POLICY

BRE’s Green Guide to Specification ARCHIVE

The GHA prepared a critique paper of BRE’s Green Guide to Specification, written by Neil May of Natural Building Technologies and Gary Newman of Plant Fibre Technology. The critique highlighted a number of concerns raised by GHA members related to the use of the Green Guide, particularly:

  • transparency of the LCA data
  • build up of the data into Generic Profiles
  • potential negative impacts on whole-house performance
  • use of the Green Guide as a Planning or Code requirement

Many of these criticisms remain valid today; a copy of the critique and an update following recent responses can be downloaded below.

Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) ARCHIVE

The GHA was a member of the CSH Technical Working Group since 2007, and has worked diligently to try and ensure that the Code will actually deliver truly sustainable homes. During 2008-09 we found problems in several areas – energy, water and materials – and highlighted these in 3 detailed papers.

The energy paper highlights our members’ experience of implementing the energy requirements at Levels 3 & 4, suggesting that there are some inconsistencies in the Code, that the % reduction methodology can be unhelpful for some building types, and that there are significant unintended consequences arising from the fuel factors defined in Building Regulations. These issues were recognised by DCLG and the points were examined and addressed as part of the 2010 review of Part L of the Building Regulations.

The water paper highlighted problems with this section of the code and the water calculator, which were also acknowledged by DCLG and were under consultation as part of the Part G 2010 review. The water calculator has now been updated but inapporapraite rainwater harvesting is still being specified for higher levels of the Code.

Zero Carbon definitions ARCHIVE

The GHA was involved in preparing a position paper on the original definition for zero carbon homes – see our paper below – and GHA members have voted on the usability of the definition at their Christmas debate every year since 2008. In particular, the GHA has been active in promoting the inclusion of as-built performance measurement in the definition.

RESEARCH

Energy Monitoring ARCHIVE

Research into approaches to energy monitoring, development of outline guidance (and membership requirements) for GHA Developer members and identification of further needs for support or assistance. Outputs included a short think paper on energy monitoring and a short briefing note for developers about how to undertake effective monitoring.

Health, Social and Neighbourhood Aspects of Good Homes DELETE

The GHA has completed work on a scoping study, sponsored by RedTree LLP to explore the health, social and community aspects of Good Homes. The full project included a series of interviews, case studies & guidance notes, with the ultimate aim of developing membership criteria that GHA Developers will be required to adopt. This scoping study examined existing research and guidance, and collated GHA members’ views on the key factors for a good neighbourhood.