Useful links - Non domestic buildings

Non domestic buildings - Energy

The carbon trust has a useful (and extensive) website which focuses on energy savings in the non domestic building sector and covers existing buildings, refurbishment and new builds with some specific advice for particular building types such as schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you are part of an organisation interested in saving energy and money through an efficiently operated building see www.carbontrust.co.uk

The website includes information on energy advice, how to obtain financial support (including available grants) and a carbon management programme amongst other things. The carbon trust has a wide range of freely available publications that can be downloaded including the following topics;

Low carbon refurbishment of buildings - Management guide;

This guide is aimed at those who wish to ensure that a planned refurbishment delivers carbon savings, in addition to meeting its other objectives. It provides clear, practical guidance based on real world experience.http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/publications/publicationdetail.htm?productid=CTV038

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology overview

This technology overview of heating, ventilation and air conditioning is aimed at managers with the responsibility for HVAC within their organisation across all sectors and introduces the main energy saving opportunities. It provides a basic understanding of the operation of HVAC systems; introduces the main energy saving opportunities for businesses and demonstrates how simple actions save energy, costs and increase profit margins. http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/publications/publicationdetail?productid=CTV003

Building fabric technology overview

This technology overview looks at the main energy saving techniques to improve the efficiency of building structures. It covers improvements to existing building fabric, and optimum design for energy efficiency. This publication is aimed at building managers, energy managers and anyone involved in building design who wishes to improve internal comfort levels or reduce heating, cooling or ventilation costs.http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/Publications/publicationdetail.htm?productid=CTV014&metaNoCache=1

There are numerous other guides and publications. Those indicated above are given to provide a flavour of topics included. The search engine is also excellent and so can be used easily by all website users.

Non domestic buildings - BREEAM (BRE's Environmental Assessment Method)

BREEAM is an environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets a standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance in the UK.

BREEAM is primarily for new non domestic buildings and major refurbishments and addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues such as Management, Health and Wellbeing, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Waste, Land Use, Ecology and Pollution.

As BREEAM is an environmental rating system it enables developers and designers to prove the environmental credentials of their buildings to planners and clients through the use of a third party certified scheme which measure performance in terms of ‘credits' achieved. Credits are then weighted according to BRE research and added up to achieve a final score of ‘Pass', ‘Good', ‘Very Good', ‘Excellent' or ‘Outstanding'.

Clients, planners development agencies, funders and developers use BREEAM to specify the sustainability performance of their buildings in a way that is quick, comprehensive, highly visible in the marketplace and provides a level playing field. Property agents use it to promote the environmental credentials and benefits of a building to potential purchasers and tenants.

Design teams use it as a tool to improve the performance of their buildings and their own experience and knowledge of environmental aspects of sustainability.

Managers use it to reduce running costs, measure and improve the performance of buildings, empower staff, develop action plans and monitor and report performance at both the single building and portfolio level.

However it is not currently mandatory (with the exception of government funded buildings) and currently the planning department in Buckinghamshire is not using it to specify a certain level of performance for all buildings applying for planning in Bucks - this is being done in many other counties with planners specifying a BREEAM ‘Excellent' rating for all new buildings for planning to be passed.

Whilst BREEAM isn't the total answer to sustainable buildings it is a step in the right direction and facilitates designers and contractors in thinking about and aspiring to good environmental performance.

For more information see www.breeam.org.uk