CONTENTS Wood Recyclers’ Association – over a decade on... The wood recycling industry is still pretty much an infant. 20 years ago it did not exist in the form that we now know it – and it’s growing up fast! read more on p27
8 INSULATION 4 5
Climate Energy Solutions raise the bar in solid wall insulation Why insulation is key to the UK’s carbon emissions target
WOOD 29 30
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Tapping the earth’s stored energy with a ground source heat pump
A long way to go beyond the transfer of private drains and sewers
TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY 11 11
Trenchless technology – the future of construction World’s first application of latest pipeline rehabilitation technology
Asbestos in buildings
GAIN 17 23
Tel: 07429 516265
Tel: 0161 710 3881
Tel: 0161 710 3881
Renewable measures are the way forward for energy efficiency How to take advantage of FIT
eFIG and the interior landscaping industry – 11 years and counting
‘Cradle to grave’ approach to cable drum recycling Alliance stands for quality in wood windows Wooden windows - dispelling the myths Queens Cross Housing Association benefits from energy efficient Scandinavian windows
Dust monitoring in urban redevelopment
NEWS 7 13 33 34
Landfill Gas to Cash Hospital air conditioning powered by high efficiency natural gas engines Encraft completes first ever UK certified Passivhaus retrofit project Air Spectrum re-engineer their award-winning range
For all other enquiries: Tel: 0161 710 3880 Fax: 0161 710 3879 Email: email@example.com Suite 2, 61 Lower Hillgate, Stockport SK1 3AW Editor: Chris Stokes Copyright Environment UK. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior permission of Environment UK. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Climate Energy Solutions
raise the bar in solid wall insulation O Climate Energy Solutions (CE Solutions) is a fully accredited insulation installer. Historically offering cavity and loft insulation, their exclusive UK distribution agreement with Wall–Reform® has enabled them to offer solid wall insulation using one of the best systems on the market. CE Solutions has always taken pride in their customer service by using experienced and qualified installers who are constantly praised for their workmanship and people skills. Not content with standard installer accreditations they moved forward gaining CHAS (Contractors Health & Safety) and the additional SAFE contractor accreditation which is recognised as the fastest growing health and safety assessment scheme in the UK. The decision to apply for the SAFE contractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business. Managing Director, Phil McGrory commented “The work that we have been involved with from our start up in 2009 ranges from a one off domestic job to a nine storey block at Southend General Hospital. We felt that this would complement our existing CHAS accreditation and help to promote us to other nationwide businesses”. He continued, “The additional accreditation has enhanced the company’s ability to attract new contracts and shows our commitment to safety which will be viewed positively by insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.” John Kinge, Head of Risk at SAFE contractor, said “Major organisations can no longer run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies. More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Climate Energy Solutions has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example, which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.” CE Solutions also recently took the opportunity to create a 7 minute film with the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to be part of their, ‘How to…’ series of documentaries focusing on showcasing their solid wall offer. The interview and commercial presentations were screened on SKY in February and again March, with a potential audience of 22 million viewers, in over 9 million homes. The film is also available through the Media Centre of their website at www.ce-solutions.org.uk.
Before and after the application of the Wall–Reform® system
The film illustrates how the Wall–Reform® system works and the amazing number of finishes it comes in. Wall–Reform® is a 15mm solid wall render system that, when attached to a 60mm phenolic board, achieves a U-Value of less than 0.3 W\m².k which conforms to the latest Building Regulations. It is widely recognised as the best thermal plaster/render product available and it has been confirmed by many building control departments (LABC) that thermal products must be specified over non thermal to obtain the best standard technically, functionally and economically. Wall–Reform® has two full BBA certificates, one as a thermal plaster/render and another as a remedial plaster following a damp course. It also helps reduce condensation and was specifically developed to improve the living conditions for those living in solid wall properties. However, it can be used wherever any wall is being plastered or rendered and will increase the thermal element even when applied at 10mm thickness. All C E Solutions’ thermal products have full EST, CESP and CERT approval. Phil McGrory felt that the creation and broadcasting of the documentary was a great opportunity to show the country they had solved the problem of solid walls insulation. He said, “We are now able to help people in traditionally harder to treat properties to save energy, money and the environment. I am also pleased to announce that we will be opening a training centre in Essex to complement the training offered by Wall Transform® in North Yorkshire. CE Solutions opened the first Solid Wall Training Academy in Braintree, Essex to train installers in the art of Wall–Reform® application. The purpose built centre is available to all accredited installers to ensure that Wall–Reform® is installed to the highest standards in accordance with BBA and their own stringent specifications. R • If you are interested in training or finding out more about purchasing Wall–Reform® contact Climate Energy Solutions on 0800 980 4749 or 01376 555999. Alternatively visit www.ce-solutions. org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why insulation is key to the UK’s carbon emissions target O With homes producing over a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions, the onus on reducing their carbon footprint has never been greater for householders and it is a priority Government issue too. The way a building is constructed, insulated, ventilated and the type of fuel used, all contribute to its carbon emissions. It is a worrying fact that, for over half of all homes in the UK, a significant proportion of the money spent on energy is literally being thrown out of the window as a result of inadequate levels of insulation, with around 50% of the heat being lost through the roof and walls. The National Insulation Association (NIA) is a not for profit organisation representing over 90% of the home insulation industry in the UK. As a membership organisation, it actively supports the Government’s accelerated programme for insulation and its intention to raise awareness not only of the amount of CO2 lost through inadequate insulation, but also the amount of money that householders can save by having their homes properly insulated.
Solid Wall Insulation The UK’s housing stock is estimated at approximately 24.5 million dwellings and 36% are made up of non-cavity wall construction – solid brick, solid stone, pre1944 timber frame and non-traditional, i.e. concrete, construction. These types of buildings lose more heat and energy than any other type of construction – a worrying fact when it is estimated that around seven million properties with solid walls have little or no insulation. While many local authorities, housing associations, private landlords and home owners have been concentrating on filling cavities to achieve their carbon savings, improving the thermal efficiency of solid-wall properties has largely been ignored. This is primarily because the solutions are deemed to be more expensive and cause greater disruption, hence the reason that these types of dwellings are referred to as ‘Hard to treat Homes’. This is not actually correct, they are not hard to treat, just more expensive to insulate compared to cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. However the subsequent energy savings are significantly higher. Improving the thermal efficiency of solid wall properties is therefore an area which has massive potential for the future, particularly as little work has been carried out to date. Around 25,000 properties a year currently receive solid wall insulation
Before (left) and after the application of Envirowall’s Envirobrick external render system (SWI) and the Government’s new ‘Green Deal Scheme’ announced in June last year will focus on whole house eco-makeovers. However, SWI will have to increase dramatically if the Government is to hit its target by 2020. In fact, at a recent seminar held by the NIA, an industry expert stated that: “A figure of 200,000 properties per year would have to be completed if the Government is to hit its target by 2020.” More and more individuals are now starting to recognise the advantages of SWI and there are many cost-effective solutions available.
The Solutions Solid walls can be insulated with either External Wall Insulation (EWI) or Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) and either option will greatly increase comfort, while also reducing energy bills and the associated environmental impact. IWI typically consists of either dry lining in the form of flexible thermal linings (commonly known as thermal wallpaper), laminated insulating plasterboard (known as thermal board) or a built-up system using fibrous insulation such as mineral wool held in place using a studwork frame. Flexible thermal linings come on a roll and are applied like wallpaper and, with some at only 10mm thick, will not cause significant disruption during installation. These products can be applied to ceilings as well as walls and provide a solution for properties without a loft space as well as those with solid walls. It can also be applied to the underside of floorboards in a cellar/basement. It is applied with a special adhesive using a roller or a brush and can be easily cut to size using wallpaper shears or scissors. Once the product has been applied it can be painted, papered or even tiled. These products are only applied to the exterior facing interior walls of the property. Another solution is laminated insulated plasterboard which normally replaces existing
lath and plaster and is fixed directly to the existing brick. Depending on the system, thermal boards can either be screwed or glued, using a dry wall adhesive, directly onto the brick work just like standard plaster board. It has the advantage that it can be installed room by room with the tenants in situ. It increases internal surface temperature within a room and also improves response to heating input when heated intermittently. It has the lowest thermal conductivity available and allows installation on damp surfaces without drying periods as it is hydrophobic. EWI comprises of an insulation layer fixed to the existing wall, with a protective render or decorative finish. Dry cladding offers a wide range of finishes such as timber panels, stone or clay tiles, brick slips (brick effect finish) or aluminium panels. EWI increases the thermal quality of the building – particularly relevant when refurbishing non-traditional housing. It also overcomes moisture and condensation issues and protects the existing building envelope. It can reduce heating bills by up to 25% as well as greatly improving the appearance of the building. EWI is a tried and tested method of upgrading the thermal performance and external appearance of existing properties which are literally transformed into warm, energy efficient and attractive homes and buildings. Improving appearance is of particular significance to many local authorities targeting housing projects in poorer areas. Adding EWI on a whole street basis will raise residents’ morale and give them a sense of pride in their community. There are many other benefits of EWI including the fact that no living space is lost. There is minimum disruption for the residents as the work can be carried out while they are in their homes and there is no risk of condensation within the property as it is moved to the outside of the system that is being put in place. Also there is minimal maintenance once installed. R
Tapping the earth’s stored energy with a
ground source heat pump n Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are electrically powered systems that tap the stored energy of the greatest solar collector in existence – the earth. These systems use the earth’s relatively constant temperature to provide heating, cooling and hot water for homes and commercial buildings. Ground source heat pumps can be categorised as having closed or open loops, and those loops can be installed in three ways – horizontally, vertically or in a pond/lake. The type chosen depends on the available land areas and the soil and rock type at the installation site. These factors will help determine the most economical choice for installation of the ground loop.
For closed loop systems, water or antifreeze solution is circulated through plastic pipes buried beneath the earth’s surface. During the winter, the fluid collects heat from the earth and carries it through the system and into the building. During the summer, the system reverses itself to cool the building by pulling heat from the building, carrying it through the system and placing it in the ground. This process creates free hot water in the summer and delivers substantial hot water savings in the winter. Open loop systems operate on the same principle as closed loop systems and can be installed where an adequate supply of suitable water is available and open discharge is feasible. Benefits similar to the closed loop system are obtained. q
Landfill Gas to Cash n Assessing the value of landfill gas and advising on its optimum use is one of the specialist services of landfill experts, Coventry based, Automatic Flare Systems (AFS). AFS uses its mobile flare skid for landfill gas pumping trials to analyse the quantity and composition of landfill gas. Mounted on the skid is a Geotech GA3000 static gas analyser. It monitors the untreated gases downstream from knockout pots before going onward to a flare. Managing director at AFS, Steve Willacy said, “We want continuous landfill gas monitoring and analysis and use a data logger to record the results from the gas analyser.” The data is auto downloaded to a web page so AFS can inspect it without going to site. At the end of the 12-week pumping trial AFS produces a site assessment report with daily gas readings, gas curves and an assessment of gas quality, type and volume. “We can then advise on how the gas can be best used for power generation, as vehicle fuel, converted to methanol or to biomethane to replace fossil-sourced natural gas – or if no value, how best to flare it. “We had been using another supplier’s gas analysis equipment for about ten years and had been talking to Geotech about them producing a static gas analyser which suited our operations. With input from us and others, Geotech developed the GA3000 using its
existing proven equipment, technology and know how. The GA3000 is doing exactly what we need it to do,” said Steve Willacy. Since completing its latest pumping trial in Scotland the AFS mobile flare and analysis skid with its GA3000 been moved to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis to carry out a pumping trial there. While the GA3000 is working away on a remote Scottish island and its data is being inspected in Coventry, AFS is taking delivery of its next, larger Geotech automated extraction monitoring system (AEMS) with six gas channels for six supply sources, for an export client. q • More from Geotech at: www.geotech.co.uk or from AFS at: www.afsgroup.co.uk.
A long way to go
beyond the transfer of private drains and sewers by VAL GIBBENS of the National Sewerage Association
n It is now six months since the transfer of private drains and sewers took place in England and Wales and, despite the lateness of the Regulations and Guidelines, the changeover appears to have been smoother than envisaged. Initial enquiries to the water companies indicate that work levels are much lower than anticipated. This may be due to the unseasonal weather in the period or a lack of public awareness. The impact on the smaller contractor has yet to be measured but concern has been expressed that water companies are undertaking some work which should be available to the private sector and thus placing more pressure on diminishing returns. It had been hoped that a new mandatory build standard would be in place by the time of transfer but this has proved difficult and is still under discussion with the house building industry. Provision therefore had to be made for the adoption of sewers in the period post 1st July 2011 and the introduction of new legislation. Developers now know that there will be important changes to sewer adoptions. Under new legislation within the Floods and Water Management Act 2010, a Section 104 agreement will now have to be obtained in advance of obtaining a Section 106 agreement. A specific condition of a Section 104 agreement is that the new sewer development meets a Mandatory Build Standard which sets out the required standards in the design and construction of new sewers and lateral drains. It would also be appropriate for surface water pipes that will be adopted by the water companies to be included in this mandatory standard. If the surface water pipes are not included then there is the probability that separate agreements would be required, increasing costs and delays, with all the problems currently in place for adoptable pipes.
There are a number of sticking points between the interested parties which more than likely could be overcome if the standard of workmanship is addressed and this can only be to the good of the industry. It should be recognised that the issue is not the mandatory standard, as such, but the ability to lay to a standard compatible both with the material used and the mandatory standard. Most drainage materials are fit for purpose (even some sub standard pipes can be fit for purpose), but it is the workmanship of the drainage operative and the type of contractor engaged in the construction which result in the issues that have required the transfer of private sewers. Poor workmanship results in disputes, delays, further disturbance for customers and additional costs to all parties. Any failures could result in excavation to newly constructed roads, pavements and private lands. The introduction of a register for drainage operatives, advising the skills and competencies of that operative and the use of accredited contractors (similar to the
self lay water supply process) who can show they employ registered drainage operatives with the relative skills, will ensure a trouble free process. There is only one relatively easy and simple way to ensure a better compliance and that is for the entire workforce engaged on adoptable sewer laying to have the necessary construction and training skills. The scheme would prove to all parties that the workforce had the necessary skills for the type of work being carried out and, if linked to an accredited drain laying contractor process, would ensure that the water company had a guarantee that both material and workforce had all that was necessary to produce quality systems with minimum maintenance requirements. The water companies are looking to a minimum jetting requirement of 4,000psi (265 bar) but consideration should be given to the fact that the cause of blockages in sewers and drains are mostly the result of inappropriate materials being discharged down a sewer and poor laying of the pipes. To clear a blockage generally requires low pressures and a good water flow. A high pressure merely punches a hole through a blockage rather than clearing it. There is already a code of practice in use by the water jetting industry which recognises the need to use the correct jetting head and nozzle pressure appropriate to the pipe material and condition of the pipe to be jetted and, as all of the sewerage foul system and lateral drains will be under a water company control, they should have no difficulty in ensuring that only well trained and informed operators are working on their systems. Restricting pipes to be used for public sewers and lateral drains to a 4,000 psi minimum is in fact an over assessment of the requirements and will restrict the use of modern alternative materials in pipe design. Common sense says that realistic and cost effective design criteria, such as the use of concrete surrounds to concrete manhole rings, should only be required where it is known that ground water levels will cause infiltration to the foul system, and a modern design specification based on realistic probable water flows with a tightening of the construction quality can only be good for the whole industry. Why there is a suggestion that water companies could require a 100% bond when many have found the current practice of a 10% bond to be unnecessary, can only be guessed. The use of accredited contractors to lay new adoptable sewers would be of mutual benefit. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) is another outstanding issue and it is still not yet known whether this will have any implications for the transfer where downstream pipes discharge to the surface water system. Provision has been made for an economic approach to construction and as long as the design process allows for responsible maintenance provision then this will be achieved. This has to take into account development sites where conventional piped solutions discharge to a reasonably close sewer or watercourse and where the pipe discharge does not require storage via an enlarged pipe which will inevitably be a lesser cost than the SUDS option. In addition, the maintenance costs of a SUDS system will be greater than the conventional pipe solution â€“ grass cutting, weed control, silt, leaves and rubbish control. It is essential that existing definitions for drain and sewers are maintained to avoid conflict. In the same way, if there is a need for SUDS under general planning requirements then this needs to extend to cover Neighbourhood Development Orders and the like. To make this system clearer it would be preferable to make the sewerage undertaker responsible for all pipes, or for the SUDS Advisory Board (SAB) to have a duty to adopt the whole system from source to outfall. There needs to be a requirement, as in the July 2011 regulations for sewer adoption, for all private SUDS systems to be transferred to the SABâ€™s who will have the resources and skills to maintain them. The transitional arrangements should allow for a period of training and understanding before there is a need to commence work in the ground but it is hoped that this will all be in place by October 2013. All developers and contractors should be promoting the introduction of a register for drainage operatives and encouraging their operatives to be fully skilled in the necessary competencies to ensure a trouble free and cost effective process. q
Two examples of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) â€“ images courtesty of the British Geological Survey
Trenchless technology - the future of construction OTrenchless technology is increasingly accepted worldwide as being more efficient, less disruptive, environmentally friendly and more cost effective than traditional methods. The UKSTT (United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology) is a registered charity involved in the development and promotion of trenchless techniques, sometimes termed no-dig techniques. Trenchless technology is the science of installing, repairing or renewing underground pipes, ducts and cables using techniques that minimise or eliminate the need for excavation. The use of such techniques can reduce environmental impact, social costs and at the same time provide economic alternatives to traditional open cut methods of installation, renewal or repair. The techniques themselves can be broken down into three areas: • Repair and Renovation – including cleaning, localised repair • techniques and lining techniques. • Replacement – including pipebursting, pipe splitting, pipe eating and • lead extraction & replacement systems • New Installation – including impact moling, pipe ramming, auger • boring & thrust boring, pipe jacking, micro tunnelling, guided rod • pushing, guided boring & directional drilling, rock boring, cable • pulling and cable blow in systems. Essential to the success of such methods are training, thorough site survey, planning, material and equipment choice. The aims and objectives of UKSTT are: • To advance the science and practice of trenchless technology
• for the public benefit. • To promote education, training, • study and research in the science and practice. • To encourage the use of trenchless systems for the installation and • repair of underground pipelines, utilities and services. • To promote the location and mapping of underground services. • To encourage the development of new trenchless techniques. • To assist members to maintain and enhance their knowledge, skills • and capabilities in the field of trenchless technology. R • For further information visit www.ukstt.org.uk.
World’s first application of latest pipeline rehabilitation technology OPortland, in Dorset, recently saw the world’s first commercial application of the latest development in pipeline rehabilitation technology – the new Melt-In-Place Pipe (MIPP™) system, known as Aqualiner, was installed for Wessex Water by its main rehabilitation contracting partner OnSite Central Ltd. Whilst the project may not be the largest, it was significant for both Portland and Aqualiner Ltd. Using the latest ‘third generation’ commercial system, it was the first ever to be undertaken on a ‘paid for’ basis. The lining comprised the rehabilitation of just 23m of existing 225mm diameter clay sewer pipe which runs beneath Castle Road at between 1.5 and 2m deep. The work, scheduled to last one day working between manholes with a full traffic flow allowed alongside, would have taken 7-10 days of traditional open cut trenching with huge and unacceptable disruption. In the event, the lining installation process took just over 2 hours. The Aqualiner process, whilst similar to existing relining systems, differs in some significant aspects. It does not utilise resins or chemicals as part of the lining process, rather it uses a liner material which comprises a combination of glass fibres, for stiffness and strength, and thermoplastic polymer fibres which, after processing, becomes the matrix that surrounds the reinforcing fibres. This absence of chemicals in the liner process and its standard material content and strength means the Aqualiner system is not only suitable for installation in sewer systems but also pressure pipes, including potable water pipes. The process is even reversible. By heating the liner to the correct temperature the liner can be removed if required with all the materials being fully recyclable. R
Hospital air conditioning powered by high efficiency natural gas engines OA state-of-the-art air conditioning system powered by high efficiency natural gas engines is providing low carbon cooling and heating at Scunthorpe General Hospital. The system uses seven Sanyo gas-powered heat pump (GHP) chillers to supply chilled water to air handling units serving a suite of operating theatres. It replaced two aging Trane chillers, based on hermetic scroll compressors running on the R22 refrigeration system. The internally located, ducted air-cooled machines, each originally rated at 165 kW, had been installed in 1991 and had become inefficient and expensive to run. Consultant Pick Everard carried out an evaluation of several possible replacement options, including a traditional electric chiller and compact turbo-based technology. Jeff Fleming, who headed the project for Pick Everard, said: “A key issue at the site was that there was no headroom on the electricity supply. Cooling loads had grown since the original chillers were installed, and replacing with a larger conventional electric chiller would have required a big investment in additional power supply. “The Sanyo gas-engine driven heat pumps supplied by Oceanair (UK) Ltd not only provided a way round the power problem, they are a highly energy efficient solution. Our studies showed that in terms of life-time costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions, they come out well ahead of comparable electric systems.” A further benefit of the Sanyo units, he says, is their low noise which makes them ideal for use in hospitals. Noise was likely to be a planning issue on the project, and the GHP units exceeded any potential restrictions. “They are exceptionally quiet in operation. You have to actually put your ear to the units to hear they are running at all,” he says. The seven GHP units, each with an output of 56kW, were chosen from the Sanyo range for their optimum efficiency in order to minimise the hospital’s liability under carbon reduction legislation. A further benefit of the multiple system is resilience compared with a single large chiller. If one unit is out of action, there is capacity to provide continuity of service. In the case of a conventional chiller installation, breakdown can cause disruption
and affect cooling to the building. The power advantages of the GHP units extend to a much lower start-up current than standard electric chillers. As the process mirrors ignition in a modern vehicle engine, a few dozen Amps are all that are required for start-up rather than several hundred Amps for an electric chiller. In winter, the heat pump cycle is reversed, providing high efficiency heating to operating theatres. As heating was previously supplied by inefficient steam heater batteries, this is saving significant additional cost, Mr Fleming reports. Each chiller produces an additional 18kW of waste heat that can be harnessed for use in generating hot water for the hospital’s domestic supply. Each of the R410A chillers has its own separate refrigerant-towater heat exchanger within the building, eliminating the presence of water on the roof and overcoming the need for trace heating, anti-freeze and water treatment chemicals. Mr Fleming says: “Another bonus with the Sanyo system is that we only used one system pump compared to conventional chillers that usually require an additional chiller shunt pump or heat rejection pumps, which have a significant electrical power requirement.” Servicing is highly economical, with engines requiring servicing every 10,500 hours, which equates to between two and three years. Jeff Fleming says: “The Sanyo GHP units provided a superb solution that perfectly meets the requirements of the project. The technical support from Oceanair has been excellent throughout. They are the experts when it comes to Sanyo GHP technology, and helped train the hospital engineers in commissioning and optimising the systems.” “I would have no hesitation in using the Sanyo GHP system again and look forward to working with the Oceanair team.” Tony Evanson of Oceanair UK Ltd said: “The project is a brilliant example of how a modern GHP system can deliver in all areas – efficiency, power, servicing, low noise and low cost of ownership over the lifetime of the plant. It makes the case for GHP loud and clear. It is a technology that, in the right application, simply can’t be beaten.” R
Asbestos in Buildings n Recently the HSE launched their ‘Hidden Killer’ campaign to highlight the danger of exposure to asbestos fibre, particularly to maintenance and other tradesmen when working in buildings. This high profile campaign graphically indicated that around 20 tradesmen per week die as a result of exposure to asbestos and that tradesmen are still being exposed to these risks, even today, mainly due to the fact that they are unaware of the presence of asbestos in their workplace. The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2006 places an explicit duty on those responsible for buildings to manage the risk from asbestos in their property, not only for their own employees but for anyone who may come into contact with it including, of course, any tradesmen employed to carry out any work within the property. A major requirement of CAR 2006, and subsequently any asbestos management plan, is to inform anyone who may come into contact with it of the presence of asbestos containing materials within the
property and to give those people adequate training in how to manage the risk of exposure. Tradesmen are of course under greater risk as they may inadvertently disturb asbestos during the course of their work. In February 2010 new guidance to replace MDHS 100 was introduced by the Health & Safety Executive. Titled, Asbestos: The Survey Guide HSG 264, this new publication reduced the number of survey types from three to two and placed more emphasis on the client for the selection of the survey scope. There are now just two types of asbestos survey – Management and Refurbishment. Management replaces the old Type 2 Survey and Refurbishment replaces the old Major Refurbishment/ Demolition Survey. The starting point of any management plan is to find out if the building contains asbestos materials, to record its location, extent and type and to assess the risk of exposure to asbestos materials on the long term health of anyone who may come
into contact with it. To be sure that you are getting a fully HSG 264 compliant report, only those companies accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) for both Inspection ISO/IEC 17020 and Testing ISO/IEC 17025 should be commissioned to undertake the work. A management survey will give you all the information you need to produce your management plan and to risk assess all asbestos containing materials detected in accordance with an internationally recognised algorithm assessment method, as detailed in HSG 264, together with recommendations as to what is required to make the material safe and protect your workforce from dangerous and unnecessary exposure to asbestos fibre. q Alan Peck, Chief Executive Tersus Consultancy Limited
• For More Information: Tel: 0121 270 2550, Fax: 0121 707 2060, E-mail: info@ tersusgroup.co.uk, www.tersusgroup.co.uk.
Renewable measures are the way forward for
energy efficiency By Janet Jukes, Grant Aided Heating Installers’ Network
n There are very few households or businesses that will not suffer from the cuts announced in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Energy efficiency will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the major considerations if energy bills and carbon emissions are to be reduced. Over the course of the Spending Review period, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will reduce resource spending by 18% in real terms, and increase capital spending by 41% in real terms.
DECC’s settlement is in the context of an increase in environmental spending across Government by 21%. The Spending Review ensures that the UK can meet its environmental goals, including the 2020 targets for a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and for 15% of energy to be from renewable sources, whilst improving efficiency, supporting growth and facilitating a private sector led transition to a green economy. The Rt. Hon. Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, comments “Like the rest of the public sector, we have taken some tough decisions, but we remain on course to deliver on our promise to be the greenest government ever”. In this respect there has already been a significant swing towards using renewable energy sources in conjunction with conventional measures. However, the Government has now rubber-stamped this by announcing a £860 million funding for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which will be introduced from 20112012 and will support households and businesses investing in renewable heat measures. It is designed to provide financial support to encourage the uptake of renewable and low carbon heat technologies like air and water source heat pumps. This will drive a more-than-tenfold increase of renewable heat over the coming decade, shifting renewable heat from a fringe industry firmly into the mainstream. The previous administration’s plans for funding this scheme through an overly complex Renewable Heat Levy will not be taken forward. The Review has confirmed that the Feed-in Tariff paid to homeowners who generate green electricity with solar panels and wind turbines will continue. Feed-in Tariffs will be refocussed on the most cost-effective technologies saving £40 million in 2014-2015. The Feed-in Tariff scheme was launched in April 2010 as part of an attempt to meet European Union targets on renewable energy. It is designed to encourage people to generate their own energy and contribute to the security of energy supplies. According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST) the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system, as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to the grid. These
payments are in addition to the bill savings made by using electricity. Once the microgeneration technology is installed there should be a monthly reduction in the electricity bill, followed by an income from the Feed-in Tariff provider. However, if a loan has been taken out to pay for the installation, monthly payments will be made to the loan company. The Feed-in Tariffs are designed so that the average monthly income from the installation will be significantly greater than the monthly loan repayment (with a 25 year loan). A typical domestic solar electricity system, with an installation size of 2.2kW could earn around: • £770 per year from the Generation Tariff. This is a set rate paid by the energy supplier for each unit (or kWh) of electricity generated. This rate will change each year for new entrants to the scheme (except for the first two years), but once the consumer has joined, the tariff will be the same for 20 years, or 25 years in the case of solar electricity (PV). • £30 per year from the Export Tariff. The consumer will receive a further 3p/kWh from the energy supplier for each unit exported back to the electricity grid, that is when it is not used on site. The export rate is the same for all technologies. Domestic Feed-in Tariff installations are likely to have their export deemed (estimated) at 50% in most cases until smart meters are rolled out. • £120 per year reduction on energy bill savings will be made on the electricity bills, because generating electricity to power appliances means a reduction of electricity bought from the energy supplier. This gives a total saving of around £920 per year – assuming 50% of the electricity generated is exported. The figure will vary depending on how much is exported.
Under the Comprehensive Spending Review the Warm Front grants are being phased out. The elderly and those on low incomes will no longer have access to upfront cash to install energy efficiency measures in their homes. In the meantime, the DECC will fund a smaller, targeted Warm Front programme for the next two years with a budget of £110 million in 2011/12 and £100 million in 2012/13. From 2013, support for heating and insulation for the most vulnerable will be delivered through the Green Deal for energy efficiency and a new obligation on energy companies. At the same time, from April 2011, energy suppliers will provide greater help with the financial costs of energy bills to more of the most vulnerable fuel poor households, through Social Price Support – with total support of £250 million in 2011/12 rising to £310 million in 2014/15. Green Deal is based on a ‘pay as you save’ scheme, which allows home owners to ‘retrofit’ their homes with loft, wall, floor and window insulation up to a cost of £6,500 and make huge savings on their bills, at no upfront cost. Small amounts can be paid back per month based on the savings made on the bills.
The Grant Aided Heating Installers Network (GAIN), that acts for the heating industry serving the grants sector, very much welcomes the Government’s Green Deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by 2050. If that is to be achieved, between 400,000 and 1.8 million homes a year will have to be upgraded between now and then, at an annual cost of between £5 billion and £15 billion. Energy prices are expected to rise significantly in the next 10 to 15 years, which will undoubtedly see more homeowners turning their attention towards installing renewable energy – especially as part of a package when installing a new heating system and one which also helps the environment. In this respect, it is interesting to note that, according to a recent poll on microgeneration users’ website YouGen, 84% of respondents said they would rather their home improvements were carried out by a small local specialist than a faceless conglomerate. Cathy Debenham, founder of YouGen, says “Homeowners want to feel the work on their home is being done by someone trustworthy, someone they can talk to if the work is not up to standard. There must be assurances that local specialists won’t be squeezed out, and that homeowners have a choice over who they go to”. This is where members of the Grant Aided Heating Installers Network can be of enormous assistance. GAIN represents professional heating and renewable installers and suppliers to the grants and wider market. It looks for good technical and professional standards from its members, with qualitative awards amongst its criteria for membership. GAIN members have significantly extended their range of products and services to help meet the future challenges of the renewable sector. An early initiative developed by GAIN was to formally insist on full members having one of six international accreditations as a means of differentiating the association and putting a marker down in terms of delivering high quality services. This particular initiative and philosophy should place members with a strong foundation as they enter and develop the renewables marketplace – a marketplace which is already placing a huge emphasis on quality and services delivery. Over recent times, membership has expanded and now boasts a well balanced make-up of installer companies, suppliers and manufacturers, and managing agents. Installers are also keen to move into other markets, including that of the SME marketplace, where little has been done thus far in terms of improving energy efficiency. GAIN comprises heating installers who have attained high technical and professional standards. They need to be technically competent in order to undertake the government and other grant work they do. Under full membership criteria they also need to hold a quality award. Heating and renewable installations are highly skilled works and should be the responsibility of experts. The association recommends that everyone should upgrade to a condensing boiler, coupled with efficient controls and thermostats, and aided by renewable products, such as solar panels, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, wind turbines and air and ground source heat pumps, all of which are offered by members. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems use energy from the sun to convert solar radiation into electricity which can be used directly to run appliances and lighting, sold back to the national grid or stored in batteries in off-grid locations. Solar hot water panels can be fitted onto or integrated into a building’s roof. They use the sun’s energy to heat water directly or a heattransfer fluid, which passes through the panel. Wind turbines harness energy from the wind to produce electricity. The blades drive a generator either directly or via a gearbox (generally for larger machines) to produce heating (or both). Air source heat pumps can be used effectively for either space or water heating (or both). Air pumps take heat energy from the air outside and transfer it to the building. The heat is upgraded by using a pump and compressor which removes heat from one side of the circuit and ejects it to the other side. Ground source heating pumps use a buried ground loop, which transfers heat from the ground into a building to provide space heating. Energy catcher is a new system that extracts virtually all the heat from gas boiler fumes, whenever the boiler is operating, with a net result of 5% extra saving on gas and a reduction in bills. In renewing central heating systems, householders should really be aiming to obtain a boiler to the SEDBUK A-rated standard. These are
The association recommends that everyone should upgrade to a condensing boiler
condensing boilers available in many types, such as combination boilers, standard wall mounted boilers and free standing boilers. The latter should be run in conjunction with a fully pumped system. They should have foam lagged cylinders incorporated to ensure that the minimum of heat is lost from the cylinder. All radiators need thermostatic valves, except in the main living room. Here a room thermostat should monitor the required temperature, and thus control the boiler. GAIN held its second successful national Conference in June 2010 majoring on the theme ‘Will Incentives Move the Renewables Market?’ Speakers were very positive about the future prospects for the industry, recognising that from the limited grant work already undertaken in the renewables field, it is clear that incentives are key to moving this market which is still in its infancy in the UK. Talks were particularly informative and well received by the 260 delegates present from RSLs, energy advisors and the energy efficiency industry. The main sponsor was Eaga Plc, with additional support from Scottish Power Energy Retail Ltd. The Keynote speaker was Baroness (Diana) Maddock, President of the Micropower Council, with her particular interest in energy efficiency since the 1990’s, when she took the Private Members Bill – The Home Energy Conservation Act – through its journey to become law. Currently, through the Microgeneration Council, she wishes to see a mass market for the microgeneration sector. “The consumer market – owner occupied housing – is around one to two hundred thousand installations per year, as opposed to the 1.5 million gas boilers installed annually in the UK” – she reported. “Also, until now, it has been an aspirational rather than an economic purchase, funded by consumers with capital to spare and being regarded as a longterm investment”. At the conference Awards for Excellence were presented for the second year on behalf of the Grant Aided Heating Installers Network. Awards were given for the Best Environmentally Friendly Company 2010, the Best Green Technology Award, the Best Customer Focussed Company, Apprentice of the Year 2010, Employee of the Year Award and the Special Achievement Award. The 2011 GAIN Conference, due to further develop the theme of renewables, will be held in May/June 2011, when it is anticipated that delegate numbers will increase still further. Information will be available on the GAIN website nearer the time, or e-mail GAIN for further information to be sent. R • The Grant Aided Heating Installers Network which organises regular meetings for installers, scheme managers and suppliers of heating and renewable products, serves the grants and other markets. GAIN is based at P O Box 12, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 3AH; tel: 01428 654011; fax: 01428 651401; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www. gainassociation.org.uk.
How to take advantage of by Tom Vosper, CEN Consulting Ltd
O Two months ago I received a phone call from the Sustainability Director at one of our local councils. He was irate. “Why can’t I see vans with loud speakers on top, driving up and down the street announcing the benefits of the Feed In Tariff?” Chris Reid, at the London Borough of Sutton, is not known for his sense of calm and patience, but is one of those rare souls who seems not to have lost his sense of urgency at dealing with climate change, despite having spent the last 20 years working on environmental initiatives in the public sector. He wasn’t being entirely serious, of course, but I didn’t know him at the time. I patiently explained that although Feed In Tariffs (FITs) made renewable electricity more attractive than before, the scheme was designed to give between a 5% and 8% return on investment, which meant the payback would still only be between 12.5 and 20 years. This wasn’t something that most homeowners, businesses or communities were going to rush out onto the streets to sign up to. But it was still far better than any high street bank was offering and so we embarked upon a project to look at some of the details: Did the 5-8% include elements for maintenance and repair? How did the council investing in the panels compare with taking up one of the ‘Free PV’ deals? What are the financial and technical risks involved? What bulk discount could be achieved if the council put PV on the roof of every school? In consultation with LB Sutton, CEN Consulting developed a detailed financial model to look at these questions. Accounting for the replacement of inverters twice within the projected 25 year lifetime of the panel, assuming that the panel output would fall by 20% in that time, modelling installations at the top end of each Feed in Tariff bracket and assuming that around a 10% reduction in CAPEX could be achieved through a bulk buy discount, the return on investment was actually over 9%. With the appropriate cost of capital for Local Authorities standing at just 3.95% things were looking good. Perhaps we needed to get the loud speakers out. The next thing to do was convince the finance director that it was worth spending a cool million putting PV panels on the boroughs uninsulated roofs. And therein lay the next problem. Ignoring issues raised by representatives of the council’s property department about leaks, re-roofing and the like, finance wanted to know why they should fund PV on school roofs at 9% ROI when they could fund roof insulation, lighting controls and other basic energy efficiency measures and gain a higher return. Good question. The carbon saving, they added, from a million pounds worth of PV would be relatively slight compared to these efficiency measures. I was feeling less positive but Chris was irate again. “Why does it take the offer of a fixed 9% return to bring these measures out of the
woodwork? Why haven’t we done these things already if they give such a good return? And why must we choose whether to insulate or install PV – why not both?” We had reached the crux of the issue. It is about investment and risk. On the one hand, if an organisation has limited capital it must, of course, choose to invest in the project with the highest returns and the highest carbon savings. On the other hand, if an organisation can borrow a relatively uncapped amount to invest in specific projects then as long as each project returns a net income above the cost of that capital (and makes a carbon saving) why not? Put another way, how much does it cost to save each tonne of carbon? With any positive return, the answer is it doesn’t. The cost of carbon saving is negative because the project results in a net income. So if this is the case, what is to stop Local Authorities from making money through PV and the Feed in Tariff? Well, I said it was about investment and risk. The risk part of that comes back to Property’s roof replacement schedule so I’m afraid the loud speaker is still in Chris’ bottom drawer. R • Having developed our FIT model for PV, CEN Consulting Ltd is ideally placed to assist in the FIT decision making process. Please send any questions or queries surround the Feed in Tariff to firstname.lastname@example.org.
eFIG and the Interior Landscaping industry
11 years and counting… by COLL SMITH, marketing coordinator, eFIG Ltd n In February 2012 eFIG Ltd celebrated its 11th birthday. eFIG (European Federation of Interior Landscape Groups) is the association for the interior landscaping industry with a membership ranging from large international and national companies to smaller SME businesses. The association was formed to represent everyone within the interior landscaping industry. In fact, it was formed to give a voice to the industry and represent all members so that their work is appreciated and values acknowledged, especially in times of economic restraint or cutbacks. The initiative to form the organisation was taken as a result of the hoo-ha surrounding Portcullis House, the then new home for Westminster’s MPs, and the installation of 12 large Ficus (fig) trees. The media’s negativity focused on the cost of these trees without giving consideration to the benefits they gave. eFIG was formed to meet the need for one voice to retaliate or be spokesperson for the whole interior landscaping industry. The Ficus trees are still at Portcullis House and, given that they have attributed to clean air or oxygen at the building and
helped reduce sickness whist motivating staff and keeping them less stressed, then they have more than paid for themselves. Eleven years on and the coalition Government are still not seeing the benefit The Ficus trees at Portcullis of plants! During their House campaign and since they have condemned the Labour party for spending money on plants. There seems little awareness of the benefits that plants can afford us all in any environment but especially in the workplace. eFIG continues to promote the industry and the professionalism of its members. To this end, they have an accreditation training programme in place available to all members as well as annual prestigious awards – more of which later – plus a marketing programme to ensure that everyone is kept informed.
During 2010 members of the committee were in talks with BREEAM and the UK Green Building Council to promote interior planting as part of the environmental standard for building sustainability. We are pleased to say that due to their hard work the UK Green Building Council has recommended that this be considered by BREEAM this year. This would bring the UK more in line with Australia and the USA. Australia operate a ‘Green Star’ rating for sustainability in which interior planting is recognised. In the USA the LEED accreditation does a similar job to the BREEAM standards and in 2010 they began to see interior planting recognised. Watch this space, as they say, regarding the UK’s standards.
their skills in design, installation and maintenance. There were also awards for technicians who ‘go that extra mile’ and a Lifetime Achievement Award for services to the industry. If you are looking for an interior landscaper for a project or just general advice, see the membership directory at www.efig.eu.com for an accredited professional. q
The influence of the interior landscaping industry Since the inauguration of eFIG the industry has grown. There are now an estimated 350 – 400 interior landscape businesses with an annual turnover of around £100 million. As more and more businesses have realised the value of including plants within their premises the message from the association is that plants can fulfil a multitude of functions within any environment including aesthetics, design – the reflection of the company ethos – and signing. They present a ‘green’ face – helping the company be seen to be green. There are many other benefits of plants in the interior – from air cleaning to humidifying, from aiding concentration to performance, from noise reduction to reducing stress and improving health and wellbeing. Earlier this year research from Australia confirmed that just one plant could reduce stress and anxiety by as much as 60%.
An all-round show and accolades During April 2012, eFIG co-hosted The Landscape Show at Olympia (www.landscapeshow.co.uk) where ‘indoors meets outdoors’ and the many faces of interior landscaping were in attendance. For instance, two particularly pro-active members of eFIG had ‘show gardens’ there. Indoor Garden Design, who in 2010 won Silver Gilt at Chelsea for their Living Office, showed their ‘Indoor Garden’, and Urban Planters featured an ‘Indoors meets Outdoors’ environment. On the first evening of the show, members had their annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner where the best of the industry were rewarded for their work with a prestigious eFIG Leaf Award. It was the eighth Award Ceremony where members were recognised for
Wood Recyclers’ Association enters it’s 2nd decade
by CLEM SPENCER, Chairman, WRA
OThe wood recycling industry is still pretty much an infant. 20 years ago it did not exist in the form that we now know it – and it’s growing up fast! To remind readers, wood recyclers take post-industrial and post-consumer wood from a variety of sources and process it into wood chip for four main uses: panel-board production, animal bedding, land applications - compost, mulches, soil conditioners and pathways – and fuel for biomass plants. Our oldest and still largest market is panel-board, but the trend is moving away from there and towards biomass. Of the 2m-odd tonnes supplied to market in 2009, just over half went to the board mills, and almost a quarter went to biomass, with the remaining quarter finding its way into the (mainly) higher value products: animal bedding and land applications. Two years ago I would have said that we were very much a supply-driven industry. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) 2009 study had more or less halved many people’s perception of how much waste wood was out there waiting to be recycled, from 10 million tonnes per annum to about 4.6 million tonnes. Unquestionably, much of the drop – somewhere between 5 and 20% of it, in the view of the experts – was down to the recession. And WRA members were, in some regions at least, finding wood hard to come by. This was having a double-whammy effect, driving down gate fees while restricting activity in some of our markets. The panel-board industry, for one, was feeling the pinch and this was reflected in their orders. Now the situation is different again. Supplies of feed-stock are generally better. There seem to be some stirrings in our feeder industries, the principal ones being the construction, demolition and commercial sectors where the dire situation of a year ago has eased somewhat. On top of this, our big new market – biomass – has not really kicked in yet. We estimate that the demand
surge will come in 18 months to 2 years. Meanwhile, a number of recyclers are exporting biomass-grade wood until the UK market takes off. This is causing its own highly competitive landscape and keeping prices subdued when otherwise they might be rising. I spoke earlier of the new government, although perhaps we should stop calling it ‘new’ since it has now been in power for almost 2 years. Whatever our political persuasion, we have to accept that the Coalition is hobbled by a national debt of crisis proportions, and the signs are that it is not – so far at least – flinching from the unpleasant task of getting our public finances back into kilter. This affects us all. For the wood recycling industry, it means that we have to work very hard indeed to justify government support, because the goose which previously laid golden eggs is feeling slightly constipated right now. However, it is good to report that our two major projects – development of a standard and quality protocol (QP) for our industry – are now back on after a period of uncertainty. The QP will define the point at which a material ceases to be a waste. It can ease the regulatory burden of recyclers, make exports easier and generally take our industry to a new level of credibility. The timescale for this exercise is tight and the QP will initially be limited in scope, concentrating in the main on untreated wood, although it will potentially include all end uses except WID-compliant biomass. We also have the prospect of further work, sponsored by the EA, to investigate a potential expansion of the QP to include at least some wood treatments. This would be a major bonus, since a lack of clarity on this issue has bedevilled our industry since day one. Meanwhile, WRAP have authorised the British Standards Institution (BSI) to re-start their work to develop a standard for recycled wood, in the form of Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 111. Again the timescale is tight, but PAS111 will be an essential foundation stone for our industry.
One constant in all this has been the relentless success story of the WRA. We were formed just over 10 years ago, in 2001. A year ago we had just signed up our 70th member. We are now up to 80 with a number of others showing interest. According to our latest annual statistic, WRA members now account for over 80% of all the postconsumer wood processed in the UK. Our increasingly broad church now includes machinery manufacturers, panel-board producers, energy companies, one regional authority, consultants and research companies. All of these add variety and a breadth of expertise to our association and our industry. Importantly, the increasing size of the WRA is indicative of a vibrant, rapidly expanding and increasingly important recycling sector. It is, on the surface, surprising that at a time when recyclers are feeling the pinch – as indeed a number are – so many should feel that our £850 annual subscription offers such value for money. So why do they? Part of the answer is that our members know how important it is to keep abreast of what is going on, a happy situation which WRA members enjoy through our quarterly meetings and regular mail updates in between. But, more than this, the WRA
champions the cause of its members by keeping the lines of communication to government well and truly open. Last year, for example, we negotiated improved terms for those who operate under exemptions from environmental permitting. This has saved the livelihoods of a number of companies which, being unable for a number of reasons to obtain an environmental permit, would otherwise have been unable to continue operating beyond April 2012. So, whatever the future brings, the WRA looks set to keep on growing and to maintain its high levels of customer service to its members. q
‘Cradle to grave’ approach to cable drum recycling n For many of us the timber cable drum is an anonymous item. Looking like giant cotton reels, their presence on construction sites or at the roadside is common. How many of us however, consider what happens to them once the cable or ducting has been removed and installed? Firstly, some facts. In most instances cable drums are manufactured in timber. On average, one mature tree can produce four cable drums. In the UK alone some 150,000 timber cable drums are used annually. In most instances these cable drums can be re-used, yet each year in the region of 60,000 drums are newly manufactured. This figure would be significantly higher, but for the cable drum management initiatives developed by Marlin Industries. As a company, Marlin Industries’ main focus is one of encouraging the re-use of existing packaging used within the cable and duct industries. Formed twenty years ago, Marlin Industries has grown to be the UK’s premier organisation for the management of cable drums – from initial manufacture through to end of life recycling. Although a Wales based company, with sites in Wrexham and Newport, Marlin operates across the UK and into Europe with a unique blend of drum collection, refurbishment and recycling processes, handling in excess of 70,000 units annually. Marlin Industries director, John Droog, explains “Re-using existing packaging makes both commercial and environmental sense. In 2010
alone we estimate that effective packaging re-use and recycling has prevented some 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.” Marlin has developed an effective logistics function, operating across mainland UK and Ireland. This enables the efficient pick up of drums and return to one of the Marlin sites for assessment and subsequent refurbishment or recycling, depending on condition. John Droog adds “We have built considerable expertise and capability to support cable manufacturers operating across international borders. Our cable drum management systems are unrivalled. In addition to our drum management and refurbishment operations we also possess an in house timber recycling facility. This in its own right is a significant element of our business. Producing a range of products – decorative ground cover, animal bedding and boiler fuel – means we have a full cradle to grave approach to packaging used in the cable industry.” Main contractors and local authorities have a significant part to play in maximising the numbers of drums re-used or recycled. As part of a best practice regime, the requirement to report empty cable drums for collection should be passed through to sub-contractors engaged in construction and infrastructure projects. All Marlin require is a telephone call, fax or e-mail to initiate the process. In most instances the collection is free, plus the consequent reduction in new packaging provides significant environmental benefits. q
Alliance stands for quality in
wood windows OThe Wood Window Alliance (WWA) is a group of 40 of the leading names in the UK wood window industry, working together to raise standards and promote quality wood windows. Members of the alliance aim to provide a consistently high quality of product and service in delivering, installing and maintaining wood windows across the UK. They also have to meet strict performance, quality and sustainability criteria to ensure the best possible value for customers. Once these standards have been met, members are able to display the distinctive Wood Window Alliance brandmark, which is a reassurance of independently audited quality and performance. What’s more, windows from the Wood Window Alliance are not just the most environmentally-friendly choice, they are also the longestlasting – with a minimum estimated service life of 60 years. The WWA’s campaign aims are to promote the sustainability and beauty of 21st century wood windows, whilst dispelling myths about durability and maintenance.
Wooden windows - dispelling the myths OWooden windows have attracted some bad press in the past. But a revolution in technology and sustainability means that long held misconceptions are now obsolete. says the Wood Window Alliance (WWA). To set the record straight, the WWA has put together some simple myth busters, which provide the facts about modern wood windows. Myth 1 You have to cut down trees to make wood windows and this has a big impact on climate change from deforestation. Fact All WWA windows are made from sustainably sourced timber (FSC, PEFC, SFI or CSA) and carry a full chain of custody certification. This means that the wood used is traceable from sustainable forests where more trees are replanted as they are harvested. Myth 2 Wood windows did not score as highly as expected in the BRE Green Guide. Fact Domestic wood windows made to the standard required for membership of the WWA rate ‘A+’ in BRE’s Green Guide compared with ‘A’ for their nearest competitor material. These wood windows also have the highest score of all windows in the Green Guide by some distance on the crucial ‘Climate Change’ or ‘Global Warming Potential’ rating (the highest weighted factor).
Myth 3 Wood windows aren’t thermally efficient, so it is hard to achieve the goal of reducing energy usage. Fact Wood has very low thermal conductivity, which means it is a
good insulator. But the energy efficiency of a window actually has little to do with the frame material and is mostly affected by the specification of the glazing unit, so well-designed windows have similar thermal efficiencies across the board.
Myth 4 More PVC windows are recycled than wood windows. Fact The window industry in general is making efforts to improve recycling. Although there are no specific figures for the number of recycled windows, the audited volume of recycled waste wood in 2007 was 2 million tonnes and the quantities for PVC recycling were 42,122 tonnes in 2007 and 42,730 tonnes in 2008 (source: Vinyl 2010 progress report 2009).
To this end, the alliance engages with key stakeholders to ensure wooden windows are fairly represented in policy and research. Furthermore, they are committed to driving standards higher still, to make wood once again the number one choice for windows. More and more people understand that windows make a big difference to the look and value of a house, as well as to its energyefficiency. Today’s high performance wood windows don’t just look good, they offer unbeatable energy-efficiency and service life. With proper maintenance they’ll last a lifetime. And, of course, they are the most sustainable solution. The Wood Window Alliance makes it easier to choose them with confidence, with over 40 members offering a range of high quality products that meet independently audited performance and sustainability standards and fulfil the requirements in the latest Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes. R
Queens Cross Housing Association benefits from energy efficient Scandinavian windows from Janex OJanex, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high quality low u-value Scandinavian building products, last year completed a major project for Queens Cross Housing Association, Glasgow with contractors Morrison Spottiswood. The new build development at Murano Street is now finished, and Janex continues to supply this social housing group at Garscube south, east and west. The Murano Street development is the association’s largest ever development providing 140 new build two and three bedroomed flats in a 4-storey block on the site of the former McGhee’s Bakery. Tenants selected Janex products as the company has a long successful history of supplying high quality, low maintenance, energy efficient products for the social housing market. Grant funding has enabled the development to provide mixed tenure – 98 of these homes are for rent and the remainder for shared equity. All properties are designed to a high energy-efficient standard with the provision of off-street parking for all flats. The remaining flats will be built in a single 6-storey crescent-shaped block overlooking the Forth & Clyde Canal. The Janex timber canopy windows for this project are long life, low maintenance products with energy efficient u values. The windows were finished painted grey on the outside and insides. The flat entrance doors supplied are covered by the police security initiative ‘Secured by Design’ for their security features and are FD30 fire doors. Janex has a long history
of supplying leading housing associations across the UK with Scandinavian window and door products for new build projects and for refurbishments. As one of Scandinavia’s finest producers of high performance timber windows and composite doors for the UK market, Janex was the first Scandinavian importer to achieve both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and PEFC (the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) on products for UK customers. Janex products are also certified by testing body TRADA in its Q Mark scheme for high performance and security. Janex has always been at the forefront of product development in Scandinavia and its standard products achieve extremely low u-values for thermal efficiency. No surprise from a firm whose products are manufactured in Norway, a country used to very cold winters and very hot summers. Janex can achieve a
u-value of 0.70 W/m2K for opening sashes and fixed windows calculated in accordance with BS EN 10077-1. This level is better than the current passivhaus level which is 0.8W/ m2K. “Our new highly insulated window construction is becoming more and more popular to achieve the best codes in the Code for Sustainable Homes. Windows are manufactured in Norway from high quality Scandinavian timber sourced from sustainable forests.“ says Brian Davie, director of sales Scotland, Janex. Founded in 1992, by Norwegian Jan Skaara, the firm is headquartered in Egersund, Norway with offices in the UK in London and Falkirk. Their product range includes timber windows, alu-clad timber windows, composite external doors, patio, french and balcony glazed doors. R • www.janex.co.uk.
Dust Monitoring in Urban Redevelopment OAs people become more health conscious they become more concerned about the effects that pollution may have on their lives. For those living in cities, air pollution may be their biggest concern, where traffic and industry are identifiable pollution sources. The redevelopment of urban brownfield sites and other inner city construction or demolition projects has brought another potential pollution source to the public eye. Although gaseous emissions (e.g. NOx) associated with construction and demolition sites may be relatively low, urban redevelopment schemes can have significant impacts on local air quality due to dust emissions. ‘Dust’ is a generic term used to describe particulate matter 1 – 75 µm (micron) in diameter and is generally produced through the
crushing and abrasion of materials. It is often considered in two categories. The size fraction essentially up to 10 µm (PM10) is used as an indicator of local air quality and forms part of National Air Quality Standards (NAQS). PM10 dust is inhalable, and medical studies have linked elevated PM10 concentrations with premature deaths. Although not directly associated with public health, dust above 10 µm may be considered ‘visible’ or ‘nuisance’ dust. There are no formal standards for nuisance dust. The visual impact of dust soiling on surfaces or even as dust clouds can lead to complaints on the grounds of public nuisance and may ultimately lead to court cases. Therefore it is often in the best interests of construction and demolition firms to monitor dust emissions from their sites. Indeed, many site conditions set out by regulatory bodies such as local councils now require monitoring as part of consent to work. For example, the Greater London Authority Best Practice Guidance (London BPG) can be used to help determine which control measures and monitoring may be required. As a rule, PM10 dust is likely to be monitored only where the site is located in an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) or where there is a high risk of NAQS exceedence. It is much more likely therefore that site conditions relating to nuisance dust monitoring will be imposed. Nuisance dust can be monitored either in flux (whilst airborne) or in deposition (where it settles out of the air). Different methods can be used to monitor dust flux and dust deposition and the most ideal will vary depending on the site and setting. ‘Traditional’ equipment for monitoring dust such as using Frisbee-type gauges can be very vulnerable to vandalism and difficult to locate in an urban setting. There can also be high sample transport costs incurred by using such equipment, as the dust samples are collected in bottles that also collect rain water. Glass slide monitoring is another approach to nuisance dust sampling and although inexpensive to deploy, glass slides require careful handling. Sticky pads, such as the DustScan DustDisc dust settlement sampler (pictured) are inexpensive, easily deployed, and the simple jewel-case design makes them easy to handle and much more readily transported than almost any other dust sample collectors. DustScan sticky pads have a specially-formulated adhesive and sample tampering is usually evident (unlike with some other methods). Although some might see dust from redevelopment schemes as an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence, dust monitoring of construction and demolition sites need not be a ‘tick box’ exercise. By following best practice guidance or by seeking advice from specialist dust monitoring consultancies, civil engineering contractors can find that dust monitoring using methods such as the DustDisc need not be an inconvenience, or entail excessive cost, while still ticking the boxes of their site regulators. R
Encraft completes first ever UK certified Passivhaus retrofit project n Low carbon engineering consultancy Encraft has completed the first building in the UK to be certified to the Passivhaus retrofit standard by a UK based certifier. Encraft was appointed by housing association Orbit House of England to retrofit one of its 14,000 homes as part of a pilot scheme to see how adapting existing properties to Passivhaus and other low carbon standards will help slash tenants’ energy bills. The 1940’s semi in Elliott Drive, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire is expected to see heating consumption drop by around 85% as a result of the £100k project. Not only is it the first building in the UK to achieve EnerPHit (Passivhaus retrofit) certification from a UK certifier – it is also the first Wimpey no-fines (sand free concrete) construction house in the world to achieve the standard. The Elliott Drive house was one of a number of speedily built properties built to tackle the post war demand for new housing whose construction is well known for creating condensation, providing poor insulation and thus generating high heating bills. A 70 sq m house of this type would typically cost around £1,100 a year to heat, and Encraft estimates the transformed building should now cost just a couple of hundred to run. The Passivhaus principle is to construct or retrofit a house to minimise its need for heating and cooling by maintaining a constant temperature through effective insulation, airtightness, triple glazed windows and the installation of a mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system. The project saw Encraft oversee the installation of improved insulation in the walls, roof and floor which involved digging out the floor to install 200mm of under concrete insulation and 200mm of insulation around the foundations to minimise thermal bridging. It also required raising the roof level to accommodate thicker insulation, installing new triple glazed windows and doors, attaching airtight rubber grommets around soil, gas and water pipes, installing the MVHR and a small gas heating system. Although they were not strictly a requirement of a Passivhaus, it also involved installing a new kitchen and bathroom and fitting solar PV tiles. Energy reduction is being monitored by Coventry University and the savings are being compared with those achieved by the other half of the pair of semi-detached houses which Encraft also retrofitted but in a less extensive, more affordable manner.
58 Elliott Drive has become only the second building in the UK to be certified to the Passivhaus retrofit – EnerPHit – standard
A growing number of housing associations are keen to explore the benefits of Passivhaus construction and retrofit to enable tenants to reduce their heating costs and avoid or escape fuel poverty. Encraft are also working with several other housing associations on Passivhauses and on a newbuild site in Coventry as part of a project to compare Passivhaus standards to Code level 6 on two adjacent properties on an infill plot donated by Coventry City Council. Encraft Passivhaus consultant Helen Brown explained: “This project marks a turning point in the UK Passivhaus and EnerPHit sector. Not only is it the second EnerPHit project, and the first to be certified by a UK-based certifier, it has also achieved higher air tightness results than those required by Passivhaus standards, thus dramatically reducing energy bills for tenants. “58 Elliott Drive was the first Wimpey no-fine house in the world to be retrofitted to this standard. It shows what can be achieved with this kind of building and how it can be applied to the rest of the UK housing stock. “This gives us hope that in these times of austerity and fuel poverty, we can really make a difference to thousands of families on a limited income, in a costeffective way and with respect for the environment. “Because the triple glazed windows remain at 17 degrees, even if it is below zero outside, there is no need for traditional heating such as radiators under the windows. The temperature remains constant and additional heat can be delivered via the MVHR system which has ducts to every room. Background heating can be fitted as an additional source of warmth but a 100 sq m house only needs a 1kw boiler compared with the 12 to 20 kW model required in a traditionally Encraft Passivhaus team Paul White, Dr Sarah Price, Helen Brown and Steven Coulsting celebrate making 58 constructed home.” q Elliott Drive the first building in the UK to be certified to EnerPHit standard by a UK certifier
Air Spectrum re-engineer their awardwinning range n Following Air Spectrum Environmental Ltd’s recent analysis of their range of odour suppression chemicals, the industry experts have re-engineered their market-leading range to ensure clients are receiving the optimum product to meet their requirements. This has led to the Midlands based company rationalising their Odr range. Four strengths (Odr 1 – 4) will be available with either a natural fragrance or one of a range of 10 signature scents, including green grass, bubble gum and pine. Two industrial strengths are also available with natural fragrance only (Odr 5 and Odr 6). Air Spectrum’s four different core blends target a wide ranging variety of odours, with Odr 1 being a neutraliser for use where light or intermittent odour is a problem in workplaces, such as composting facilities or landfill sites. Odr 2 is aimed at heavier odour problems, such as waste-transfer stations. If there is a constant stream of odour causing discomfort to employees and neighbours, Air Spectrum recommend Odr 3, whereas Odr 4 can be used to combat high levels of odour on an intermittent or constant basis, such as in food processing and manufacturing facilities. The move is particularly relevant given the on-going drought conditions that are gripping much of the country as businesses that rely on being able to successfully neutralise the odours they produce can now do so in the most waterefficient way possible. On the 16th April, with water levels at their lowest point since 1976, official drought conditions were declared in another 17 counties. Following two dry winters which the UK’s Environment Agency says “left rivers and ground waters depleted”, the areas affected now include much of the Midlands and the South West. Counties affected in the Midlands include, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. And in the South West, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucester, Hampshire and Wiltshire are all affected. Air Spectrum’s re-engineered four-strong Odr range still has the capability to neutralise a vast variety of odours, while they also ensure the best chemical compositions to meet their customers’ requirements. Mark Thomas, general manager of the
Worcester-based company, commented: “Air Spectrum’s Odr range of odour neutralisers is specifically designed to negate the threat of these issues, by controlling odour in any environment. Its primary function is to neutralise odour before it leaves the site boundary or processing outlet. “Operators using Odr protect their neighbours from exposure to annoying smells, eliminating the possibility of complaint or investigation and ensuring compliance with air pollution regulations. “Odr is a best-selling range of organic, non-toxic, foodgrade odour neutralisers using bio-degradable essential oils collected from sustainable resources. Some Odr types are fragranced but, unlike masking chemicals that can cause greater environmental problems than they resolve, Odr neutralises malodour by removing it from the air.” Odr combats odour in five different ways – pairing: oxidisation, adsorption, absorption and combination. These work as follows: Pairing: Odr contains substances which will chemically pair with odorous compounds, changing the properties of the odour molecule,
rendering it odourless. Oxidisation: Odour molecules can be oxidised to produce an odourless solution. A combination of oxygen, Odr and hydrogen ions generates a safe reaction, resulting in odour neutralisation. Adsorption: Certain odorous molecules will attach themselves to Odr neutraliser, generating a minute energy charge that partly neutralises their odour and adsorbs them into a larger odourless compound. Absorption: Certain odour compounds dissolve into Odr neutraliser, losing their odour in the process. Combination: Odr odour neutraliser combines with certain odorous molecules, changing their structure to generate new molecules that are environmentally friendly and completely odourless. q • For further information call 01905 362100 or visit www.airspectrum.com. The new line-up of Odr is available now and will be accompanied by an all-new technical brochure from May which can be obtained by emailing Hayley. Jordan@airspectrum.com.
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