The GHA has developed a significant policy presence since its launch, and we are continuing to grow our influence with the new government. Our current work is focusing on the need for as-built performance measurement, and simpler, more-effective regulation. We have also started to work on wider policy aspects of good homes relating to planning and localism, including health, well-being and sustainable lifestyles.
Using the practical experience of its members and associated research work, the GHA is lobbying Government and land owners to encourage fully sustainable house building through legislation and specification. Our current policy activities include:
The energy paper highlights our Members' experience of implementing the energy requirements at Levels 3 & 4, suggesting that there are some inconsistencies in the Code, that the % reduction methodology can be unhelpful for some building types, and that there are significant unintended consequences arising from the fuel factors defined in Building Regulations. These issues were recognised by DCLG and the points were examined and addressed as part of the 2010 review of Part L of the Building Regulations.
The water paper highlighted problems with this section of the code and the water calculator, which were also acknowledged by DCLG and were under consultation as part of the Part G 2010 review. The water calculator has now been updated but inapporapraite rainwater harvesting is still being specified for higher levels of the Code.
The GHA also highlighted some difficulties with using BRE's Green Guide to Specification in the materials section of the Code - see the section below for more info.
- transparency of the LCA data
- build up of the data into Generic Profiles
- potential negative impacts on whole-house performance
- use of the Green Guide as a Planning or Code requirement
Many of these criticisms remain valid today; a copy of the critique and an update following recent responses can be downloaded below.
The University of Sheffield, Lecture Theatre 6, The Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN
The National Self Build & Renovation Centre, Swindon, SN5 8UB
Lovedon Fields, Kings Worthy, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7NJ.
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