In December 2016, Dr Peter Bonfield OBE published the results of an extensive investigation to the energy efficiency industry. Entitled "Each Homes Counts", the Report was the result of18 months of research and was billed as "an independent review of consumer advice, protection, standards and enforcement for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Commissioned jointly by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the 68 page review covered three key questions. It considered 1) the quality of customer advice and protection, 2) the standards frameworks underpinning the quality of works, and 3) the effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement measures. In addition to evaluating the present state of the industry, it also set out a clear action plan for improvement over the coming years.
The trade body Interpave calls on housing providers to take the lead in developing wider use of sustainable drainage (SuDS) and concrete block permeable paving on developments, in line with national planning policy.
Some 20 months ago, the Government chose to abandon dedicated requirements for SuDS on new developments using the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act. Instead, an additional policy now sits alongside the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), spelling out “the Government’s expectation … that sustainable drainage systems will be provided in new developments wherever this is appropriate”.
The trade association Interpave discusses the role of precast concrete paving at an award-winning, high-density housing project.
Traflagar Place forms the first phase of a wider £1.5 billion, 28-acre regeneration scheme of the 1970s Heygate Estate near London’s Elephant and Castle. It replaces four buildings sat in isolation among sparse 1960s landscaping, albeit including mature trees, many of which have been retained. This part of the estate has been replaced by 235 high-quality homes of which 25% are affordable housing. The scheme is ‘tenure-blind’ and all types of homes are built with the same quality of materials and guaranteed outside spaces including communal gardens, podium and roof terrace, and private balconies.
2017 promises to a big year for the UK housing industry both for private, social and local authority funded projects. The Government has announced ambitious plans to combat the housing shortage, including the recent announcement of 14 new garden villages and 3 garden towns to be built across England over the next few years.
In order to meet the requirement for high quality, environmentally sound homes that are good to live in and economical to run as a result of an energy efficient structure, builders and developers must look beyond current conventional building practices and start to explore new ways of building that meet the twin needs of speed and quality.
Increasingly the use of timber, combined with modern methods of construction, including offsite, is seen as the solution.
Dukeminster Court in Dunstable can accommodate residents with a wide range of needs, including those seeking residential and dementia care. With natural daylight and ventilation having proven positive effects, the Windoor System 1000 Light balcony enclosures were chosen to enhance the residents’ health and wellbeing.
Many of the rooms at Dukeminster Court benefit from inset balconies - the balcony space being inset rather than projecting from the facade - which increase the natural light and ventilation.
Public sector procurement specialist, LHC, hosted its anniversary event and awards ceremony on Thursday 13th October at The Brewery, London. The event bought together over 320 public sector clients, framework suppliers and partners to celebrate 50 years of excellence.
The lunchtime event, which was co-hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE, celebrated the success of LHC’s stakeholders and included an exclusive pre-event seminar programme for LHC clients, which focused on key topical issues, including Brexit, energy efficiency and off-site construction of housing in the public sector. The seminar sessions were followed by the LHC awards which were delivered to both clients and suppliers who have worked to deliver excellence.