In 2007, as part of the overarching regional strategy to build a low carbon economy in the North East, the Regional Development Agency One North East (ONE) and the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) commissioned the Microrenewables Toolkit 2.0. The purpose of the project was to aid planners in ensuring the optimum low carbon solutions are used in buildings, and that developers follow all relevant national and regional policy. Further funding for the project was given through the European Regional Development Fund.
Sustainability Guidance for North East Buildings
This document was originally created by a collaboration of Narec, CP Energy, and BRE (Building Research Establishment). However since then many factors, both regulatory and technological, have changed, including the removal of the Regional Spatial Strategies, and with them regional renewable energy targets. Therefore it was felt that a dramatic rewrite was necessary. Due to these changes, Narec Distributed Energy was employed through Narec by ANEC and ONE to update and improve the original.
Within this document, the policy requirements on local authorities are discussed, and exactly what is expected of them. This document is intended to ensure that planners have a full understanding of present legislation.
There are many examples of low carbon developments, both within and outside of the UK. This document looks at some of these, and demonstrates the possibilities that are open when planning new developments. Some of these, such as Four Housing Group’s Sinclair Meadows and Gentoo’s Racecourse Estate, are within the North East of England and show exactly what an exemplar project is capable of.
Carbon Mixer® North East 2.0
A new version of the Carbon Mixer® North East software was developed. This software offered a common language for planners, architects and developers, showing both the financial and carbon cost of new developments, ensuring that initial rough cuts of the sustainability of new developments can be assessed quickly, and so all developments are compared on the same system. Bobby Gilbert & Associates were responsible for the original version of the Carbon Mixer®, and therefore created the updated version.
Using the Microrenewables Toolkit, it was hoped that the North East will be able to follow all the relevant legislation with regard to energy, and make the region a world class exemplar on how a low carbon society can be created.
Carbon Mixer North East 2.0 is no longer available for download, and the software is now quite old. We hope in the future to revive this software, as we felt it was a very good intuitive tool for local authorities to ensure adherence to low carbon planning rules.
Sustainability Guidance for North East buildings is available as a downloadable pdf:
A sister project, the Carbon Mixer for Schools, was funded by One North East and developed by Narec, Bobby Gilbert & Associates and the Centre for Design Research.