The UK-GBC and partners published a major report on the 5 July 2016 which examines the links between good building design and the health and wellbeing of the people living there.
The authors say “This report is about beginning a concerted effort to shift the market towards a focus on the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of the people who occupy the homes we build and retrofit.”
The report focuses on what “built environment professionals can influence through the design, construction, management and refurbishment of homes.” It promotes a positive approach, highlighting how a range of factors including good levels of daylight, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, noise reduction, layout, and space etc. can enhance wellbeing.
The report also includes the results of an online survey carried out by Research Now on behalf of Saint-Gobain during May 2016. Just over 3000 UK homeowners and renters answered questions on health and wellbeing in the home. When people were asked to select features of their ideal home, in order to reveal ‘relative importance’, safety and security topped the list.
See the full report at: Health and Wellbeing in Homes
Public Health England (PHE) published new advice to support people before and during heat waves on 25 May 2016. The guidance is additional to their Heatwave Plan for England.
One of the documents, called ‘Beat the Heat: keep cool at home – checklist’ is a checklist to help people identify situations where overheating in the home may cause harm to health, the actions to take, and how to access further help and support.
PHE says the resource is aimed at members of the public as well as frontline workers (for example, health and social care staff).
Source: Public Health England, Beat the Heat: keep cool at home – checklist
The Zero Carbon Hub (ZCH) published “SAP Untangled” on 8 March 2016. It is an introductory guide to the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for estimating the energy and carbon performance of new dwellings.
The SAP calculation is based on the energy balance of the dwelling over the course of a year, taking into account a range of factors that contribute to energy efficiency.
The Guide provides an overview of the SAP assessment process and pointers on how to choose a SAP assessor. It goes on to describe how different choices could affect the final energy rating of the property, and gives helpful advice on navigating certain pitfalls. For example, the authors note that “changes in [window] frame type, during construction, can cause compliance issues. For example, changing from uPVC to aluminium or composite windows, will alter the U-value and frame factor.”
Developers and their design teams are urged to “always check with the SAP assessor before changing the specification between Design Stage and As Built Stage, especially when substituting products.”
The Guide is part of series of ZCH good practice guides published in the last 6 months.
Zero Carbon Hub, SAP Untangled
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) and partners published a report on the links between green buildings and health, wellbeing and productivity in the retail sector on 29 January 2016.
The report sets out a framework for making health and wellbeing aspects of sustainable buildings more “accessible, personal and actionable for the retail industry.” It is “the result of a task group process that has been led by the UK Green Building Council, drawing on leadership from member companies in the UK and on international leadership from a global retail group.”
The report recognises that “buildings are fundamentally for people. They should enhance our quality of life, whether at home or at work, or engaged in other activities – including leisure and retail. In fact, [they] would argue that a building is not truly “green” if it does not work for people.”
Source: UK-GBC, Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Green Buildings on People and Profit
DECC published a Guide to Implementing Energy Savings Opportunities on 13 January 2016.
The guide, intended for businesses, “has been written for organisations that have completed an Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) assessment and want to make the most of the identified energy saving opportunities.”
It notes that on average, a business can reduce its annual energy costs by 20% through improving energy efficiency and energy management.
The guide, compiled following a series of telephone interviews conducted by the Carbon Trust, and drawing on work carried out with hundreds of businesses, contains practical advice on areas such as developing the business case for a programme of works and includes helpful links to further information.
Source: DECC, A Guide to Implementing Energy Savings Opportunities