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Links for May 21st through May 23rd

by Mel Starrs on May 26, 2012

in News

These are my links for May 21st through May 23rd:

  • Local guidelines for retrofit must not be a planning afterthought | Housing network | Guardian Professional – Very sensible article – worth reading whole thing: "To prevent planning blockages, planners will need to use local plans to set out what external appearance of properties will be acceptable and where it will be acceptable. Where Green Deal providers follow this guidance, I believe that they should automatically be allowed planning permission. This approach already works for building regulations certification, where builders use compliant materials and technologies.
    Get planning guidance and the Green Deal right, and we could not only upgrade the energy efficiency of homes but also significantly improve the architectural value of some our housing stock, including poorly designed Edwardian or inter-war mass housing estates."
  • John Cantor Heat Pumps: Repairing a heat pump – How well is it carried out? – John's blogs are few and far between but always wortha read: "To finish my dig at the old-school ways of refrigeration engineers, I fairly recently watched an engineer weigh-in the correct charge of refrigerant. Great I thought, but when he got to the required level (calculated in his head!), he added a bit for luck! Why did he do this?! Maybe being helpful to allow for any futures seepage. But this extra amount will potentially reduce the efficiency. Maybe a fresh look at the importance of getting our systems optimised and energy-efficient is needed."
  • Planning Portal – Study highlights benefits of green infrastructure – "The year-long assessment by Tim Sunderland, an economist at Natural England, confirmed that:
    people are prepared to pay 19 per cent more for homes near a park
    people with good access to green space are 24 per cent more likely to be physically active"
    a 10 per cent increase in green space in a city like Manchester could prevent a temperature rise of more than three degrees Centigrade.
  • China to boost construction of green buildings|Policies| – "BEIJING – The Chinese government has established a goal of having green buildings account for 30 percent of new construction projects by 2020, according to an official document released Sunday.
    The document also specifies a goal of bringing China's building energy consumption ratio closer to that of developed countries by 2020.
    Different from ordinary buildings, green buildings require construction projects to save as much energy, land, water and materials as possible throughout their life cycle to protect the environment and reduce pollution, according to an evaluation standard for green buildings released by the Chinese government in 2006."
  • Water: It’s this season’s energy – Sustainability article from NBS – Good article on water from Get Sust: "Meanwhile, at the global level, the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June will see the launch of the 'UN-Water status report on the application of integrated approaches to water resource management'. This does not just cover those countries that routinely suffer from water stress, but includes a proposal to establish a global reporting mechanism for national water resources management and the development of country-specific targets for integrated water resource management (IWRM) by 2015. An aquatic version of carbon counting, perhaps?"
  • Green Agenda and Green Performance: Is There a Link? Quantifying the Financial Benefits of Sustainability for European Listed Real Estate Companies by Marcelo Cajias, Peter Geiger, Sven Bienert :: SSRN – "The investigation of eighty European listed real estate companies from 2006 until 2009 enables us to classify firms across different levels of Sustainability intensity. A green performance is shown in the sense of the firm’s idiosyncratic risk and the ability to generate revenues. After controlling for all other factors we apply a panel analysis in a conditional and unconditional regression framework to quantify the impact of an intensive green agenda. Our findings suggest a positive linkage between a green agenda and a green performance, especially in terms of an increased ability to generate revenues and a decreased level of idiosyncratic risk. As a result, green commitments are not merely altruisms, but rather economically driven."
  • Environmental and Economic Assessment of a Greenhouse Waste Heat Exchange by Rob Andrews, Joshua Pearce :: SSRN – "As the economic costs of energy and the negative externalities associated with the combustion of fossil fuels threaten the economic viability of greenhouses in northern climates there is a renewed interest in the use of waste heat. This paper presents a technical and economic methodology to determine the viability of establishing waste heat greenhouses using the waste heat from industrial processes in northern climates. A case study is presented of an exchange between a tomato greenhouse and a flat glass manufacturing plant, which found the waste heat system is significantly more economic to operate than a purely natural gas system."
  • Better Buildings Partnership – Transactional Agents Sustainability Toolkit – "Knowledge of the sustainable aspects of a building and how this can influence costs, comforts and desires of occupiers has not typically been within the remit of agents. This situation is now changing with agents now expected to have a greater understanding of how they can best advise their clients on the sustainability features of a building.
    The BBP have, therefore, developed the Transactional Agents Sustainability Toolkit to provide agents with concise, clear information on the pros and cons of a comprehensive range of building elements. Topics include energy, water, waste, transport, biodiversity, rating systems and regulations.
    It is hoped that this Toolkit is widely used as a practical reference guide to stimulate change in how letting and sales agents advise their clients in providing suitable and more sustainable space"
  • Building Energy Use Not Primed to Occupancy, MIT Says · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader – Is this news? Occupancy optimisation can have a greater impact than energy efficiency measures: "MIT researchers have found that energy use does not always correspond to occupancy.
    Their study, ENERNET: Studying the dynamic relationship between building occupancy and energy consumption, examining two MIT buildings, found that while electricity use corresponds to occupancy fairly well in those spaces, the activity of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the buildings does not correlate closely to occupancy."