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The NWDA Sustainability Standard Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process Non Financial Version, Sept 2007


Contents 1. Vision

4

2. A Pathway to Achieving the 2020 Vision

4

3. Increasing Steps

5

4. Flexibility

5

5. Target Emission Rate

5

6. Housing

5

7. Refurbishment

6

8. Small Projects

7

9. Integration of the NWRA Sustainability Checklist

7

10. Clarity

7

11. The Rationale behind the Themes

8

12. Focusing on Results

8

13. A Three Dimensional Approach to Sustainability

9

14. Mandatory Sustainable Development Requirements

9

15. Key Performance Indicators

10

16. Supportive Stakeholders

11

17. Wider Adoption of the NWDA Sustainability Standard

11

18. The Cost of Implementing Enhanced Sustainability Standards

12

19. Exemplar Projects

12

20. Badging / Acknowledgement

12

21. Impact Review

12

Disclaimer: While steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy of this report, FSquared Ltd. cannot accept responsibility or be held liable to any person for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with this information being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. Care should be taken in using any of the data provided as they are based upon numerous project-specific conditions. The listing or featuring of a particular product or company does not constitute an endorsement by FSquared Ltd. and FSquared Ltd. cannot guarantee the performance of individual products. For more detail, please refer to our Terms & Conditions.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




The NWDA Sustainability Standard

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




1. Vision FSquared is proposing a step change in the NWDA’s sustainable development approach. Our vision for 2020 is dominated by three headline targets for new buildings:

Zero Net Carbon

Zero Net Waste

Zero net emissions in relation to Building Regulations issues (i.e. zero emissions from heating, hot water, ventilation and lighting).

The value of waste sent to landfill is balanced by the use of an equal amount of recycled content material in the development

Zero Net Water The amount of water harvested, recycled and off-set is equal to or greater than the amount of water drawn from the mains for nonpotable uses, without negatively affecting groundwater. This concept is sometimes referred to as ‘Water Neutrality’

Zero Net Carbon is a well-established principle. It is achieved by a building or development generating or exporting sufficient zero-carbon energy to offset the carbon emitted from its non-zero energy sources. Zero Net Waste is an emerging but fairly advanced principle. Zero Net Water is a more innovative concept supporting the latest thinking around the need for water neutrality. These headline requirements would be supported by requirements to pass a small number of best practice ‘gateways’ on other sustainability themes.

2. A Pathway to Achieving the 2020 Vision We are also proposing a balanced and progressive ‘pathway’ to meeting the three headline targets. It includes a star grading system linked to periods of time. For example, buildings will have to achieve 1H in 2007 and 2H between 2008 & 2010 and so on. This approach seeks to challenge and take the market with us, rather than contribute to market failure by insisting on financially or practically unachievable targets.

H

HH

HHH

HHHH

HHHHH

HHHHHH

2007

2008-2010

2011-2013

2014-2016

2017-2019

≥ 2020

10% improvement over Target Emissions Rate (TER) as defined by Part L (2006) Building Regulations 2000

18% improvement over TER as defined by Part L (2006) Building Regulations 2000

25% improvement over TER as defined by Part L (2006) Building Regulations 2000

44% improvement over TER as defined by Part L (2006) Building Regulations 2000

79% Zero Net Carbon improvement over TER as defined by Part L (2006) Building Regulations 2000

50% net waste

40% net waste

30% net waste

20% net waste

10% net waste

Zero Net Waste

90% net water

85% net water

75% net water

60% net water

40% net water

Zero Net Water The Pathway to 2020

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




We believe that the targets suggested for 2007, singularly and cumulatively, are challenging for the industry. The 2006 version of Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the Building Regulations 2000 represents a step change in energy efficiency requirements. The fact that Government introduced temporary transitional arrangements for Part L until October 2007 is testimony to how challenging the new regulations are. Prima facie, the 1H Carbon target of 10% over TER may seem a small increment, but the industry will perceive this as significant. Developers and building control officers are already finding it challenging to meet and test Part L of the Building Regulations.

3. Increasing Steps The star rating approach is aligned to the recently published Code for Sustainable Homes. In harmony with this, we have proposed greater increments between star ratings for the target areas. We are proposing this approach because we anticipate the market will be able to respond more readily given a longer lead time. This approach will also help North West based organisations compete more widely and will stimulate innovation.

4. Flexibility The star rating method linked to time scales, creates the flexibility to allow acceleration if the market responds well. The converse is also true. The pathway and destination may remain the same but the time scales can be reviewed and realigned if progress along the route is slower or more costly than anticipated.

5. Target Emission Rate The Target Emission Rate (TER) from Part L (2006) of the Building Regulations 2000 forms the most crucial part of our proposals. The name, Target Emission Rate, implies that there is a specific carbon dioxide target to meet. This is not the case. Part L does not describe absolute targets of carbon dioxide emissions. It describes a methodology to achieve percentage improvement over the emissions that would have been produced following Part L (2002) of the Building Regulations. This is appropriate as there are an infinite number of building shapes and sizes and consequently an infinite number of TERs. The TER for most buildings can be generated by putting inputs into the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) tool (or other accepted software models) in relation to a variety of factors, such as: • • • • • • •

the building’s fabric U Values heating, ventilation and cooling systems position orientation renewable energy geographic location

In order to calculate the TER for ‘Building A’, two calculations are performed: 1. A notional calculation – this calculates the emissions of a notional building with the same geometry and activity data as ‘Building A’ but built with fabric and services systems in accordance with the previous Part L (2002). . A real calculation – this calculates the emissions of ‘Building A’ itself (the Building Emission Rate or BER). ‘Building A’ has to perform better than the notional building by a specified percentage improvement in order to comply with the Part L (2006) of the Building Regulations 2000.

6. Housing For the limited number of situations where the NWDA is funding housing projects, we suggest that the requirements be aligned with those from English Partnerships/Housing Corporation (Communities England) - who have indicated that their minimum standard in accordance with the Code for Sustainable Homes will be Level 3.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




7. Refurbishment Given the wide variety of situations where refurbishment might take place, there needs to be flexibility in the requirements for refurbished buildings. Our requirement will be outcome focused and based on the new Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for buildings.

Sample Energy Performance Certificate

Although the precise calculations which underpin the ratings are not yet available, they are under consideration and review – the certificates will be introduced in line with the timetable below: Date

Requirement

1 June 2007

EPCs required for the sale of existing dwellings where a Home Information Pack (HIP) is required under the Housing act 2004 (other than dwellings built to 2006 standards)

1 October 2007

EPCs required on construction for all dwellings EPCs required on the sale of dwellings built to 2006 standards.

6 April 2008

EPCs required for the sale or rent of buildings other than dwellings with a floor area over 500 m2 EPCs required on construction for all non-dwellings Display certificates required for all public buildings >1,000 m2

1 October 2008

EPCs required on the sale or rent of all remaining dwellings EPCs required on the sale or rent of all remaining buildings other than dwellings. Source: www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1504723

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




Our proposals are as follows: Baseline Energy Certification (As Built)

Building Regulations Enhancement NWDA Required Enhancement (Anticipated) (As Built)

A

A

A

B

A

A

C

B

A

D

C

B

E

D

C

F

E

D

G

F

E

(Where A is energy efficient & G is energy inefficient) If a project proposer can demonstrate that compliance with Buildings Regulations requirements would not improve the Energy Certificate rating, then the NWDA enhancement required would be reduced by one level. Projects which involve façade retention but substantial new build would be treated as ‘new’ buildings for the purposes of these requirements. Some sustainability requirements applicable to new buildings (those for Waste, Transport, Place Shaping and Communities) would not be applicable.

8. Small Projects We propose that small projects (those under £500,000 in total value) should consider and review sustainability issues via the North West Sustainability Checklist for Developments. They should not be required to comply with the Mandatory Sustainability Requirements.

9. Integration of the NWRA Sustainability Checklist We are proposing that a slightly enhanced version of the North West Sustainability Checklist for Developments is integrated into the first stage of the NWDA’s proposal appraisal process. This checklist was produced by the Regional Assembly in association with the Building Research Establishment (BRE), World Wildlife Fund, RENEW Northwest, NWDA and others. The proposed enhancements to the checklist reflect best practice and the recently adopted Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Common Minimum Standards. By translating the current Best Practical Social, Economic and Environmental Option (BPSEEO) requirements into the enhanced checklist (or the mandatory requirements), the BPSEEO will be superseded. The enhanced North West Sustainability Checklist for Developments will help to ensure that clients and their design teams consider a well rounded approach to sustainable development during the earlier stages of the development process.

10. Clarity The sustainability agenda is a complex one and the majority of toolkits and checklists are now incorporating a growing number of questions, with alternative responses to each – which reflect minimum, good and best practice. For the North West Sustainability Checklist for Developments (if one ignores the subsidiary variants within different BREEAM approaches) there are 40 trillion trillion alternative answers. Experience suggests that developers will gravitate to only one and that is the least demanding in every category. Our approach recognises that the industry needs clarity about sustainability requirements if it is to deliver upon your expectations. For this reason we are proposing the use of just ten key sustainability themes. Each of these will have clear guidance on your requirements and be either empirically measurable or have to pass through a best practice review gateway. Each theme will be reviewed and enforced at Stage 2 in the review process and revisited at project close.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




11. The Rationale behind the Themes Carbon

Communities

To support the EU and UK Governments’ agendas to reduce harmful carbon emissions.

To ensure that sustainable development considers both the communities and the local context in which it will exist.

Waste

Business

To reduce the amount of material taken to landfill, waste of natural resources and to minimise the creation of both carbon and methane - the second most significant greenhouse gas.

To ensure that large scale investment in development supports the goals of the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) and encourages the growth of the regional environmental technology sector as well as other target businesses.

Water

Employment and Training

To reduce ever increasing demand on water resources – in a world where drought and shortage will become more significant.

To ensure that large scale investment in development supports the goals of the RES and supports opportunities for the unemployed as well as training initiatives.

Transport

Whole Life Value

To support a reduction in reliance on car travel and therefore the congestion and harmful emissions that arise from this.

In harmony with OGC guidelines, it is essential that clients and developers consider the whole life costs of buildings. This will include identifying the saving in energy costs which will arise from enhanced energy efficiency measures.

Place Shaping and Adaptation

User Satisfaction and Comfort

To ensure that developments enhance a sense of place and respond to climate change issues and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events – such as warmer weather, higher winds and heavier rainfall.

To ensure that you have feedback on the building’s performance in use – solutions will not be sustainable if user comfort levels fall below acceptable standards. Collecting and sharing this feedback will be important.

Agreement on these themes emerged from a collaborative workshop that included Professor Geoff Levermore, Head of the Built Environment Research Group at Manchester University, representatives from NWDA, The National Trust, RENEW Northwest, English Partnerships, the Environment Agency, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), FSquared and the private sector. The themes have been tested informally with other public sector stakeholders and also put before both the public and private sectors in two workshops held at CUBE in Manchester on 26th and 27th March 2007.

12. Focusing on Results Frequently advice or requirements on sustainable themes confuses required outcomes with possible solutions. We have focused on articulating the results required, leaving the solutions to come from the environmental technology sector, designers and the industry. Our approach gives complete flexibility to the market place to use the best and most suitable solutions, allowing for advances in the environmental technology sector. Renewable energy sources are an important part of the solution, however, we have left it to the project proposer and their engineering team to decide the appropriate balance between increased energy efficiency through passive solutions and the use of renewable energy sources. Each client and each building will have different needs leading to bespoke solutions. Risk factors and cost are likely to form an important part of decision making. Influencing factors may change over time. For example, the use of shared, district or remote renewable energy solutions may become regarded more economically viable than on-site renewable solutions.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




13. A Three Dimensional Approach to Sustainability It is widely recognised that a comprehensive approach to sustainable development should be focused on climate change issues and the environment alongside social and economic themes. For this reason we are proposing a balanced approach that includes both environmental and socio-economic themes.

14. Mandatory Sustainable Development Requirements We recommend that ten Mandatory Sustainability Development Requirements be incorporated into the second stage proposal/appraisal process and also subject to post-project review. Mandatory Sustainability Development Requirements should be stringent gateways.

Environmental

Socio-Economic

Carbon: See: The Pathway to 2020, page 4

Communities: Requirements to inform, consult & feed back to local people in an inclusive way, ensuring they are fully involved in decision making

Waste: See: The Pathway to 2020, page 4

Business: Requirements to provide opportunities for target businesses, such as Micro Organisations, SMEs, BMEs, Social Enterprises and the regional Environmental Technology Sector

Water: See: The Pathway to 2020, page 4

Employment & Training: Requirements to tackle worklessness, and to increase skills and qualifications

Transport: Requirements to prioritise access for pedestrians, cyclists and to public transport

Whole Life Value: Requirements that ensure whole life costs and savings in energy consumption, as well as wider socio-economic impacts, have been considered thoroughly

Place Shaping and Adaptation: Requirements for developments to be: in harmony with or enhance the sense of place; and future-proofed for the likely impacts of climate change

User Satisfaction & Comfort: Requirements to ensure that buildings: operate as efficiently as intended; and are healthy and comfortable for occupiers

The Mandatory Sustainability Development Requirements will help developers focus their efforts on the major sustainable development issues during the detailed design stage. They will also allow the NWDA to attach sustainable development criteria to funding awards and evaluate buildings once completed and occupied.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process




15. Key Performance Indicators We recognise the value of measuring and reviewing actual performance and collecting meaningful data. We recommend the following measures be implemented to support each of the themes:

Environmental KPI

Socio-Economic KPI

Carbon: Post project review to take account of actual building air tightness (as Building Regulation requirements)

Communities: Gateway review at Stage 2

Waste: Actual waste/recycled content calculations, which should be compared with the proposals at Stage 2 evaluation. Calculated in accordance with the approach set out by WRAP and available online.

Business: A bespoke KPI to measure the value of work placed with target enterprises (including the regional environmental technology sector). Benchmark data will help to shape and inform future requirements.

Water: Bespoke calculations of predicted water usage and the degree to which this is offset by rainwater harvesting, recycling of grey water and other solutions. These would be subject to gateway review at Stage 2.

Employment & Training: A bespoke KPI to measure the number of target individuals benefiting from the project. Benchmark data will help to shape and inform future requirements.

Transport: Whole Life Value: Gateway review by the North West Design Review Panel / Gateway review at Stage 2 NWDA Officer. Supported by post project review by an NWDA Officer to see that any conditional requirements were complied with. Place Shaping and Adaptation: Gateway review by the North West Design Review Panel / NWDA Officer. Supported by post project review by an NWDA Officer to see that any conditional requirements were complied with.

User Satisfaction & Comfort: An end user satisfaction survey - so that the reality of carbon efficient technologies can be considered from an occupier perspective. We recommend adoption and refinement of the ASHRAE tool developed at Manchester University Built Environment Research Group for this.

In proposing a bespoke approach, we considered each of the ten sustainability themes relative to the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) sets issued annually by Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment. Whilst we recognise the contribution of these to stimulating continuous improvement in the construction industry, there was not a good fit with the Mandatory Sustainability Development Requirements. This relates in part, to the fact that many of the Constructing Excellence KPIs are not client-focused but allow construction companies to understand their performance compared to other companies. Also many of the measurements are subjective on a 1-10 scale.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process

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16. Supportive Stakeholders The themes we have selected mirror the wider climate change and sustainability agenda. For each theme there are bodies which could support the development and construction industry in the region to deliver. Potential supportive stakeholders which we have so far identified include:

Environmental

Socio-Economic

Carbon:

Communities:

The Carbon Trust www.carbontrust.co.uk

Academy for Sustainable Communities www.ascskills.org.uk RENEW Northwest www.renew.co.uk

Waste:

Business:

Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) www.wrap.org.uk

Envirolink Northwest www.envirolinknorthwest.co.uk

Water:

Employment & Training:

Environment Agency www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Construction Industry Training Board www.constructionskills.net

Waterwise www.waterwise.org.uk.

Jobcentre Plus www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk

Transport:

Whole Life Value:

PlacesMatter! North West Design Review Panel RENEW Northwest

Liverpool John Moores University www.ljmu.ac.uk

www.renew.co.uk Place Shaping and Adaptation:

User Satisfaction & Comfort:

PlacesMatter! North West Design Review Panel RENEW Northwest

Manchester University www.manchester.ac.uk

www.renew.co.uk We suggest that these bodies are briefed about the NWDA sustainability agenda, so that they have the awareness necessary to offer focused support to the industry. Contacts and web links could be identified in NWDA material.

17. Wider Adoption of the NWDA Sustainability Standard Whilst larger Local Authorities may have sustainability standards of their own under development, we believe that this will not be the case for the majority of Local Authorities and regeneration companies in the North West. If such bodies can be encouraged to adopt and implement the NWDA Sustainability Standard, it will help the initiative achieve a critical mass which will lead to even greater beneficial impact on the region’s business sector. Furthermore it will save these bodies both time and money in drafting and implementing comparable standards – as well as allowing experience and knowledge on implementation issues to be shared more readily. We strongly encourage the NWDA to use its influence in this respect.

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process

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18. The Cost of Implementing Enhanced Sustainability Standards There is very little benchmark cost information on the cost of implementing these proposals. We recommend that this is an area which should be explored in conjunction with cost consultants on the NWDA panel. The report we have relied upon is from BRE and Cyril Sweett titled: ‘Putting A Price On Sustainability’ (2005). As an indication, this report suggests that the increased capital cost of achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating is in the order of 3.3% to 7.0% for an air-conditioned office. This would be offset by savings in energy costs – which is one reason that we are asking for a whole life perspective on costs, which clearly identifies savings in energy costs which will arise over time. For homes – the current premium anticipated over traditional methods/costs, to meet a Code Level 3 requirement, would be in the order of 4.3% to 6.7%. These findings are set out in ‘A Cost Review of the Code for Sustainable Homes’ (February 2007) issued by Housing Corporation/English Partnerships and again undertaken by Cyril Sweett. The projections do not take account of the likelihood that costs will fall as the technologies and materials to support delivery become cheaper as demand for them increases.

19. Exemplar Projects We recommend that the NWDA actively encourages exemplar projects, that is to say, projects which go beyond the mandatory sustainability standards set out here. Such projects will be very important as a learning tool for the NWDA, clients, developers, designers and contractors. We suggest that it is a requirement of any exemplar project that the findings from it (both positive and negative) be reported upon and put in the public domain. The RENEW Northwest website could be an ideal platform for this.

20. Badging / Acknowledgement Clients and developers who have met or exceeded these enhanced sustainability standards should be rewarded with some form of acknowledgement that they can use in marketing material. Consideration should be given to an NWDA badged credential awarded for sustainability.

21. Impact Review The mandatory requirements are innovative and challenging – we recommend that after 2 years (2010) there be a review of their impact. This could also consider: • • • • •

The effect on more economically challenging areas in the region Forthcoming revisions to Building Regulations Advances in thinking on sustainability issues and best practice The climate change agenda and European and UK Government drivers The impact of the approach on the regional environmental technology sector

Continued Improvement of NWDA Sustainable Buildings Policy & Process

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