This month saw the industry descend on ExCel for Ecobuild 2015, highlights of the show can be viewed on their website.

An overview of the Sustainable Homes’ 2015 national conference can be read on Storify, referencing the impact of housing on residents’ health. At the conference the BRE gave a sneak preview of their BREEAM domestic standards for sustainable homes, launched this month at Ecobuild.

The BRE Trust has issued a report on the results of its three year Future Cites research programme. The programme was delivered in collaboration with over 70 partner organisations and, explores four components: ‘smart cities’, ‘liveable cities’, ‘healthy’ and‘resilient cities’. The programme has delivered tangible outputs in the form of tools, guidance and standards that will benefit a range of stakeholders across the built environment.

A draft of the latest in the BREEAM family of sustainability assessment schemes for buildings, BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out 2015, has been published for consultation. The draft scheme document can be downloaded from the BREEAM website here.

BRE has announced its partnership with GRESB, the leading global sustainability benchmark for real estate portfolios. Collaboration between the two global organisations will promote their shared goals of advancing transparency and sustainability performance in the real estate industry.

The government have issued a third release from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) worth up to £70 million. DECC also announced early February that they are extending the period for which vouchers can be reclaimed for the first release of the GDHIF which opened on 9 July 2014. This extension now ends on Tuesday 31 March 2015. This extension covers vouchers that have an expiry date before 31 March 2015 and have not yet been redeemed.  This includes vouchers which have already expired

The Zero Carbon Hub report that new analysis produced by Sweett Group shows that the cost of building to the proposed Zero Carbon Standard have declined significantly since 2011, and are expected to continue to fall as we approach 2020.

Peter Hansford, chief construction adviser, in an article for Infrastructure Intelligence, summarises the Green Construction Boards achievements to date and the challenge going forward, of achieving the low carbon ambition which the industrial strategy for construction – Construction 2025 – is seeking to bring about. Another article by Infrastructure Intelligence highlights the critical next step to the message that ‘driving the reduction of carbon reduces cost’ message is to engage mainstream industry, by boosting levels of followership across the industry supply chain. These articles refer to the ‘Three years on’ report by the Green Construction Board, launched at Ecobuild, which can be downloaded here.

A new guide from EEF, the manufacturers association, entitled Understanding the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme has been published, providing an overview of the scheme, what it is, what is required and when it’s required by.

The Green Construction Board has commissioned Chief Construction Adviser, Peter Hansford to undertake a review of Solid Wall Insulation. The review is to consider what more might be done to unlock demand. Written evidence is being invited to be received by 24th April, a report will be made June 2015.

The NBS provide a useful article onWhat is a U-value? Heat loss, thermal mass and online calculators explained”

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