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May 2006


Rainwater Tanks Empty At Essex Eco Home
Green builder Pat Wilkinson woke at 3am worrying because the tank which collects rainwater at his East Herts eco-house is empty. "What happens if you turn the tap on and no water comes out?" he asked. "The rivers can run dry — the climate is changing. We'll be fighting in the streets for water and food. People will say I'm being... more
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Welsh Councils Are Not Building Green Homes
WWF Cymru say that the Welsh Assembly and local councils are not doing enough to encourage and champion the building of environmentally friendly homes. WWF Cymru lobbied Cardiff Council to make the recently approved development for 1,000 homes in Ely Bridge, Cardiff, a pioneering sustainable housing project. The development... more  
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Greenhouse Gases Continue To Increase Greenhouse gases, the heat-trapping chemicals linked to global warming, continued to increase steadily in 2005, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have reported. Carbon dioxide, emitted by the burning of fossil fuels in houses, industry, power stations and cars, increased last year, according to the federal climate agency's Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, or AGGI... more 
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Revised EcoHomes Sets Higher Standards

A new, revised version of EcoHomes, has been launched. EcoHomes is the homes version of BREEAM. It provides an authoritative rating for new, converted or renovated homes, and covers both houses and apartments. It balances environmental performance with the need for a high quality of life and a safe and healthy internal environment. The issues assessed are grouped into seven categories: energy, water, pollution, materials, transport, ecology and land use, health and well-being.

EcoHomes 2006 includes tougher energy requirements to encourage carbon dioxide reductions and bring the scheme into line with the latest Part L of the Building Regulations. The Government recently announced that all homes with English Partnerships or Housing Corporation funding must meet the new EcoHomes 2006 ‘Very Good’ standard, as an interim measure until a strengthened Code for Sustainable Housing comes into effect later this year.
In addition to raising energy credit thresholds to further encourage and reward CO2 reductions, energy savings will result from the new stipulation of A+ energy labels for refrigerators, freezers and cooling systems, and from rewards for low-energy lighting systems that exceed Building Regulation requirements.
Other changes designed to cut down carbon emissions include three new credits for renewable energy systems, and a regraded NOx credit that is easier for developments using small scale renewables to achieve. NOx – nitrogen oxides – is the generic term for a group of highly reactive gases, all of which contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts. The primary man-made sources of NOx are motor vehicles, electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial, and residential sources that burn fuels.
Among the revisions involving other issues are:

• a new credit for minimising flood risk
• recognition of responsible sourcing of non-timber materials (timber sourcing is already included, but has been modified to take account of increased use of modern methods or construction)
• credits for providing a Home User Guide (where construction site impacts are monitored), for signing up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme, and where the ‘Secured by Design’ award has been achieved.

Don't think it is strict enough?
Discuss it on the Green Building Forum

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Welsh Assembly Criticised Over Solar Power
The Welsh Assembly Government has been criticised for not putting it's money where it's mouth is on solar power. Earlier this year the WAG seemed to show its support for the technology by promoting the Welsh Opto-electronics Forum's Photovoltaic (PV) Group. Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, and Energy...more  back to top

Now Companies Need Not Declare Environmental Impacts
Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth have reacted angrily to the Government's announcement that it would not be re-instating the OFR - the only legislation requiring companies to report clearly on their environmental impacts. And it warned that the amendments to the Company Law Reform Bill announced on the 3rd May would fail to... more    back to top

Ozone Layer Making A Comeback
The ozone layer is showing signs of recovering, thanks to a drop in ozone-depleting chemicals, but it is unlikely to stabilize at pre-1980 levels, say researchers. Depletion of the earth's protective ozone layer is caused by the chemical action of chlorine and bromine released by man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are used in... more   back to top

Green Incineration Claims Misleading
Waste companies who make fraudulent claims such as "Waste which is not recycled will be converted into green energy" (1) when describing their electricity generating incinerators, have been attacked by Friends of the Earth. Claims that incineration produces "green" and "renewable" energy, have been shown to be just hot air after new... more  back to top 

Renewables Grants For Householders
The Governments Low Carbon Buildings Programme is progressing. Applications can now be made for grants to help U.K. householders and small groups with the cost of installing microgeneration technologies. Community organisations, schools, the public sector and businesses can so far only get information.. The programme is being managed... more  back to top

Thinktank Urges Government To be Greener
Environmental advisers to the UK government are urging more radical action to promote green lifestyles. The Sustainable Consumption Roundtable (SCR) a joint initiative between the Sustainable Development Commission and the National Consumer Council, says people need a clear lead from government. Its report, I Will If You Will, urges measures such as taxing flights, rewarding water conservation... more  back to top




'Green Building' is the monthly newsletter of the Green Building Press. In this monthly newsletter we bring you interim green building news, events and special offers on publications, forthcoming events and training opportunities.

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Forthcoming Events

Make Mine an Eco Home 3 June 2006
Have you ever wanted to live in an eco-home but unable to sell up and build your dream home? Have you ever wondered how to make your home healthier, more enjoyable and cheaper to run ?... more  back to top

Renewable Energy Essentials
14 June 2006

A one-day course in household and community-scale renewable energy systems run by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The course covers solar water heating, biomass heating,
... more     back to top

Delivering Sustainable Construction
15 June 2006

Another chance to attend the Green Register's new interactive workshop intended to explain to mixed audiences the relevance of sustainable construction to their professions. The content is relevant to planners, developers, architects and other design professionals and elected members of local authorities... more    
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