Green Build – A Practical Guide to Sustainable Building
At Hook Construction we take a practical approach to Green Building looking not only at the obvious sustainable methods, materials and technologies available but the sometimes less obvious and inexpensive ideas.
Choosing the right material, technology or even sub-contractor can have a positive impact on your projects green credentials without adversely affecting your budget or deadline.
This online guide is just one way in which HCP will be helping our customers to better understand the process of building and renovating properties, using more sustainable products and building methods. We want to clear away some of the green haze surrounding sustainability, the Code for Sustainable Homes and government legislation/incentives available to you.
The Code For Sustainable Homes
What is the code?
The Code is a major tool in the Governments target for all new homes in England and Wales to be zero carbon by 2016. Since April 2008, all new social housing has been built to a minimum code level 3. The code is voluntary in the private sector, but since May 2008, most building control departments have adopted it. The code uses a sustainability rating system with six levels, level 1 being the entry level and juts above the minimum requirements of building control and level 6 being zero carbon homes.
Timber can be key to sustainable build. It has a life span that can be extended through re-use and re-cycling; there is no other commonly used building material that requires so little energy to produce.
Our policy is to purchase wherever possible from well managed forest sources certified under FSC, PEFC or similar standards.
Reducing the heat loss from a building needs to be the first consideration. If the heat loss is reduced, the amount of energy required for heating is reduced, in turn cutting C02 emissions and cost. This is where insulation comes in!
Under Floor Heating
Underfloor heating gently heats the floor using either warm water pipe or electric cables. Its already widely used in other countries and is now being recognised in the UK as one of the most modern energy efficient options for space heating earning a better rating within SAP assesements than traditional heating systems.
Government Feed-in Tariffs
Generating your own power enables you to reduce your carbon emissions and lower your annual electricity bills. On 1st April 2010, the Government introduced the Feed-in Tariff to reward businesses, communities and homeowners for small scale low carbon electricity generation.
The government’s new “generation” Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) are aimed at encouraging people to switch to renewable technologies, helping the UK to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the 2020 emissions target. The scheme will pay for every unit of electricity generated with MCS approved renewable technologies like solar PV, whether it is used in the home or exported back into the grid. The scheme is guaranteed for 25 years resulting in a shorter “payback”, making solar PV systems an extremely attractive option both environmentally and financially. Looking practically at this, when the capital cost of the system is paid for, everything generated and received as pay-back is income.
As a progressive construction company HCP recognise the importance of these new products and are working with a number of local installers and suppliers (all MCS approved) to provide our customers with the following technologies:
- Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
- Electric Solar Panels Solar Thermal
- Hot Water Solar Panels Air & Ground Source heat pumps
- Space heating/cooling
- Grey Water recycling
More information is available by downloading this comprehensive guide