Archive for August, 2012

Planning permission has just been granted by Hambleton District Council for new vertical access wind turbines at the site of AMR Autos near Great Ayton. The garage already have outstanding green credentials through installing LPG systems to cars and generate a lot of their own power needs from Photo Voltaic panels on the roof. The two new turbines will help out on the windier winter days.
 
The turbines aren’t your average windmills that give rise to so much controversy. They are elegant horizontal machines that are near silent in their operation and are ideally suited to residential areas. Indeed avid followers of the Olympics will have seen them turning away in the main Olympic park looking more like artistic sculptures than pieces of technical wizardry.

Its hoped that these machines will help gain more widespread acceptance than their big brother counterparts and allow small wind turbine generation to become more familiar and common place.
In January 2013, just a few months away, a number of planning authorities will seek to ratchet up build standards for new dwellings to deliver more sustainable properties. The standard tool used for assessing sustainability is the Code for Sustainable Homes, a sliding scale of numerical targets where the higher the number the more sustainable the building. Currently our building regulations require us to build at just below Code level 3. Code level 6, the highest standard represents the nirvana of the ‘Carbon Neutral’ House. Government policy is that all new homes will have to achieve level 6 by 2016.

Here in the Tees Valley, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland Councils are both seeking to increase their minimum standard of construction from Code 3 (present) to Code 4. Middlesbrough and Hartlepool have no such commitments at this time.  

Although the cost of achieving higher levels of sustainability have been coming down, there is no getting away from the fact that building to higher levels of sustainability costs more money and the jump from Code 3 to Code 4 is not an easy one to make without careful consideration of renewable energy generation. Simply adding in more insulation into the structure at this level of the Code won’t achieve the transition from Code 3 to Code 4 –more draconian steps are called for.

For anyone thinking about carrying out new development in Stockton or Redcar areas in the coming months, if you want to minimise your build costs, you need to consider the above situation. We can help and advise and have an extensive network of contacts who can tell you the costs of incorporating different parts of the Code in your project. Your choices cover enhancing the ecological value of your project through rainwater harvesting and up to on site generation of renewable technologies. For anyone wanting to try to build to Code 3 rather than Code 4 in the areas affected, you don’t have very much time to secure permission and get started on site. Don’t delay, get in touch with us straightaway .