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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    Our large village in Shropshire is re-visiting it's earlier village plan, which needs to be updated, so the local authority will take note of it.
    We are intending to include (an advisory) higher building standard for any new builds in the Parish.
    I have been searching for similar cases and standards I could use, but haven't been able to locate anything.
    Anyone on here has any bright ideas?
    Cheers Claus
  2.  
    As you are probably aware since the 2015 Deregulation Act its been more difficult/legally impossible for council's to impose higher than minimum standards. You could impose a 'Merton Rule' e.g. 15% onsite renewable energy or CO2 generation/reduction, which a number of council's have passed since 2015, but this would have to be backed up by 'Viability Studies' - which depends a lot on having highish house prices in your village.

    Bath & North East Somerset is currently imposing a 10% renewable requirement (policy SCR1), and is consulting on imposing an additional 9% efficiency requirement on top of that (due May/June) this year, but its difficult under the Deregulation Act.

    At a Parish level the best you can do is encourage your LA to look at Merton and higher standards, and as you say provide some advice, perhaps suggesting planning applications for new homes or extensions will be looked on more favourably if they meet higher standards. Sorry, I don't know of any concrete examples of villages/parish's doing this.

    Also, its useful to encourage your local planners to 'condition' all planning application with higher standards to those higher standards, otherwise developers put in an application which talks about higher standards, then build something to minimum regs.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2018
     
    Posted By: ActivePassiveotherwise developers put in an application which talks about higher standards, then build something to minimum regs.

    I've seen applications where the developers talk about high standards, and then explain that this 'feature' will be met by building to building regs!
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2018
     
    Some London Boroughs ask for PassivevHouse as do some housing associations and notably Exrter City Council

    Go for it, I like Minergie. Any low energy use requirement would be great, our local plan mentions both of these.
  3.  
    Problem with randomly specifying higher standards like PassiveHaus is the village plan won’t be approved by the Planning Inspectorate, better to aim for something which might get through than something which is guaranteed to be thrown out, the 2015 Deregulation act very clearly states builders don’t have to build anything above minimum Building Regs, and was the death knell for Code for Sustainable Homes. London has special powers, so within Viability constraints can sometimes require higher standards, not sure about Exeter, but generally other examples were either approved prior to 2015, or are on council land, even then council’s may struggle if someone challenges them on the basis higher standards put up build costs, and therefore the councils are not maximising land values.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2018 edited
     
    Exeter City Council simply volunteers to build its projects (not just social housing - major commercial developments too) to PH. I'm amazed it's not more famous for this.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2018
     
    They are with me
  4.  
    Our Parish Councillors were conned by a developer who demolished a lovely stone workshop which would have made lovely apartments in favour of 6 modern eco designer homes. What nobody picked up on was the modern looking design was a heating disaster as they mistook the "eco" label to mean well insulated not made with as little material as possible. The village is now left with 6 modern houses that nobody will buy because they cannot afford to heat them.
  5.  
    thanks all for your input
    • CommentAuthordelprado
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2018
     
    As a slightly seperate point, has anyone noticed how many innovative things/building is going on in Ireland?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2018
     
    I have, they are way ahead of us
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2018
     
    Posted By: delpradoAs a slightly seperate point, has anyone noticed how many innovative things/building is going on in Ireland?
    It's been going on for a while, although note much of their existing stock is as bad as ours.
    • CommentAuthorSigaldry
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018
     
    There appears to be a loophole in that while the Deregulation Act (passed in March 2015) put in place the changes of the Housing Standards Review, which amongst other things included removal of the ability of Local Authorities to require higher than Building Regulations energy efficiency standards for new homes, it presupposed that zero carbon homes (approximately equivalent to the energy requirements for Code 4) would be introduced in 2016.

    Transitional arrangements were set out in a Written Ministerial Statement in March 2015(https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/planning-update-march-2015) that made it clear that Local Authorities could continue to require higher than Building Regulations standards for energy efficiency, in expectation of the zero carbon standard, as long as they did not exceed the Code level 4.

    This transitional allowance for higher standards requirements was supposed to last until zero carbon homes was introduced in 2016, but as that was dropped - I presume the transitional provisions are still in effect?

    Local Authorities can also apparently still include Merton style policies in their Plans, with a requirement for a percentage of a development’s energy use to be delivered by renewable or low carbon energy on or near to the site, as part of meeting the Building Regulations energy efficiency standard.

    Personally though, with the same energy efficiency target, I'd suggest that a home with a lower heat demand is a better approach, as its comparatively easy to later add 'bolt-ons' to go further, compared to improving the fabric later.
  6.  
    >>What nobody picked up on was the modern looking design was a heating disaster as they mistook the "eco" label to mean well insulated not made with as little material as possible

    Surely they must meet building regs? While we all know they're not up to much any new regs compliant house is much better than the majority of UK housing stock.
  7.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Simon Still</cite>>>What nobody picked up on was the modern looking design was a heating disaster as they mistook the "eco" label to mean well insulated not made with as little material as possible

    Surely they must meet building regs? While we all know they're not up to much any new regs compliant house is much better than the majority of UK housing stock.</blockquote>

    You would have thought so but I think building control have been conned. It was supposed to be factory built German spec but once planning approved its become a lookalike English built. The defects are now only coming to light because the properties are so difficult to heat. I would think its more down to poor workmanship and attention to detail rather than actually using the wrong materials but thats pure speculation on my part.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018 edited
     
    Simon re , “Surely they must meet building regs? While we all know they're not up to much any new regs compliant house is much better than the majority of UK housing stock.“

    All wrong nothing has to be built to building regs, it must be designed to meet building regs, a very different notion.

    And it is sadly untrue to think that a new regs compliant house is much better than the majority of the stock — barely if at all, sadly.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2018 edited
     
    Posted By: tonyAll wrong nothing has to be built to building regs, it must be designed to meet building regs, a very different notion.

    Well, it has to actually meet the regs. The problem is that the enforcement mechanisms for the two stages are different with consequent differences in the number of cases that are enforced.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2018 edited
     
    It's kind of an odd concept though isn't it? It's (a bit, but more complicated) like saying everyone must obey the speed limit, but no-one can have speedometers or observe drivers. But there are a lot of speed limit signs up! It becomes de facto unenforceable.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2018
     
    Almost no enforcement goes on but worse no testing and minimal checking.
  8.  
    Yep, and not always checking that the installation complies with 3rd party certification.
  9.  
    And I can just imagine the opposition from the mainstream builders to any effective checking and testing program
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2018
     
    All of which is part of the argument for specifying passivhaus certification as a contract requirement.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2018
     
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
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