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A look back at 2020.

December 21, 2020

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

With 2020 drawing to a close, many of us will be feeling more than ready to close the door on a difficult year. However, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back on the things we have achieved in the past 12 months.

There’s no escaping the fact that 2020 has been an incredibly challenging and trying year. When we compare the world we are living in now to the one this time last year, it feels like a lifetime ago. And while navigating our ‘new normal’ has been far from easy, we do believe that – here at Buildpass – we have a lot to still be grateful for.

So we wanted to celebrate it – to shine a light on the things that we achieved, despite setbacks, during this transformative year. We hope you can do the same!

We used the time to improve our skill set.

Like many, we experienced a slow period of work during the first lockdown. Although this was far from ideal, we used the opportunity to improve our knowledge and add to our already wide ranging service offering. This included achieving Passivhaus Design accreditation and Retrofit Co-ordination – hooray!

We adopted new ways of working.

We love to learn, and so we were excited for the opportunity to introduce new ways of working once the building sites reopened. This enabled us to help both staff and clients remain safe, while still allowing us to support our clients in the best, most efficient way possible. 

We were so, so pleased to see the housing industry continue, and have recently had some epic requests coming thick and fast… especially in the build up to Christmas!

We welcomed some exciting clients to the Buildpass books.

We have had the honour of working with some exciting new clients this year, including the New Forest National Park Authority, Aster Housing Group and Winchester City Council. 

But, in addition, we have also seen many new schemes from our existing client base, and while working practices have certainly changed it’s fantastic to be able to support our loyal customer base. We have also really enjoyed hearing and connecting over everyone’s individual stories as we have all worked through these unique challenges. 

We started getting to grips with the new EPC register.

This year, the new EPC register was introduced; we were happy to see the transition worked really well with minimal disruption. Saying that, it has taken us a while to get used to the new look EPC! 

We are also waiting with baited breath for news on the new building regulation for part L and part F – we cannot wait to see how they turn out. We appreciate that everyone has had their hands full with Brexit and Covid-19, but it looks like we might finally see them in the spring. We will be taking an in-depth review of the changes and what they will mean for your new developments in the new year.

We dug our teeth into Buildpass’ social media.

Lockdown also gave us an unexpected opportunity to work on our social media presence as a company, looking at new ways to communicate with our clients and create new connections. This has led to some brilliant collaborative opportunities, including many guest posts both on our own website and with Buildpass providing content for other brand platforms.

We embedded ourselves in various conversations surrounding the green agenda.

A lot has changed this year when it comes to the sustainable landscape; we’ve really started to see things moving in the right direction.

It was particularly exciting to see the buzz around the green recovery. We have had the pleasure of taking part in  groups and discussions on how we – as an industry – can keep the pressure on the government so that they don’t take their feet off of the accelerator. What has been really encouraging is the work the LETI have been doing on both a national and regional level and the increasing focus on Embodied Carbon; it’s something we really hope will continue to ride the wave of enthusiasm.

Another bonus, is that we have seen the renewable heat incentive extended for another year, as well as the introduction of the Green Grant being to help stimulate the green recovery.

Even so, we do believe that more incentives need to be introduced to help decarbonise buildings. We welcome the new carbon factor for electricity being introduced in an effort to reduce the reliance on gas, although many challenges still exist!

2020 has been tough, but we want to thank our incredible clients for their unwavering support and understanding.

As many of you reading this will appreciate, running a business while homeschooling (we certainly have a new-found respect for the work of our teachers!) and managing the complex emotional responses to a pandemic has been hard. Through it all, our clients have shown us nothing but understanding – thank you, so very much.

On a personal level, my wife works for the NHS and so I have seen firsthand the sacrifices they make. We wholeheartedly thank them for the work they have done and continue to do, day in and day out.

The good news is that we are in a good shape ready to step into 2021 with purpose and determination. We are hopeful that normality is ahead in the not too distant future.

Until then… we wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year. We look forward to working together in 2021!

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