When you consider the global population is set to increase by another 2 billion by 2050 and with 70% of the world’s population living in cities, there will an unprecedented demand for energy across the planet. The opportunity for architects and stakeholders to create buildings which reduce energy use has never been more apparent.  But can energy efficiency be achieved whilst still maintaining architectural intent?

In our quest to meet greater energy efficiency in homes through better insulation, thermal glazing and efficient heating systems, properties might be able to prevent heat losses in the winter, but remain at risk of overheating in the warmer months.  As we rise to the challenge of making our homes more resilient to the extremes of winter, Michael Brogden, Director at Darren Evans Assessments looks into the issue of overheating, an issue that needs to be tackled head-on. 

Building homes to a decent standard should be a given, but in the present climate, new-build homes are underperforming and quality is becoming more and more of an issue.  Clearly, solutions are needed which is why the March release of The Good Homes Alliance (GHA) manifesto, A Charter for Responsible Housebuilding, is so timely and cries out for a shake-up when it comes to quality in volume housebuilding.

Do you know when a great crested newt hibernates or when a white-clawed crayfish is releasing its young? Knowing what species is protected and notable is one challenge when a development site is chosen, but understanding the optimum time to survey is another. Ecology is one of the most complicated aspects of the planning process, and many an application has fallen at the first hurdle due to the ecological issues on a site not being addressed. An ecological assessment by a suitably qualified ecologist will not only help with your planning requirements, it can add extra credits in terms of BREEAM