Select Committee on Environmental Audit Written Evidence

Annex A


1.  EcoHomes

  NHBC sponsored the recent new BRE EcoHomes Environmental Rating Scheme and associated Green Guide to Housing Specification. It covers all the elements of the building, energy, transportation, pollution, materials, water, ecology, land use, and health and wellbeing.

  EcoHomes is designed to be developed continuously as understanding of the issues grows.

  The Housing Corporation now requires EcoHomes ratings as a norm.

  NHBC is a registered assessor under the scheme, providing Environmental Ratings and supporting a wide cross-section of the Industry with advice.

2.  Sustainability in Residential Landscapes

  NHBC is sponsoring a PhD study in the University of Sheffield which has the potential to expand EcoHomes.

3.  Home Energy Ratings

  NHBC worked closely with NEF (National Energy Foundation) at the inception of the Home Energy Rating Scheme and NHBC now runs a successful national energy rating programme.

4.  Contaminated land

  NHBC sets standards, and provides insurance cover, for contaminated land reuse.

  NHBC is also contributing to the SITA Environmental Trust project—a Contaminated Land Web for the Construction Industry.

5.  Waste Management

  NHBC is involved in the work on a Single Regeneration Permit, aimed at simplifying legislation and the waste management process, with organisations including the former British Gas, ODPM and the Environment Agency.

6.  Conversions Warranty

  NHBC Conversions Standards, Inspection and Insurance encourage the reuse of existing buildings, and the sensible retention and upgrading of elements, by making them mortgageable.

7.  Climate Change

  NHBC supports and is involved in several projects about climate change and adaptability in the industry, including with SPRU, CIRIA and others.

8.  SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems)

  NHBC is involved in and funds several projects on natural drainage systems that utilise the landscape (SUDS), including three with CIRIA (Design; Guidance; and Good Practice).

  We also contribute to a further CIRIA project on Sustainable Water Management in Land Use Planning.

9.  Flooding

  NHBC jointly sponsored DTLR's "Preparing for Floods" document and sat on the Steering Group.

  NHBC also jointly sponsored the CIRIA document "Repair of Buildings following Flooding" and sat on the Steering Group.

10.  Europe

  By providing the Technical Secretariat to the UEPC (European Union of House-Builders), and in other ways such as through AEHWO, FOCOPE (Forum in the European Parliament for Construction), NHBC is influencing European Directives and legislation on a range of relevant issues including sustainability.

May 2004

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