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Links for March 23rd through March 27th

by Mel Starrs on March 30, 2012

in News

These are my links for March 23rd through March 27th:

  • Low Carbon Heat Plans Revealed – Department of Energy and Climate Change – "DECC is launching a consultation today proposing an interim measure to keep the RHI within the budgetary limits set by the Comprehensive Spending Review. This includes the possibility of giving industry one month’s notice to temporarily suspend the scheme to new entrants if 80% of the available budget is expected to be spent. In the interests of transparency and ensuring industry is not taken by surprise, regular updates on the budget spend will be published. These measures will be in place as early as the summer and will last until the longer term cost control system is in place."
  • Possible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate | – Passivhaus in US seems to be on the cusp of dumbing down?: "So in January, when Passive House Institute U.S. director Katrin Klingenberg blogged that the PHIUS Tech Committee would examine data from 100 PHIUS projects certified so far and would field comments from the building community about possibly relaxing the Passivhaus standard for some projects in extremely cold climates, responses to the idea were predictably vigorous."
  • Energy retrofit tool for buildings – Publications – News, Publications & Events | BioRegional: solutions for sustainability – Energy retrofit tool for buildings
    Not tried this out yet – so not an endorsement, but free and Excel: "We have made this tool to help you model the outcomes of different energy retrofit strategies on building stock in your area.
    It can be used for projects of any size, from one building upwards.
    The tool will show costs, carbon savings, payback periods, value for money and remaining carbon emissions."
  • ACE – A long road to upgrading private rented homes – Andrew Warren on form as usual: "For a start, if the problem has been clearly identified, why are we waiting until 2018 for action? Unlike the commercial sector, most residential tenures, certainly most leases, can be measured in months, not years. Over half such properties have new tenants every two years. The familiar split incentive, between who pays the fuel bills and who funds/organises any energy improvements, is thus exacerbated.
    Statistically, the average rented home could well be on to its fourth set of tenants before the new requirement, enacted in 2011, starts operating seriously. This seems peculiarly perverse, as statutorily under the Warm Homes Act 2000, the government is obliged to have removed all vulnerable households from fuel poverty by 2016 – two years before this “outlaw F and G ratings” law kicks in."
  • Building4Change : Stricter systems and verification needed to build zero carbon homes – "The report found that housing providers need to be more committed to the energy and carbon performance of homes, and to ensuring that claims made by designers, contractors, developers and suppliers are supported by robust evidence.
    It says design processes should be improved to:
    increase the robustness of detailed design and thermal calculations
    consider ‘as built' performance, including tolerances in all calculations
    take into account the construction sequence
    Construction processes need to be improved so that:
    construction sequence and operations are planned in more detail and include in-production testing
    on-site briefings assure that everyone involved is sufficiently aware of the issues to do their job well
    changes during construction are closely controlled to ensure performance is not compromised
    specification, installation and commissioning of mechanical ventilation and other services is more robust, so that expected efficiencies are realised."
  • RIBA launches guide to building a sustainable architecture practice at Ecobuild 2012 – This is very useful: "The free guide, written by architect and sustainability expert Lynne Sullivan OBE, provides helpful first-step information designed to help architects integrate sustainability into their daily practice.
    From the drivers of sustainability through to the current and forthcoming EU and UK legislation and policy context, the guide looks at the strong business case for, and benefits of, sustainability for the client. The guide also reveals an easy-to-follow 10 step guide to building a sustainable practice from acquiring the knowledge and skills, through to applying the correct project methodology and how to monitor sustainability projects."