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-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 […]