By Annette Forster, Director of Marketing at Wienerberger
The building industry now has sight of the 2014 editions of the Building Regulation Part L Approved Documents, providing guidance on cutting carbon emissions through savings in the energy needed to heat, cool, ventilate, light, and supply hot water to new buildings. The new regulations for England require a 6% reduction in CO2 emissions for domestic buildings or 9% for commercial compared to 2010 Building Regulations. Wales has differing regulations for the first time, from 31st July 2014, requiring an 8% reduction in CO2 emissions for domestic buildings compared to the 2010 regulations.
A new element to these regulations is the Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) that is being introduced for new houses. This ensures developers must take a ‘Fabric First’ approach to new homes, which is a key part of the Wienerberger philosophy. The Wienerberger e4 brick house has been designed in conjunction with global engineering and design consultancy, ARUP, to meet that need; combining high performance, responsibly sourced products and materials, super-efficient build methodology and ingenious design flexibility. Specifically, the house will offer a sustainable environment for its life cycle of 150 years plus. Using a ‘fabric first’ approach, It offers excellent whole life carbon performance and is designed for maximum operational efficiency.
The Wienerberger e4 brick house makes use of traditional natural clay products (such as bricks and roof tiles) while combining innovative methodology efficiencies – such as making use of the Porotherm clay-block walling system for the internal walls. On the roof, the thermal mass of clay, combined with the air gaps behind and between the tiles, means that the roof tiles will reduce the rate at which the building will heat up when exposed to sunlight and will slow down the rate at which the building will cool at night. The overall effect is to create modern homes that not only offer exceptional building performance, but that will do so for a life-cycle of 150 years plus.
It is ideas such as this, which we truly believe are the future of the construction industry. Sustainability, and the focus on energy saving is the future, and it’s up to experts like us to advise the industry on the ‘fabric first’ approach.