We are able to advise on how construction can ease the burden on the environment

Gateley Vinden is conscious that construction must become more ‘green’ and is committed to providing a more ethical service and assist other stakeholders to do the same.

We provide the following monitoring and assessment services to achieve approved or better ratings for our construction clients.

  • SAP calculations.
  • EPC's.
  • Water Efficiency Calculations.
  • Sustainability Appraisals. 
  • Air Leakage Testing.


Gateley Vinden can provide BREEAM assessment services. 

The BREEAM New Construction Scheme can be used to assess the environmental life cycle impacts of new non-domestic buildings at the design and construction stages. ‘New Construction’ is defined as a development that results in a new standalone structure, or new extension to an existing structure, which will come into operation/use for the first time upon completion of the works.

The BREEAM New Construction scheme is applicable to new non–domestic buildings in the UK only.

Gateley Vinden is licenced for offices, industrial, education, healthcare, higher education, courts, prisons and retail buildings.

Aims of BREEAM

  1. To mitigate the life cycle impacts of buildings on the environment.
  2. To enable buildings to be recognised according to their environmental benefits.
  3. To provide a credible, environmental label for buildings.
  4. To stimulate demand for sustainable buildings.

Standard Assessment Procedures (SAPs)

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is also run by the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

All new domestic developments require SAP Calculations and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) under Building Regulations Approved Documents L1a. this is a detailed measurement of the overall energy efficiency of the property.

Building materials, heating systems and the like are measured against stock values provided by the Government. Every dwelling in a development is assessed and given a Target Emission Rate (TER) and Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) which must be achieved to pass Building Regulations.

Gateley Vinden can produce the assessments and advise generally on how assessments can be improved.

Energy Performance Certificate

Energy Performance Certificates have been introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of all buildings. Since October 2008, all properties – homes, commercial and public buildings – when bought, sold, built or rented need an EPC.

Gateley Vinden has a number of fully qualified and accredited energy assessors that produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient. The EPC can be provided for new build dwellings – if dealing with a new build, most of the information required will be shown on planning drawings and in the specifications of a development and rarely requires a site visit. However, for existing buildings, a site visit is required.

Water Efficiency Calculations

Part G Building Regulations changed on 6 April 2010 and all new homes and conversions are now required to meet new water efficiency targets.

This means that Building Control will now be asking for calculations to show that no more than 125 litres of potable water per person, per day, are used in all new houses and conversions. In practice, this means that developers will now have to consider what types of taps, showers, WCs, baths and other appliances they will be fitting.

We are very experienced in potable water calculations and there are two main routes for developers to take. Firstly, rainwater harvesting systems can be installed to capture rainwater and reuse it in WCs, washing machines and outside taps.

These systems can have a very significant effect on reducing potable water consumptions to under the maximum 125 l/p/d.

Alternatively, reduced flow taps and showers, more efficient WCs, dishwashers and washing machines and sometimes smaller baths will need to be installed.

We can provide the formal calculations now required by Building Control as well as guidance on what types of taps, showers etc will need to be fitted.

We would recommend these are done early in the build process to ensure the proposed fittings will meet these new requirements.

Sustainability Appraisals

Our Sustainability team will work alongside the design team to provide expert guidance on sustainability issues to ensure the most suitable and cost effective solutions. We can provide Sustainability Statements to support planning applications.

Many Local Planning Authorities require a Sustainability Statement to be submitted as part of a planning application. This is often combined with a requirement to provide a reduction in carbon emission/energy use of the building through onsite generation of energy using Low or Zero Carbon (LZC) and Renewable energy technologies.

The local planning authority may also require the development to achieve a particular Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM rating; credits are available within these schemes for utilising LZC technology to provide a percentage reduction in CO2 emissions.

Our Sustainability Statement will typically cover the following issues:

  • Predicted Energy Use.
  • Water consumption.
  • Site ecology.
  • Local Community and Transport.
  • Flood Risk.
  • Materials.

Air Leakage Testing

Air tightness of a building is also known as ‘air permeability’ and when measured is referred to as the building air leakage rate.

Air leakage can occur through gaps, holes and cracks in the fabric of the building envelope (service penetrations, wall/roof junctions etc), which are not always visible.

Air leakage affects the building’s performance and is one of the key areas in meeting or exceeding Building Regulations Part L standards for low carbon buildings, Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM.

Making a building airtight reduces the amount of fuel needed to heat it, which in turn reduces the CO2 produced, reduces your carbon footprint and your energy bills.

The air tightness strategy should be developed in line with the fabric and ventilation proposals.

Part L of the Buildings Regulations requires that all non-domestic buildings, which have a gross floor area greater than 500m², are subject to mandatory air permeability tests.

For domestic dwellings, as a minimum, a representative sample of houses (in a development) must be tested.

I would recommend Gateley Vinden to any organisation or individual looking for advice or assistance

Helena Partnerships - Development Manager (Programme Delivery)

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