ZED were delighted to work with the BBC show DIY SOS on its latest sustainable building project. We produced an energy model and Part L compliance verification for the build. Our involvement ensured that the  new building for Getaway Girls is compliant with Part L of  the Building Regulations, which concerns the conservation of fuel and power.

Our Technical Director, Jason Richards, previously worked with DIY SOS on a big build in Blackburn that provided accommodation for the charity Nightsafe. We are thrilled to have had our services enlisted again to support a local charity.

The team from DIY SOS, a show that helps transform houses across Britain, came together with BBC Radio 2 in a nine-day venture to construct a new site for a charity in Leeds, UK. Alongside DIY SOS and BBC Radio 2, we were joined by Jo Love from ADP, who provided interior design services for the project.

The charity Getaway Girls, which works to empower young women and girls, will receive a brand new home in Seacroft. It will have counselling rooms, a garden, offices, activity spaces, a creche and a music and media studio. The build is part of the Children in Need 2022 campaign.

ZED team with Zoe Ball
Left To right: Zoe Ball (BBC Radio 2 Presenter), Jason Richards (ZED) and Jordan Turner (ZED).
ZED with ADP and DIY SOS
Left To right: Jo Love from ADP, Jason Richards (ZED) and Gabby Blackman (DIY SOS interior designer)

What is Part L Building Regulations?

Part L of the Building Regulations set the standard forestablishes how energy-efficient new and existing buildings need to be. This in turn helps to enhance energy performance and reduce carbon emissions.

Not only is Part L a fundamental requirement for delivering a construction project, but it also goes hand in hand with our core value of delivering reduced and net zero carbon buildings.  By supporting DIY SOS in this big build project, we can ensure that the new home of Getaway Girls is safe, sustainable and has a reduced energy consumption.

Jason Richards, ZED’s Technical Director said: “ZED was delighted to play its part in providing thermal modelling for Building Regulations Part L compliance at the new home of Getaway Girls in Leeds. I jumped at the chance of being involved with my second DIY SOS Big Build project after seeing first-hand the positive impact that these amazing projects bring to the charities and the lasting legacies they leave in the wider community. Hopefully, we can be involved in future DIY SOS projects.”

The project was featured as part of the Children in Need campaign, tune in to the episode.

ZED with DIY SOS team
Left to right: Chris Frediani (DIY SOS), Billy Byrne (DIY SOS), Julian Perryman (DIY SOS), Jordan Turner (ZED), Jason Richards (ZED), Gabby Blackman (DIY SOS) and Nick Knowles (DIY SOS).

ZED were involved in reviewing the energy and carbon assessments during the modelling of the building. ZED provided Net Zero Carbon consultancy advice to support McDonalds in developing the building and services strategy for the pioneering approach for this restaurant.

Wind-powered net zero McDonald’s opens in Market Drayton – BBC News

The imminent release of the latest SAP calculation methodology (SAP 10) has given us a sneak peak at the new routes to energy compliance in the residential sector – this also allows us to speculate on the changes which may also be coming in the belated release of non-domestic PartL2A expected at some point next year.

Along with changes outlined below – the regulations are finally representing the great work the UK has done to embrace renewable power sources whilst simultaneously de-commissioning inefficient and carbon intensive methods of energy generation.

This will be a step change in how building servicing strategies are determined, placing greater emphasis on demand reduction to comply with the regulations – the balance of gas and grid electric carbon is now almost at parity and is only going one way in the future. Offsetting carbon generated by an inefficient building with PV will become less viable – driving building designers down a different path.

Here is a summary of the major changes and what they might mean to you:

Electric CO2 emissions reduce significantly

As mentioned above – the changes to the electricity related carbon emissions may be the most significant factor – reducing from 0.519 kgCO2/kWh to 0.233 kgCO2/kWh.

The carbon factor has been applied for current greener production and reduced carbon emissions associated with older method of producing electricity (coal burning).  SAP 10 recognises a greener grid and efficient energy mix for production which will give designers more options moving forward.

The assumed heating pattern has changed

Heating patterns traditionally assumed that weekend energy usage is higher than weekdays. Through study and actual data collection – this has been proven not to be the case. SAP 10 has been adapted to apply a more realistic daily pattern every day of the week. This aims to reduce energy use and cost overall.

Default distribution loss factors associated with heat networks have been increased

Decentralised network losses have been underestimated or where unknown, too much leeway has been given in the current version. Changes will marginally reduce effectiveness which could have impacts particularly on schemes where heat networks are popular and significant carbon reductions are required by Planning –  London for example. There will be a focus on calculating and proving anticipated network losses in order to claim benefits – continuing to leave losses as ‘default’ will mean that the assumption is taken that 50% of heat is lost in transmission resulting in huge carbon penalties to be offset elsewhere. This is where employing a CIBSE Accredited Heat Network Consultant can also pay real dividends to help minimise these losses through good design and implementation of the recognised best practice standard.

The calculation of lighting energy has been updated

Accurate lighting design will have a higher impact against a simpler approach to calculation in previous SAP models. This is in line with the SBEM method which credits lighting type(s) with higher efficacies

The options for entering thermal bridges have been revised

As accuracy and age of the ACD scheme (Accredited Construction Details) have come into question, SAP 10 will remove this with the introduction of alternative schemes or giving the option for bespoke heat loss values to be calculated for each junction. Not using thermally efficient construction details will have a big impact on carbon compliance.

Hot water consumption has been adjusted for shower flow rate

As opposed to a standardised usage value, SAP 10 will take actual flow rates from each shower based on fittings used. This will lead to variations between fitting types and more alignment with water energy efficiency calculations under Part G of Building Regs.

The configuration of PV systems will matter

SAP 2012 used a fixed assumption for the proportion of electrical energy generated by Photovoltaic (PV) systems to be consumed within the dwelling regardless of what is connected to an individual dwelling.

This has now been changed so formulas calculate only direct PV supply per dwelling.

PV diverters can now be included

A PV diverter prevents electricity produced from photovoltaic panels from being exported to the grid, and instead directs it to an immersion heater in the water cylinder. It will now be possible to account for these systems in SAP 10 which will provide extra design options.

MCS overshading data can now be used

An option will now exist in SAP 10 to allow the overshading factor used for the PV calculation to be taken from Microgeneration Certification Scheme data. This would overwrite the default options currently available in SAP.

In summary, these changes will provide much needed additional sophistication and accuracy to the SAP calculation enabling building designers to drill down into the carbon impact of the measures they are taking. In theory, greater accuracy at design stage will enable better prediction of performance in use and the better application of various building technology – all round a step in the right direction.

The WELL standard

During the last decade the industry has quickly evolved to tackle climate change, energy and carbon reduction – this mindset is now established and engrained as ‘part of the day job’ for building designers and operators.

Concurrently, significant scientific study has been undertaken into the effects of the built environment on our cognition, health, productivity & general wellbeing and people are starting to realise that creating a better environment for our workers can have a far bigger impact on the bottom line than almost any other form of investment. The WELL Building Standard is the first of its kind to focus on strategies to support environments designed to enhance health and wellbeing. The standard targets our main body systems which enable humans to live, learn and work, grouped into 10 main concepts (Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal comfort, Sound, Material, Mind and Community) The benefits of each intervention are evidenced by a solid body of scientific work designed to have a small positive impact on our human experiences.

The recent release of v2 of the standard offers the perfect opportunity to get on board with the WELL movement and really make positive changes to the buildings we occupy with alternative schemes such as FITWEL and the BCO Wellness Roadmap for Offices offering different pathways to achieving the same outcome – better buildings for us all.

Whichever route you choose, full or partial assessment, ‘in principle’ measures incorporated into new projects or refurbishments; this will certainly be a differentiator for your organisation, helping attract and retain happy and productive staff. Businesses typically spend up to 90% of their overhead costs on salaries and benefits, around 9% for rent & operations and 1% for energy. It therefore follows that the space we create for employees should be focused on getting the best out of the people we invest in.

Better human environments
As building designers and operators, we can influence human environments for the better through the adoption of WELL concepts – for example, the Mind concept not only looks to support mental health (which affects 30% of adults during their lifetime & costs the global economy an estimated $1tn annually) but also seeks to create a positive environment by offering access to nature and advice on strategies to enhance a positive state of mind. The concept also looks at support programs to discuss mental health relating to sleep, stress and substance use.

A theme running through the Movement concept is the promotion of activity at work with the introduction of active furnishings, improved ergonomics and alternative breakout areas. Using stairways, offering fitness classes and encouraging active commutes via walking running and cycling are all enhancing fitness and activity – the increased interactions this brings with fellow workers will also foster a sense of community and team spirit.

Internal environments which are thermally comfortable all year round, flooded with fresh air and making the best possible use of natural light will inevitably produce a greater sense of wellbeing and improve our experiences. Building designers, Architects, MEP Engineers, Building Physicists and Lighting Designers all play a pivotal role in getting it right on the drawing board, but will space churn and layout changes have potential unintended consequences for the users? Maintaining a WELL certification will involve continuous monitoring and validation of these key indicators to ensure building performance right through the lifecycle.

In summary, the wellbeing movement is whipping up real interest – we firmly believe that adoption of the principles for the next generation of building design can only have positive impacts for us all.