• 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

Landlords to contractors: “Prove your green credentials”

Posted by John Stapleton on 03/08/15 07:00

The proverbial man from mars would not have to look far for evidence that humans are taking seriously the threat to their planet of climate change. No annual report, CSR statement or ad campaign is nowadays complete without an environmental statement of intent. But he may be puzzled to read this proliferation of earnest literature in conjunction with dire warnings about the consequences of a global temperature rise of 4 degrees C. Which should he believe?

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Topics: Registered Social Landlords, Housing Associations, New build, Benchmarking, Environment, SHIFT contractor

37 terms you need to know if you work in housing - Part 1

Posted by Emma Jones on 31/07/15 07:30

Working in housing there are many terms and accronyms that get thrown around.  A number of people have suggested to us that it would be useful to put up a list of some of those. Here is our first go.

Allocations – Housing departments at local councils allocate potential residents to housing associations. All will have been checked against eligibility requirements.

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Topics: Sustainable Homes, Fuel poverty, Regulations, Housing, Energy efficiency

ECO funding changes affect improvements to home energy efficiency

Posted by Emma Jones on 29/07/15 07:30

SAP is a tool commonly used to measure the energy efficiency of a home and as such, it is a useful tool when trying to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock. Since it is a uniform standard, housing associations and regulators can use it to ascertain and compare the quality of stock.

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Topics: Retrofit, SHIFT accreditation standard, SHIFT landlord, Energy efficiency

Research on impact of large estate renewal in london revealed

Posted by Emma Jones on 28/07/15 07:00

High Rise Hope Revisited - retrofit works on tower blocks improve quality of life for residentsLSE Housing & Communities carried out a detailed social study of Edward Woods High Rise estate in Hammersmith & Fulham to find out how major retrofit of tower blocks affected the community. The report provoked a lot of interest and estate retrofits elsewhere.

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Topics: Retrofit, Fuel poverty, Renewable energy & heat, SHIFT partner, Energy efficiency

As 2016 target ditched, first apprentices start on groundbreaking zero carbon development

Posted by Guest author on 23/07/15 15:23

SHIFT accredited A2Dominion, the lead developer at UK’s most sustainable development NW Bicester, has welcomed its first young construction recruits on site. Willmott Dixon, the contractor on the scheme, recently hired its bricklayer apprentice and completes the initial weekly college student placements. The NW Bicester masterplan will encompass up to 6,000 highly energy efficient new homes.

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Topics: New build, Wellbeing

Accreditation driving large-scale reductions in environmental impacts

Posted by Emma Jones on 20/07/15 12:43

SHIFT is the sustainability standard for the housing sector. It measures the sustainability and work being undertaken to reduce fuel poverty. Over 2.4 million people are housed by organisations involved. After years and years of running the scheme we wanted to know, does accreditation have impact? Do our clients find it useful?

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Topics: SHIFT accreditation standard, SHIFT landlord, Benchmarking, Carbon emissions

Zero carbon homes – “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”

Posted by Guest author on 16/07/15 16:39

Tom Jarman, Environmental Sustainability Co-ordinator at SHIFT landlord Your Homes Newcastle, on why it isn’t necessarily curtains for zero carbon homes

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Largest UK landlords responding to increased flood & overheating risks

Posted by Emma Jones on 15/07/15 07:00

There is increased attention being put on building homes that are fit for the future, but 85% of our current homes will still be around in 2050. With global temperatures set to rise anywhere between 1°C and 4°C, there is a growing concern about how these homes will cope with the future climate.

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Topics: SHIFT accreditation standard, Overheating, Flooding, Climate change, Adaptation

Mind the performance gap... small details, big difference

Posted by Guest author on 14/07/15 07:30

Getting the small things right can mean as much as an 2-3 extra SAP points

‘Retail is detail’ as Philip Green likes to say. The same is true for retrofit. According to a recent study, ‘poor detailing of the wall connecting joints can mean energy loss through the joints may even be greater than that through the entire window.’ Poor airtightness and thermal performance around windows is a significant problem; with convection accounting for 50-60% heat loss in buildings, this can have a significant impact on SAP calculations and CO2 emissions.

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Topics: Retrofit, SHIFT partner, New build, Energy efficiency

Barriers and solutions to energy efficiency in private flats

Posted by Andrew Eagles on 13/07/15 07:30

The University of Oxford, City of Westminster and Future Climate are investigating energy improvements in private flats. A workshop was held on 17th March 2015 to examine the issue in more depth. The following summarises the workshop and thoughts of contributors on the day.

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Osborne’s budget turns away from the environment

Posted by Andrew Eagles on 09/07/15 17:21

We always knew that the new Government’s first priority was not going to be clean air or the environment.  It is though still surprising to see the brazen way in which it is being downplayed, especially as we are told the Government still supports the global 2 degree climate change target. Does it? Can it square the circle?  Let’s have a look at the impact of yesterday’s Budget announcements. 

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Topics: Social housing, Sustainability, Climate change, Government, Energy efficiency

Lord Matthew Taylor: steps landlords can take to lead on environmental performance

Posted by Guest author on 09/07/15 07:30

We recently released a summary of the performance of landlords in a number of areas. Lord Matthew Taylor provided a useful key note address illustrating some of the challenges faced by the sector and steps they could take to take charge of this agenda. 

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Planning ahead...what the latest fuel poverty statistics tell us about our homes

Posted by Sustainable Homes on 07/07/15 07:00

It can be difficult addressing the challenges of fuel poverty with attention currently focused on how to keep cool. However, it is important to continue working towards reducing the numbers of households in fuel poverty before the next heating period.

The Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics report was recently published; presenting the latest statistical trends and analysis relating to fuel poverty in 2013. This blog takes a closer look at who the fuel poor are and the key differences in the statistics from 2012 to 2013.

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Topics: Fuel poverty, Bills, Energy efficiency

Keeping you and your residents cool – NHS advice

Posted by Guest author on 01/07/15 09:42

The very young, the elderly and the seriously ill are particularly at risk when the weather is very hot. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

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Topics: Retrofit, Health, Overheating, Climate change, Wellbeing

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Reaches 33,000 Homes

Posted by Guest author on 30/06/15 09:35

The domestic funding stream of the government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme has paid out in excess of £20 million in its first year of operation, according to Ofgem.

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Topics: Retrofit, Insulation, Renewable energy & heat, Energy

'THE REVIEW' details the achievements and progress of the social housing sector on key environmental performance metrics. Download the report below 

Sustainable Homes, The Review, UK social landlords environmental performance, environmental benchmarking

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