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Sustainable House

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BE308 CW 1: Sustainable House A Review of the Code For Sustainable Homes Critical Appraisal of a Sustainable Case Study Anthony Phelps (07832233) Table of Contents Code for Sustainable Homes Review 3 Background 3 Breakdown of Categories, Issues, Credits and Weightings 6 Overview 6 Energy and CO2 Emissions 7 Water 7 Materials 8 Surface Water Run-off 8 Waste 9 Pollution 9 Health and Well-being 9 Management 10 Ecology 10 Problems with the Code for Sustainable Homes 10 Conclusion 11 Critical appraisal of new house for energy and CO2 emissions 12 Outline energy strategy 13 Alignment with the Code for Sustainable Homes (Design Stage) 14 Fabric Performance Target Comparison 14 Evaluation and Discussion of Energy Issues 15 Conclusion 16 References 17 Code for Sustainable Homes Review *Personal appraisal is written in italics. Background The overwhelming body of scientific evidence showing that climate change is a serious and urgent issue. In 2004, more than a quarter of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions came from the energy we use to heat, light and run our homes (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2010a). Our commitment to the Kyoto Agreement to reduce our carbon greenhouse gas emission to 5.2% from 1990 levels meant that governmental intervention and legislation must be used to achieve this target. The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced in April 2007, aimed at creating a voluntary national standard to improve the overall sustainability of new homes. The Code superseded the Ecohomes 2006 environmental rating for homes, however this still applies to all housing in Scotland and Wales, and refurbished housing in England (Building Research Establishment Ltd, 2006). The use of sustainability within the name signifies that the code is not only concerned with energy efficiency, but also the construction materials and life cycle of the building. Using a single framework in which to design, construct and assess homes, it allows information to be given to homebuyers about the environmental impact of the home, as well as the potential running costs (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2010d). ...read more.


The author considers this to be a very low figure, being considered not as important as Water, Health + Wellbeing, Management or Ecology. Considering the large amount embodied energy that must be used to create various building materials, it is of the authors opinion that this weighting is possibly too low. 15 credits may be awarded for the environmental impact of materials, and are calculated by using the Green Guide Calculator tool. Additionally, 6 credits may be gained in the specification of responsibly sourced materials for the basic building elements, and 3 for finishing elements. Surface Water Run-off Surface water run-off increases can ingress pollution into the watercourses and increase the risk of flooding. The development of a building can also increase the 'man made impermeable area' (for example a tarmac driveway where water cannot soak through). 1 point is awarded for ensuring no discharge for rainfall depths of 5mm, with an additional point awarded if the run-off from surface receives an appropriate level of treatment in accordance with The SuDS Manual to minimise the risk of pollution. 2 points are available for situating the development in Zone 1 defined in PPS25 and where the Flood Risk Assessment indicates there is low risk of flooding for all areas. This category is only given a weighting factor of 2.2%, making it the least significant. This could be challenged by the continuing threat of flooding and the expansion of building on flood plains, especially in the south-east of England which is sinking due to the isostatic recovery of Scandinavia and Scotland. Waste WAS 1 focuses on providing adequate internal and external storage space for recyclable and non-recyclable household waste, and is an important consideration as it will both encourage people to recycle and provide an appropriate storage area for both types, helping to ensure waste does not litter outside streets. Brighton terraced student houses have a particular problem in regard to this. ...read more.


(Good Homes Alliance, 2010, p. 2). Other benefits include 'exceptional' fire performance, with up 2 hours fire resistance, high structural strength and low water vapour permeance. The building utilizes triple glazing which has excellent thermal performance, but triple glazing is more costly to produce, produces much heavier sections and has an embodied energy approximately 50% higher than double glazing (Brinkley, 2008). Consideration should also be given if the building was assessed under the 2010 revised Code. The 2010 revision allocates 9 credits for the consideration of the Fabric Energy Efficiency Issue, assessed by calculating the kWh/m2/year. Although the exact calculation of this figure cannot be completed due to insufficient information and being beyond scope, it would be expected that the building would score a high level due to the very high thermal performance of the building fabric. Conclusion This building is an excellent example of the results that may be achieved by following the Energy and CO2 Emission Category in the Code for Sustainable Homes. In all possible areas the building has excelled to produce a very well insulated, sustainable home with high reliance on renewable technologies which can be quickly and easily constructed. The building fabric meets and surpasses the projected Part L 2016 requirements with the use of materials that have added benefits besides thermal insulation. The low and zero carbon technologies are easily expandable to reduce the dependence on electricity from the electrical grid, and to achieve Level 5 or 6. There is some uncertainty to why this project was not just completed to Level 6 from the onset. Areas of possible further study would include the cost effectiveness of this high quality approach and its potential market price and profitability. It is normally seen that a building with exceptional performance in area normally comes with a price attached. The buildings performance in the other 8 categories of the Code for Sustainable Homes, and its performance against the revised 2010 version of the Code would also prove interesting areas of further study. ...read more.

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