The Green Register Blog

For and by sustainable construction professionals

Water softeners - Why and how to treat hard water

Posted on September 1st, 2015

Cath Hassell | ech2o 

Water softeners

Anyone who lives in a hard water area in the UK (60% of homes) will be familiar with scale in kettles, on taps and shower screens, a lack of lather from soap, washing powder, etc, scum around baths and scratchy towels. While visible scale is unsightly and hard water is detergent hungry, the real issue is the deleterious effect that scale deposits have on heating systems by reducing the rate of heat transfer. This effect is not immediately...

Posted in Features, General News, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development, Water

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Government scraps Zero Carbon Standard.....as the Builders’ Book is launched

Posted on August 1st, 2015

Tom Dollard | Head of Sustainable Design Pollard Thomas Edwards

The latest instalment in the Zero Carbon Homes saga is rather shocking. Unlike previous chapters which have seen an almost understandable watering down of the policy, this time the Conservatives have let rip their true blue colours! George Osborne has completely given up pretending that the Tories care for environmental policy, and has lead a U-turn on policy that had achieved cross industry...

Posted in Carbon emissions, Case Studies, Features, General News, Legislation, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development, Uncategorised

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Will sustainable homes ever become the norm?

Posted on July 1st, 2015

Lucy Pedler | Director | The Green Register

At the end of last year, I made a comment in one of my TGR blogs about the demise of the Code for Sustainable Homes stating: ‘For seven years, we have had a nationally recognised, holistic standard for measuring the sustainability of new buildings and in my humble opinion, abolishing the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) earlier this year has been a big...

Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, General News, Have your say, Legislation, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development

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Does office refurbishment neglect sustainability in the drive to maximise profit?

Posted on June 1st, 2015

Cora Kwiatkowski | Senior Associate | Stride Treglown

The reuse and refurbishment of existing buildings with their embodied carbon is intrinsically sustainable, provided that they can operate effectively and efficiently and that they are located in a sustainable location. But are all buildings really suitable for refurbishment and how can a balance between sustainability and return be struck?

Given that we are just climbing our way out of recession, investment still mainly concentrates on the...

Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, General News, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development

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Has the Sergeant Pepper of legislation already been passed?

Posted on May 6th, 2015

Rob Borruso

Two things have been vexing me quite a lot recently. Firstly, the resistance to actually getting things done caused by all the legislation I (we) have to deal with these days. And, secondly, ever since the radio broke in my digger, which of 300+ albums stored on my phone to play next.

I'll tackle the more important issue first. I've various apps on my phone that claim, after I make an initial choice, to be able to compile play-lists for me. Aside from the fact the apps don't know whether I'm path smoothing...

Posted in Features, General News, Have your say, Legislation, Recommended

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How is the Energy Efficiency Directive changing the way we do business?

Posted on April 1st, 2015

Chris Hocknell | Eight Associates

How is the Energy Efficiency Directive changing the way we do business? Is it really achieving its goals or is it just a soft-touch regulation without real tangible achievements?

Overview and Policy Context

Several regulatory instruments have been implemented within the UK to ensure that the UK achieves the cumulative final energy saving target of 27.86 Mtoe by 2020 (2014-2020 period), as per its NEEAP (National Energy Efficiency Action Plan) in...

Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, General News, Legislation, Recommended

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Legionella - the risks and the solutions

Posted on March 1st, 2015

Cath Hassell | ech2o 

Legionella pneumophila bacteria (first identified in July 1976) are found in all types of nutrient-rich fresh water environments, including rivers and streams. From these sources they enter and colonise man-made water systems such as humidifiers, cooling towers and hot and cold water systems. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C. Legionella only become a risk to health if the bacteria multiply rapidly, which occurs when temperatures are between 20-45°C...

Posted in General News, Recommended, Water

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Zero Carbon Homes and the Performance Gap

Posted on February 1st, 2015

Tom Dollard | Pollard Thomas Edwards

The Zero Carbon Hub’s recent work with industry has found extensive evidence of a considerable ‘Performance Gap’ between the energy use of new homes as-designed and the actual use of the completed building. This gap occurs when a constructed home requires more energy than was predicted during its design, before taking into account the behaviour of occupants.

This gap represents a significant risk to...

Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Recommended, Sustainable Development

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Total Washroom Control – an answer to water wastage in schools?

Posted on January 1st, 2015

Cath Hassell | ech2o 

Anyone who is used to working in the commercial sector and looking at scoring easy BREEAM points will already know all about total washroom control (1). For the rest of you think urinal controls only bigger, better, faster, exerting control over all the water supply into a toilet block.

Benchmarking of schools

The main way of comparing different buildings with regards to how much water they use is based on the number of building users. For schools the...

Posted in Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development, Water

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Sustainable Construction - 2000 to date – are we there yet?

Posted on December 1st, 2014

Lucy Pedler | The Green Register

I recently made a presentation to a room full of architects for the RIBA South West in Exeter. Having been given free reign about what to present, I chose to take a look at what progress we have, or have not, made since the turn of the century.

There is no doubt that Bill Dunster’s BedZed scheme in south London welcomed the new century in with a bang. It is one of the most...

Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development

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