Ahh, BIM. That infamous acronym has echoed around offices across the UK for the last decade. It stands for Building Information Modelling, or Building Information Management (the powers-that-be have yet to decide, really). But there’s more evidence of Father Christmas walking among us than BIM being used effectively in today’s construction industry.

Building regulations have come under the spotlight over the last few months and it is generally accepted that some regulations are in need of an urgent review. On a positive note, it is therefore welcoming to read the recently published recommendations on the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) (the UK methodology for assessing the energy and environmental performance of homes) and that Government has accepted that how we assess the energy performance of homes needs to change if we are to keep pace with research, innovation and technology developments. 

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.