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Firms explore low carbon building design

Architects and suppliers of sustainable building technologies in Greater Manchester came together in Stockport on 7 June to explore opportunities for specifying low carbon technologies in building design.

Architects and suppliers of sustainable building technologies in Greater Manchester came together in Stockport on 7 June to explore opportunities for specifying low carbon technologies in building design.

With a pipeline of housing and property developments in the north west worth £6.8 billion, the event aimed to highlight where, how and why low carbon technologies should be incorporated into new build projects. 

The event was led by Stockport Council and the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub, with additional speakers from businesses in the Hub’s Low Carbon Network; a virtual community of local suppliers of low carbon goods and services.  

Around 40 companies attended from across the building design and low carbon sectors, including architects, planning consultants, property developers and technology suppliers. 

Planning requirements

The event was an opportunity for Stockport Council to outline the importance of low carbon technologies in local planning requirements, with Angie Jukes, technical policy and planning specialist at Stockport Council, providing an overview of Stockport’s Energy Opportunities Plan and the guidance on offer to the construction sector. 

As part of its Energy Opportunities Plan, Stockport Council is aiming for an improvement in energy and fuel efficiency of 30 per cent in non-domestic buildings and 60 per cent in domestic buildings against 2006 Part L Building regulation levels.

Design strategies

Following Angie Jukes, Brian Morris, managing director of Manchester-based building services design consultancy, BCM, provided an overview of holistic design strategies for implementing and financing low carbon technologies in new developments.

A number of technology-specific presentations were also given by Low Carbon Network members, including solar PV specialists, NPS Solar; ground and air source heat pump specialists, Groundtherm; sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) specialists, Langford Direct; and biomass specialists, AFS Biomass.  

‘Change taking place’

“The event was very forward looking and attracted a knowledgeable audience of construction professionals”, said Brian Morris.

“The interest in and enthusiasm for the different financial models which can bring commercial benefits to developments was refreshing and showed a maturing industry which is looking forward without the old reliance on government incentives. 

“It’s clear that change is taking place in the industry and there is a growing acknowledgement that the strategic inclusion of sustainable technologies will bring commercial benefits to those teams that embrace the opportunities.”

Vicky Hall, low carbon sector advisor at the Business Growth Hub, said: “Research shows that more needs to be done to ensure new properties are meeting their targets on energy use and sustainability.

“Bringing together companies responsible for building design and providers of sustainable building technologies is a great way to let the sector know what expertise is available locally.

To find out more about the Business Growth Hub’s Low Carbon Network or sector support for SMEs, visit the Hub's Green Growth website.