How Collaborative Working is Helping to Deliver Sustainable Cities

The CBI are calling for the next Mayor of London to build 50,000 homes a year, stating that the capital needs to house its talented workers. The delivery of sustainable cities is also a concern raised by the UK Green Building Council, in an article for Planning and Building Control Today. They call for greater collaboration between city councils and the private sector. They say collaboration is key for delivering sustainable cities.

Technology is also aiding collaboration between city planners, industry and energy stakeholders, with a new European online platform which has helped improve building energy efficiency. It allows buildings to be assessed and the energy behaviour of the structure to be monitored. Additionally, it can remotely control public street lighting.

And a new supply chain BREEAM qualification is available. The web-based qualification is designed to enhance the way construction sector professionals including contractors, engineers, architects, product manufacturers and supply chains currently deliver BREEAM. It is hoped this will enhance supply chain delivery, when undertaking the BREEAM process, so the best result is achieved in the most efficient way.

Constructing Healthy Spaces

In a radical new move NHS England are also looking to collaborate with the built environment. NHS England are contributing to the housing design on 10 developments, in a healthy new towns experiment. Saying   “This programme offers a golden opportunity to radically rethink how we live – and takes an ambitious look at improving health through the built environment.” This theme is echoed in a new campaign by the UK Green Building Council, where they are asking people to share good examples of healthy spaces. See also the UK Green Building Council’s recently published report Health, wellbeing and productivity in retail: The impact of green buildings on people and profit.

Delivering Low Energy Homes

This month has seen the launch of the Zero Bills Home on the BRE Innovation Park. The house is designed by RIBA award winning zero carbon design and development pioneers ZEDfactory* The clever design that minimises energy requirements, the very low energy needs of the household are met by a roof-integrated PV and energy storage system which can also generate enough power to service a small electric vehicle!

Research from the National Energy Foundation has revealed low-carbon SuperHomes are also low-energy homes. A review of the report is presented in an article from Planning and Building Control Today. NHBC Foundation has published an interesting guide, which would also be a useful inspiration for new product development. The new guide describes the spectrum of new home technology.

These announcements come just prior to the publication of the Bonfield Review. An overview of the review, now called Every Home Matters, was presented at Ecobuild. A summary of this can be found in our article Gaining Consumer Confidence is Key to Upgrading Housing Stock. And the Energy and Climate Change Committee concludes in their report that the Government must do more to improve the energy efficiency of homes – including reinstating the zero carbon homes policy.


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