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Grand Designs: Cob Castle

31 October 2018

Yesterday’s episode of Grand Designs revisited ‘cob castle’, one of the largest houses to feature on the programme and also happens to be one of our previous clients! As described, the house is made from cob which is a natural building material made from subsoil, water, fibrous organic material and occasionally lime. Our energy consultant, Lisa, remembers the project well: “Performing the SAP calculation was an interesting challenge as seven years ago cob wasn’t a

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Autumn 2018 Budget: What does it mean for Housing?

30 October 2018

In his 2018 Autumn Budget statement to Parliament, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced a series of proposals aimed to tackle the shortage of housing. Top of the list was an extra £500 million for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, a government capital grant programme which encourages housing development in areas of high demand.   Mr Hammond promised the money would help build 650,000 more homes through allow local authorities to make additional grant funding

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What are SAP calculations?

18 October 2018

Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is the government’s standard methodology for calculating the energy performance of new build domestic dwellings. Using basic presumptions for occupancy and behaviour, SAP calculations evaluate energy performance of properties and are required by Building Regulations/Standards before commencing building work.  A ‘full SAP’ EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is produced as a result of a SAP Assessment, which scores a property from 1 to 100 (also denoted as A to G) based on

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Environmental Agency Release ESOS Newsletter

12 October 2018

The Environment Agency has released its latest ESOS newsletter containing the latest updates and key information relating to the scheme. In their October edition, the newsletter reveals the penalties issued to companies that failed to comply with ESOS Phase 1, research on energy audits and reporting, and guidance on Phase 2 qualification and compliance. Research on Energy Audits & Reporting including ESOS BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) has commissioned research contractors

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IPCC Report- How could this affect the Built Environment?

09 October 2018

Recently the BBC has released a report advising how leading world scientists were to meet in South Korea to discuss the realistic feasibility of global temperatures being kept to a limit of 1.5°c rise this century. This meeting falls off the back of the latest IPCC report released on Monday 8th October. It is well documented that the world has already surpassed 1°c rise since 1850 and now the summary of the report suggests that

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SBEM Calculations: What Are They And Why Are They Important

02 October 2018

What are SBEM Calculations? The standards for energy efficiency are becoming increasingly stringent, posing a challenge for developers and property builders. All new commercial buildings must comply with Part L of Building Regulations in England and Wales (Section 6 in Scotland and Part F in Northern Ireland), and should be taken into consideration at design stage. An SBEM or Simplified Building Energy Model is a government-approved methodology utilised to calculate the energy required to heat, cool,

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Grand Designs: Behind the scenes of building your dream home

20 September 2018

Last night cult classic Grand Designs hit our screens again, showing a fantastic collection of ambitious building projects and calamitous events that host Kevin McCloud tries not to revel in. The opportunity to build your own home is the dream for many; ideas that started out as conversations around a dinner table, little drawings, doodles and ideas can be turned into reality - albeit several headaches later. But what really goes into building your own

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Barclays and UK government announce £1 billion of funding for house builders

13 September 2018

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government has partnered with Barclays Bank to make £1 billion of funding available for small and medium-sized house builders. The aim is to encourage more house building from smaller set ups after it was announced that two thirds of homes are built by just 10 companies. It is hoped the fund will level the playing field for smaller entities in an effort to deliver more new homes, social

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Things To Consider In Hiring An Energy Consultant

28 August 2018

When constructing a residential or commercial property, seeking assistance from a professional energy consultant is a must. An energy consultant who works within construction projects will aim to ensure that design standards and construction quality meet the requirements of UK Building Regulations (which establishes the energy efficiency standards of new buildings). We have listed a number of advantages in hiring an energy consultant for building regulation compliance below. License/Certification To ensure consistent standards and quality

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Government announces £22m fund to boost construction skills

28 August 2018

A multi million pound fund to help tackle the skills shortage in the construction industry has been launched by Skills Minister Anne Milton. Last week teenagers up and down the country received their GCSE and A Level results, many hoping to get the required grades to go to university of choice. But the construction industry has long been overlooked as a viable career path and has suffered as a result. The scheme will focus on

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