but self-contained in terms of its amenities. Intended to relieve the housing congestion in London, its target population was 250,000 and would occupy 21,850 acres, absorbing a number of towns and villages in the process. Unlike most major town developments, […]

Is the Future Modular Construction?

The concept of prefabrication is nothing new. Examples of buildings being constructed in one place and relocated elsewhere go back centuries including settlement buildings being relocated to Cape Ann in 1624 and a hospital being moved from one place to another in 1801 in the West Indies. In 1855 Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed and oversaw the construction of a 16 unit, 1,000 patient prefabricated modular hospital for use in the Crimean War. Although only in […]

SAP Assessment – it’s all in the Process!

To get the best out of your SAP Assessment (and your SAP Assessor) it’s very important to understand how the process works. A SAP Assessor can (and sometimes should) be involved in all phases of a scheme, from RIBA stages 1 to 6. You may be a contractor, housebuilder, developer or consultant….but let’s say you are a typical architect. You’re busy and up against it. The client has dumped everything on your desk, the builder […]

Occupant Well-being

When designing any kind of building there are a multitude of things to consider. Everything from the exterior look to what taps to use in the bathrooms need to be carefully considered designed and costed. Even the forces within the building have to exactly balance so no one – simply through the act of sitting on their sofa – falls through their living room floor into that of the person living beneath them. In amongst […]

How to Pass L1a with Electric Heating

We are using more power than at any other point in history. This is hardly surprising considering the number of electrical devices the average household uses or relies on a day to day basis. The average British household has 7.4 devices connected to the Internet. All of those need power. Throw in televisions, Blu-ray players and even the wireless router and it’s easy to see how we as a nation are consuming energy at such […]

The Impact of Super Towers

A city skyline is an incredible, romantic and striking thing. It’s also in a constant state of evolution. It’s a rare thing to look out over London and not see half a dozen tower cranes dotted amongst some of the city’s most iconic buildings. One of the newer additions to the London skyline is the Shard. The 95 floor, 310 metre tall super tower was conceived by Irvine Sellar who wanted to create a vertical […]

Sustainability Beyond Regulation

The one constant in life is change. Look at any profession now and compare it to twenty years ago. Or even five years ago. At the top level most things may look the same but dig a little deeper and you’ll see just how far things have come. The automotive industry is a perfect example. Whilst the fundamentals have stayed the same, beneath the body work cars have more computing power than most households. The […]

Are You Too Energy Efficient?

We live in an ever more energy conscious world. The deterioration of the environment has prompted governments the world over to tighten emission regulations, increase sustainability legislation and press for greater energy efficiency. The upside of this ideological shift is that homes are being built in a more environmentally conscious way. Energy efficient technologies are making it cheaper and greener to heat homes and A++ windows keeps it that way. For developers this is a […]

Scotland – What Do Gold Silver & Bronze Mean?

On the 1st May 2011 Sustainability labelling was introduced to the Scottish Building Standards through the Building (Scotland) Act. The labelling system has been designed to reward the achievement of: • Meeting 2010 standards and; • Opting to meet higher levels that include energy and carbon emissions targets, but also broader issues such as water efficiency and flexibility in design. Levels of sustainability are defined as Bronze, Bronze Active, Silver, Silver active and Gold which […]

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 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 […]