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February 2009

Electricity from waste - with no incineration A Bridgend waste recycling and electricity generating project is the first in the UK to get a green light for the innovative waste disposal technology. read more...  
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Funding will help develop a green roof code
Groundwork Sheffield and the Green Roof Centre have received funding from LIFE+ (a European funding stream) to promote green roof technology and develop a code of best practice for UK green roof installations.
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Nation’s heritage set for environmental renovation
Over the next five years the National Trust aims to renovate more than five thousand buildings to meet a set of minimum environ-mental standards that include installing maximum loft insulation, water saving devices, rainwater storage, double or secondary glazing, thermostatic heating controls and efficient lighting systems. read more...
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Community Groups awarded over £1 million in renewable energy grants
The third round of the Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP) capital grants scheme, which draws funds from the National Lottery, and is administered by BRE, saw the number of applications increase by 25%.
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Cross party group to promote
green building

Founding members of the recently formed All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sustainable Housing have outlined their intentions for the year. The new group will provide a platform in Parliament for MPs to discuss, debate and make policy proposals on the government's ambitious green building plans, arguably the most far reaching housing policy for generations.

The group's remit will include improving the environmental performance of existing housing stock and implementing the policy for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016. The APPG is led by two former Housing Ministers; Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP and Rt Hon David Curry MP. Former Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson Lembit Opik is Treasurer to the new group with NHBC providing secretariat support.

Some of the ideas raised for consideration included:
• Commissioning the publication of a 'beginner's guide' to zero carbon
• Holding an expert seminar meeting, which would be open to all Parliamentarians, to focus on sustainable housing within the present market
• Plans to commission new research on creating market and social conditions which will help ensure consumers respond positively to the sustainability agenda
• Conducting study tours for members to see the best examples of sustainable housing sites in the UK and EU.

The group will take a party of MPs to BRE’s Innovation Park near Watford to look at properties that meet the higher levels of the code, and to Hammarby Sjöstad, an eco-suburb of Stockholm. It will also conduct a survey asking people if they know what energy ratings their home would achieve. Commenting on the launch of the group, former Labour Housing Minister, Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP said: "The Government's ambition that all new homes must be zero carbon by 2016 is one of the most challenging policies that the housing industry has ever faced. I am delighted to be co-chairing this group to increase awareness among Parliamentarians of some of the challenges that lie ahead on our road to truly sustainable housing.

" Former Conservative Housing Minister, Rt Hon David Curry MP said: "I am pleased to be co-chairing this group, particularly at this difficult time. It is crucial that in this time of market turbulence we do not lose sight of medium term sustainability goals."

Former Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson, Lembit Opik said: "This group will draw attention, within Parliament and outside, to the green housing agenda. Working with the industry and ministers we intend to make a measurable difference to the quality and depth of debate on carbon reduction in the housing sector."

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Planning permission granted despite flood warnings
Despite major flood problems in the UK in recent years, local planning authorities in England still granted planning permission for 16 major developments, including some 240 homes and a primary school in flood prone locations despite Environment Agency objections during 2007/08, according to a new report. read more...  back to top

RIBA approve straw bale courses
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is keeping pace with developments in green building, and has approved a range of sustainable building courses developed by amazonails, the pioneering strawbale building organisation based in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. read more...   back to top

Obama looks to UK for green building guidance
It seems that newly inaugurated US president Barack Obama has an interest in promoting green building, and his administration is looking to the UK and Europe for advice on how to regulate green building in the US.
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Solar company to build recycled factory
A unique building project is currently taking place on an old timber yard on the outskirts of Battle. Solar UK are currently building a new Eco Factory which will become the new base for the research, development and manufacturing side of the company. read more...
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Greenhouse gas emissions ARE still higher than in 1997
Despite making manifesto commitments to cutting UK carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 (compared to 1990 levels) at each of it's successful elections since 1997, recently released figures show that, although they have dropped slightly since 2006, UK greenhouse gas emissions are still higher than when Labour came to power. read more...   back to top



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