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My sustainable building services reading list -2019 round up

As we approach the end of 2019, my reading this year has had a few highlights:

1) Sustainable Renovation -by Chris Morgan

There was no doubt that this was an incredibility important publication and my highlight of the year. This Design Guide is aimed at everybody in the retrofit sector from Policy Makers and Housing organisations, to Architects, Builders, Surveyors and those simply interested in upgrading their own homes.  It has had enormous interest from the grass routes public which is encouraging. The current new build rates is so low (under 1%) it will take 100 years to improve our stock. So if we have any hope of meeting the net zero targets we have to look at major retrofit programs. In the absence of any government initiatives this guide will allow concerned citizens to undertake their own projects.

Available as a free download from Pebble Trust:

2) Healthy Homes -by Nick Baker & Koen Steemers

Whilst energy demand is always stressed as number one priority, the other aspects of ecological design are massively important for our physical and psychological health, and can be incorporated at little or no extra cost.

3) VAT Notice – Energy Saving Materials

From 1 Oct 2019 we now have a very confusing VAT treatment for Energy Saving Materials (ESM)- this used to be a simple 5% rate. Now:

20% for the installation of wind turbines and water turbines.

5% on only the labour cost element of a supply of installation where the value of the materials exceeds 60% of the total cost charged to the customer.

However, this restriction will not apply where the customer satisfies certain conditions (is aged 60 or over or is in receipt of certain benefits), the supply is to a relevant housing association or the building in which the ESMs are installed is used solely for a relevant residential purpose.

Does this mean a home renewable installation is at 5% as I would imagine the install is in a building used for residential purpose? Who knows!

4) 100 UK CLT Projects -by Andrew Waugh & Anthony Thistleton

Really improved my knowledge of CLT – available as free download from:

5)   Case study: Cambridge Central Mosque – CIBSE journal July 2019

Mark Maidment of Skelly & Couch’s M&E design allowed Cambridge’s elegant new mosque to have superb comfort and sustainability at its heart. It inspired me to push for more natural ventilation and daylighting in my projects.