How to avoid thermal bridging | Buildpass.
May 26, 2022
Thermal Bridging can have a huge impact on your home’s energy efficiency. But, what is it exactly and how can we avoid its negative effects? In the world of energy efficiency and sustainable construction, thermal bridging is a popular term that we need to discuss and understand. A thermal bridge, also known as a coldRead the full article…
5 tips for environmentally responsible construction.
May 18, 2022
Across the construction sector, developers are changing the status quo by introducing environmentally responsible construction approaches to help reduce impact. Here are 5 tips for environmentally responsible construction and how you can implement them into your next build.
Sadly, the construction industry gets a bad rap in terms of sustainability. It’s easy to see why when the sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of the climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution and 50% of landfill wastes. In addition, 32% of landfill waste comes from the construction and demolition of buildings.
There’s many organisations across the globe making waves in sustainable construction, becoming inspiration for us all and it’s super exciting to see how the world is going to change and create magnificent environmentally responsible construction. So, where do we start?
In this blog, we will go through 5 ways that we can implement environmentally responsible construction:
Increase your energy efficiency
Safe waste management
Choose between new build or reuse.
Keep reading to find out more.
H2: 1 – Sustainable materials.
Sustainable materials are the ‘go-to’ for many construction developers when trying to be environmentally responsible due to their low environmental impact. Using eco-friendly materials is super beneficial for the construction industry as it’s positive for the environment and for the occupants of the building. Building a green home reduces carbon emissions, saves energy and money on energy bills, meaning you provide your customers with a long term investment.
You might not think so, but there’s many sustainable materials to consider. Developers can go into depth with eco-friendly windows, insulation, foundations, bricks when building their client’s home. They will then purchase specialised recycled materials such Aluminium, Wood Fibre, Sheep Wool, Ashcrete and many more.
However, a bad design can cancel out any gains you will make when choosing eco-friendly materials, which is why it’s so important to choose to get a sustainability consultant on board as early as possible. To see how eco design and eco materials can go hand in hand, check out our Deanfield House client story.
H2: 2 – Passivhaus design.
Passivhaus is the real deal when it comes to environmentally responsible construction. Passivhaus (EnerPHit) is a brilliant solution that provides the construction industry with approaches to create net-zero builds as well as retrofitting existing. The Passivhaus design was created to consume 90% less heating and cooling energy than the conventional building, helping to keep the occupants comfortable through the winter and cool in the summer.
However, every building that is designed as a Passivhaus needs to pass the Passivhaus standard. Passivhaus is actually a German approach developed by the PassivHaus Institute and can only be certified through a rigorous quality assurance process, but it’s totally worth it.
Throughout Europe, construction developers have been using Passivhaus to create incredible buildings that are top of the Passivhaus standard. If we move closer to home, London is also introducing Passivhaus into their construction space with a development being built in Canary Wharf set to be Europe’s largest Passivhaus scheme. Passivhaus is definitely one to watch!
H2: 3 – Increase your energy efficiency.
Being energy efficient is essential in reducing your impact on the environment. Energy efficiency means you will be using less energy across the home, reducing energy waste and yourself saving money.
There’s many ways to reduce your energy efficiency such as:
Replacing light bulbs with LED
Using natural heating
Investing in double or triple glazing
Choosing energy efficient appliances
Insulating your loft and walls
However, how do you know whether you are increasing your energy efficiency? The construction industry uses the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to understand the energy efficiency and carbon emission of your home. The EPC is typically used for buildings that are being sold let or constructed in the UK. If you need an Energy Performance Certificate for your home or project, you can visit the Gov website to find a registered domestic assessor in your area.
RELATED: WHAT IS A KILOWATT HOUR?
H2: 4 – Safe waste management.
It’s no secret that the construction industry is responsible for a large amount of waste generation. Developers also need to take into consideration the end of a building’s life, where materials need to be deconstructed or demolished, which can generate a significant amount of waste too. Construction waste can include materials such as insulation, wood, glass, paints, metallic wastes and much more.
There’s many plans that consider safe waste management such as the BREEAM which can be introduced before construction begins at a site. This will allow developers to see how materials can be managed efficiently and disposed of legally during and after the construction process. There’s also an opportunity to explore how to reuse and recycle materials, giving developers knowledge and ability to make the most environmentally friendly decision.
Another safe waste management approach is the Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHR) which can be considered once the home is built! The WWHR extracts heat from the water that is used from your shower and repurposes it to warm the incoming mains water. It does this by passing the waste water through a heat exchanger and then using it to pre-warm the cold feed of your thermostatic shower.
RELATED: IS IT ENOUGH TO SIMPLY REDUCE OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?
H2: 5 – Choose between a new build or re-use.
If you are about to purchase a build, we understand that trying to decide whether a new build or a reuse is more environmentally responsible can be confusing: but, it’s a choice many developers need to make. There’s many pros and cons to both such as financial returns, building risks and environmental responsibilities.
In a nutshell, new builds are typically worse for the environment, but in fact, the amount of greenhouse gases that are released pollutes more than the refurbishments. In addition, carbon emissions from a new build have been shown to be higher than a renovation after 30 years, suggesting that a focus on renovations would work towards reducing carbon emissions.
There’s multiple schemes to help with both situations such as the New Green Homes grant which encourages home owners to refurbish current homes and also the Building, better, building beautiful project which was created to promote high quality designs for new homes and neighbourhoods across England.
At the end of the day, choosing between a new build or reuse is down to you. Read the blog ‘New Build VS Re-Use: What’s Better Environmentally?’ to find out more.
H2: Can Buildpass help me make my construction project more sustainable?
It can be tricky to figure out what is best for you and your project, especially when considering environmentally responsible construction. But, we can help. We offer a range of services such as Energy Performance Certificates, Daylight Calculations, Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies, Passivhaus and much more.
Book in for a call with a member of the team so we can discuss your situation and book the next steps!
Low carbon retrofitting | The ultimate guide.
May 9, 2022
Low carbon retrofitting is a new scheme within the UK that focuses on improving the energy efficiency of older homes, helping them to become net zero and reach their full energy efficiency potential.Read the full article…
SAP calculations for conversions | Buildpass
May 3, 2022
Interested in converting your build? Getting a SAP Calculation should be a top priority in your planning and design. But don’t worry, this blog will go into detail about all things conversions and SAP calculations. Read the full article…
7 things you might not know about building retrofits.
April 25, 2022
Retrofitting is rising in popularity within the construction industry due to its positive effects on the environment and on occupants. In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about building retrofits. Retrofitting is huge within the construction industry, especially as developers look to become more eco-friendly. Retrofitting buildings helps to createRead the full article…
Buildpass investigates… Part L partnerships.
April 1, 2022
In the next couple of months, the government is planning to make changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which will come into effect this June. These changes have sparked discussion across the industry about how to best achieve compliance. What is Part L of the Building Regulations and why is it important? PartRead the full article…
GUEST POST: Net Zero will require collaboration, not conflict.
March 21, 2022
In our latest addition to the Buildpass Guest Post Series, Andrew Carpenter – Chief Executive at the Structural Timber Association (STA) – looks at the recent focus on embodied carbon in the built environment and explains why a more positive approach to communication about different building materials is essential. Reducing the embodied carbon of buildingsRead the full article…
What is water neutrality?
March 8, 2022
As the people around the world start to recognise the importance of their water footprint, the Environment Agency and many other companies have begun to explore Water Neutrality with the goal to reduce water usage and promote positive actions within the construction industry. Due to the accelerated rate of housing growth, new builds and theRead the full article…
5 green buildings from around the world (and what you can learn from them).
February 23, 2022
Across the world, countries are creating magnificent green buildings to help reduce environmental impact and inspire other developers. Here’s our top 5 green buildings from across the world that you need to take note of. Sustainability throughout the construction industry is at a really exciting point, with countries from around the world beginning to buildRead the full article…
How to make your home more water efficient.
February 10, 2022
Water is a vital part of our daily lives. However the more we build, the more our water resources are stretched. It’s now more important than ever to make your home more water efficient. Often, we focus purely on energy efficiency, gas and electricity when it comes to our homes; but what about water? WaterRead the full article…
How can I responsibly retrofit a traditional building?
January 24, 2022
As many developers are looking to reduce their environmental impact, they are choosing to retrofit traditional builds across the UK. However, retrofits are not one size fits all and there are many avenues to consider before planning a retrofit approach.Read the full article…
Hiring an energy consultant? Here are 7 things to consider.
January 13, 2022
You know you want to reduce your energy usage and would like help from a professional energy consultant, but where do you start? Our latest blog (and handy checklist) will ease the stress and help you find the perfect consultant for you and your project.Read the full article…
2021 | A year in review for Buildpass.
December 31, 2021
2021 has once again been a year of highs and lows. Here at Buildpass, we want to celebrate the successes of the past 12 months. As the year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to look back and reflect on what has been a busy and exciting year for Buildpass. WeRead the full article…
Buildpass investigates… New homes, less carbon?
December 22, 2021
New government rules say new homes and buildings across England are being asked to produce significantly less CO2 to help the country move closer to their net zero targets.Read the full article…
New build vs re-use: what’s better environmentally?
December 17, 2021
In this blog, we will be exploring the pros and cons of both new builds and re-use to help find the best route for you, your project and the environment.Read the full article…
Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF) – Case Study
December 14, 2021
In this case study, we are going to look at a low-energy self-build in Glasgow, Scotland. This recently finished property boasts both a striking and contemporary aesthetic, teamed with extremely innovative design considerations. So much so, the home has been shortlisted for the ‘Best ICF Home’ category in the 2021 Build It Awards.Read the full article…
10 ways to stay warm without gas or electricity.
December 7, 2021
As the sun begins to set at 4pm and jack frost makes a brisk entrance, it’s clear that the cold wintery nights are upon us. But, how do we stay warm without electricity? As we begin to head into the colder months of the year, keeping warm in our home is essential. But, as theRead the full article…
Triple glazing | The pros and the cons
November 28, 2021
Whether you are building a new home or renovating, it’s probably crossed your mind about what windows you would like to integrate into the property. This is especially important if you are aiming to design an energy conscious dwelling, as your windows are a core way to make your dwelling more efficient.
There are many avenues to consider to make your home more energy efficient, such as triple glazing, but is it actually worth the money and time?Read the full article…
Energy Performance Certificates explained | Buildpass
November 17, 2021
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a simple way for the industry to understand the energy efficiency and carbon emission of your home. The certificate is used for buildings which are being sold, let or constructed in the UK. Read our latest blog for the full lowdown on EPCs, who needs them and how they are calculated. Read the full article…
Buildpass investigates | Building with nature
November 7, 2021
The Building with Nature standard is working to develop a new generation of development, raising the bar in the construction industry and showing us how to build for people and wildlife. Without a shadow of a doubt, the construction industry can have a detrimental effect on humans and wildlife across the world, damaging habitats andRead the full article…
Who is eligible for the £5,000 heat pump grant? | Buildpass investigates.
October 29, 2021
The government has announced that they will offer households across England and Wales grants of £5,000 to help them replace old gas builders with low carbon heat pumps. This new scheme is a part of the government’s Heat and Building Strategy and has received £450m to run over three years and serve 90,000 homes. Find out more in our latest blog.Read the full article…
BREEAM Responsible Sourcing of Materials | A Guide
October 21, 2021
To make sure you secure your BREEAM Outstanding rating, it’s essential for you to consider the responsible sourcing of materials for the development of your build. In our latest article, we talk about what responsible sourcing actually means and how it could impact your future development.Read the full article…
10 helpful ways to reduce your autumn energy bills.
October 11, 2021
As we move into autumn, it’s inevitable that our energy bills will increase. However, there’s a few things we can do to reduce our energy bills. Read our latest blog on the top 10 ways to save money on your autumn energy billsRead the full article…
What is Passivhaus retrofit?
September 29, 2021
The passivhaus retrofit involves the renovation of older homes, helping to reach the passivHaus standards. When achieved, this will allow even the oldest of homes to successfully achieve energy-efficiency and reduced energy usage. It’s a trickier process than it is for new builds, but 100% worth the time and investment. Find out more in our latest blog post.Read the full article…
Canary Wharf to host Europe’s biggest Passivhaus development.
September 20, 2021
by architect Apt, Tower Hamlets council has been given the green light for the Urbanest student accommodation complex which will consist of three towers of 28, 36 and 48 storeys rising from a four storey podium. Read the full article…