• sustainability | carbon emissions | ecology
    sustainability | carbon emissions | water efficiency
  • retrofit | fuel poverty | energy efficient | energy costs
    retrofit | fuel poverty | energy efficient | energy costs
  • Solar PV | feed in tarriff | reduce energy costs | fuel poverty
    Solar PV | feed in tarriff | reduce energy costs |
  • Carbon emissions | fabric efficiency | fuel poverty | energy costs | fuel poverty
    Carbon emissions | fabric efficiency | fuel poverty | energy costs | energy demand
  • Resources | Carbon emissions | waste
    Resources | Carbon emissions | timber | resource management
  • Water efficiency | bills |
    Efficiency | flooding | energy costs | bills |
  • Solar Thermal | RHI | energy costs | lower bills
    Solar Thermal | Feed in tariff | RHI | energy costs | lower bills
  • fuel poverty | on-demand heating | energy bills
    fuel poverty | on-demand heating | energy costs |

Sustainable Homes Blog

Fitting bricks – it may seem scary to use BIM but the rewards are great

Posted by Richard Lupo on 26/09/16 07:30

We’re told that when a bricklayer first walks onto a building site, the first thing he or she does is not lay any bricks.  They spend quite a bit of time working out exactly where the windows should be.  This is because they want to position them exactly such that there is a neat half brick / whole brick pattern around the window frame.  A very neat aim, but surely this is all on the architect’s drawing.  Well, apparently not.  Not, that is, unless the drawing is created under a Building Information Modelling (BIM) regime.  A BIM drawing would show bricklayers exactly where the windows should be to create the desired, neat effect.  This can save nearly a day of bricklayers’ time on site and serves as just one example of how BIM can cut costs on site.

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Topics: Sustainability, New build, Energy efficiency, BIM

A sustainable change in housing?

Posted by Bevan Jones on 22/09/16 11:29

On the surface it looks like sustainability has had its day. Regulations have been eroded, programmes to improve the energy efficiency of housing have stalled;

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Topics: Sustainability, Energy, Adaptation, Finance, Housing Sector

PRESS RELEASE: Shortlist for SHIFT Awards 2016 announced

Posted by Joana Malato on 12/09/16 15:23

• Outstanding response this year shows sector continues to strive for housing excellence

• Outstanding calibre of entries from organisations committed to sustainable in a struggling sector

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Topics: SHIFT awards

Plan to act with the new Planning Act

Posted by Richard Lupo on 12/09/16 07:30

It seems that not all authorities are aware of, or prepared for, some of their new responsibilities under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The blink and you’ll miss it clause relating to energy efficiency and sustainability has been missed by many and understood by a few. Here is an extract of the actual wording taken from section 210 under Part 8 “Public Authority Land”.

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Topics: Sustainable Homes, Local authorities, Regulations & Standards, Energy efficiency

PRESS RELEASE : Willmott Dixon Energy Services announced as headline sponsor of SHIFT Awards

Posted by Sue Punch on 09/09/16 07:30


  • Outstanding response to 2016 SHIFT Awards shows sector continues to strive for housing excellence
  • Willmott Dixon Energy Services joins British Gas and Texo Drones as sponsors of the only sustainability awards in housing

Sustainable Homes is delighted to announce Willmott Dixon Energy Services as this year’s headline sponsor for the SHIFT Awards, the sustainability awards for the housing sector.  Willmott Dixon Energy Services are part of one of the biggest companies in the construction and property sector in the UK, Willmott Dixon’s  wide reach means that over 90% of the UK population is never more than a mile from one of their projects. 

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Topics: Sustainability, Sustainable Homes, Housing Sector, SHIFT awards

Sustainable buildings pay in terms of rent and occupancy

Posted by Sue Punch on 11/08/16 13:00

A new study draws a direct correlation between green building certification and increased financial benefits to property owners.

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Topics: Sustainability, SHIFT accreditation standard, Offices & operations, Benchmarking, Energy efficiency, research, Housing Sector

Accredited retrofit training course dates announced

Posted by Magdalena Bilinska on 11/08/16 07:30

We all know we need to get retrofitting millions of homes.  Do we have the skills?  Recent government reports suggest that skills need to improve if we are to leave well ventilated, warm, healthy  homes.

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Topics: Retrofit, Government, Training and elearning

A real energy shake up?

Posted by Bevan Jones on 03/08/16 13:10

It feels like a long time since the Competitions and Market’s Authority (CMA) undertook its investigation into competition in the energy sector – two years in fact.

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Topics: Energy, Bills

Complete district heating survey for a chance to win a £50 M&S voucher

Posted by Guest Author on 27/07/16 07:30

Making up only 2% of the UK's heating demand, district and communal heating has the potential for great expansion, bringing with it a whole host of benefits. The government is promoting its expansion and development, and social landlords are in a key position to help with this growth.

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Topics: Heating, Fuel poverty, Government, research, Carbon

Quantifying the effects of climate change on wellbeing

Posted by Richard Lupo on 26/07/16 07:30

Perhaps one of the most important environmental impacts at the moment is that of carbon emissions. Would it be a good idea to be able to quantify how many people are affected per tonne of carbon emitted? Yes it would, because this can then be used in wellbeing accounting and then managed accordingly.

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Topics: Health and Wellbeing, Climate change, Environment, Carbon

How disruptive business models can reduce costs and improve homes

Posted by Arianna Sdei on 19/07/16 07:30

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) recently asked us to give opinions on how innovations in technology and business models can affect the social housing sector. They are looking to drive forward innovation in the sector.

One of the questions they asked was, “How can social housing regulation allow for the use of new technologies and disruptive business models?” Here’s how we answered:

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Topics: Regulations & Standards, Finance, research

Saving money and resources for landlords

Posted by Daniel Navarro on 18/07/16 07:30

Belts are being tightened across the housing sector. This does not have to come at the cost of service and sustainability. In fact, improving service and creating efficiencies can save social andlords time, money and resources.

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Topics: SHIFT accreditation standard, Offices & operations, Training and elearning, Carbon, Housing Sector

PRESS RELEASE : New research links energy efficient homes to savings for landlords

Posted by John Stapleton on 29/06/16 07:30

  • Potential for £2.4 million savings per year for social landlords identified
  • Costs from rent arrears and voids saved by efficient stock highlighted by new study involving 25 social landlords managing 500,000 homes
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Topics: Social housing, Fuel poverty, Energy efficiency, Finance, research

Committee on Climate Change urge Scotland to slash emissions by 60% in 13 years

Posted by Guest Author on 28/06/16 07:30

The Scottish Government should maintain its high ambition pathway towards greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says today.

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Topics: Climate change, Carbon

PRESS RELEASE: Sustainable Homes & Hastoe win funding to harness ‘big data’ for the housing and construction market

Posted by Sustainable Homes on 23/06/16 07:30


  • Project by Sustainable Homes and Hastoe Housing gets go ahead from government innovation agency
  • Tool could help those building new homes and maintaining existing ones to make better business decisions

The government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK has awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding to help develop an analytical tool that will help social landlords harness ‘big data’ for decision making.   The tool will use data from multiple sources, such as build and land costs, housing need and market rates to enable decisions on where and what type of homes to build.  

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Topics: Funding, research

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