Posted on October 1st, 2016
We live on a finite planet, resources are limited, most stuff is running out etc. The good news is that there are resources that rely on the sun in one way or another, that are getting constantly renewed, i.e. renewables. These are solar, wind, hydro and biomass (or woodfuel). But biomass is not quite a 'renewable' as we've assumed even without the issue of using arable land to feed power stations instead of people.
As we all know the two 'big' renewables, wind and sun, have some intermittency issues for which...
Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, General News, Have your say, Legislation, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development
Posted on September 1st, 2016
Thomas Vazakas | RPS Group
In 2008, Parliament introduced the Climate Change Act. The Act, which is independent from European Union (EU) legislation, established a legally binding target to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. The recent vote to leave the EU does not change this commitment.
To drive progress and set the UK on a pathway towards this target, the Act introduced a system of carbon budgets to be produced in successive five year...
Posted in Carbon emissions, Features, General News, Have your say, Legislation, Recommended, Sustainable Development
Posted on August 1st, 2016
Cath Hassell | ech2o
The Passivhaus standard is recognised as a methodology that has a major role to play in reducing the 50% of CO2 emissions that come from the UK’s built environment. This is either in a new build scenario or as an EnerPHit to existing buildings - always assuming that Brexit doesn’t mean it will no longer have validity in the UK. But to my mind it has one major flaw, and that is the absence of a design standard for hot water use. 6% of CO2 emissions in the UK come from...
Posted in Carbon emissions, Have your say, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development, Water
Posted on July 1st, 2016
Piers Sadler | Piers Sadler Consulting
I am rarely approached these days about a new project without Passivhaus being mentioned. Most architects and many clients have an understanding that Passivhaus represents the highest standard of energy efficiency; some have an understanding of the energy performance gap and are aware that adopting the Passivhaus standard will help to eliminate it; others are aware that Passivhaus provides excellent thermal comfort and indoor air quality; but few make it easy...
Posted in Carbon emissions, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Recommended, Sustainable Development
Posted on June 1st, 2016
Views from the industry...
With only a few weeks to go, the noise around the In/Out referendum is getting louder. Concerns about the economy, immigration and the strains on public services abound but views on how the construction industry might be affected are less easy to find.
In January, Building magazine reported that there was considerable concern that UK withdrawal from the EU would be damaging for the British construction industry and the magazine has come out in support of staying in the EU. The results of an...
Posted in Features, General News, Have your say, Recommended
Posted on May 1st, 2016
Niall Crosson | Senior Engineer | Ecological Building Systems
Reflecting on the International Passive House Conference, Darmstadt 2016. By Niall Crosson, Senior Engineer at Ecological Building Systems and Member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Green Building Council
I travelled once again to the International Passive House Conference which was held in Darmstadt, Germany from the 22nd to the 24th of April. The International Passive House Conference (IPHC) returned to...
Posted in Events, Features, General News, Have your say
Posted on April 1st, 2016
Thomas Vazakas | Technical Director | RPS
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was introduced by the Government in June 2014 and it obliges all large enterprises to carry out an energy efficiency audit every four years. The scheme is required under the 2012 European Energy Efficiency Directive and has a scope which is wider than current carbon schemes, such as CRC, as the focus is on energy, not carbon. ESOS also covers all parts of an organisation’s energy consumption, including buildings,...
Posted in Carbon emissions, Features, General News, Have your say, Legislation, Recommended
Posted on March 1st, 2016
Lucy Pedler | Director | The Green Register
If you are working in the sustainable construction field, perhaps you will be having some engaging debates in the pub with colleagues about the best way to improve the performance of existing buildings. I know I am.
On the one hand (the argument goes), some existing buildings are losing so much heat through the elements we need to install as much insulation of whatever type to stop this wasteful loss of energy.
On the other hand there is...
Posted in Building envelope, Events, Have your say, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development
Posted on February 1st, 2016
A review by Alain Speed from PDP London architects
I enrolled on the WUFI course with some trepidation. I regarded it as a privilege to have been sponsored by my employer, PDP London, and was determined to get to grips with the programme. WUFI’s reputation and that of the presenters loomed large. Gaining an understanding of the science behind building pathology (relating to harmful moisture) would allow me to make informed judgments when faced with the plethora of information out there about...
Posted in Events, Features, Have your say, Recommended
Posted on February 1st, 2016
Nick Lloyd | Urbane Eco
The most important thing to bear in mind when installing IWI is, in my view, to consider the large quantity of water vapour generated by building occupants, and what happens to it. A family of four will produce anything from ten to twenty litres of water in 24 hours; two litres while sleeping, a couple of litres bathing and showering, four litres cooking, a litre...
Posted in Building envelope, Features, Have your say, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development