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Baker Homes Blog

Richard Lupo

Recent Posts

Quantifying the effects of climate change on wellbeing

Posted by Richard Lupo on 26/07/16 07:30

Perhaps one of the most important environmental impacts at the moment is that of carbon emissions. Would it be a good idea to be able to quantify how many people are affected per tonne of carbon emitted? Yes it would, because this can then be used in wellbeing accounting and then managed accordingly.

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Topics: Health and Wellbeing, Climate change, Environment, Carbon

New build 10% cheaper, loads of % better – using BIM

Posted by Richard Lupo on 31/05/16 07:30

We’re told that when a bricklayer first walks onto a building site, the first thing he or she does is not lay any bricks.  They spend quite a bit of time working out exactly where the windows should be.  This is because they want to position them exactly such that there is a neat half brick / whole brick pattern around the window frame.  A very neat aim, but surely this is all on the architect’s drawing.  Well, apparently not.  Not, that is, unless the drawing is created under a Building Information Modelling (BIM) regime.  A BIM drawing would show bricklayers exactly where the windows should be to create the desired, neat effect.  This can save nearly a day of bricklayers’ time on site and serves as just one example of how BIM can cut costs on site.

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Topics: Sustainability, New build, Energy efficiency, BIM

A life more noble: compulsory reading for the housing & construction sector

Posted by Richard Lupo on 09/05/16 07:30

Encouraging people to lead a noble life was one of the driving forces behind the work of social housing pioneer Octavia Hill. Reflections on her ambition and the extent to which we have achieved it (or not!) are relayed in a recent book by Octavia Housing Association. I would urge everyone to get it.

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Free damp and mould action plan for landlords

Posted by Richard Lupo on 07/04/16 07:30

Excess humidity, damp and mould growth is present in almost half of UK homes, with severe cases affecting over 598,000 properties.  A significant majority of these belong to social housing providers for whom this is a long standing problem, and the costs are substantial.[1]

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Topics: Heating, Health and Wellbeing, SHIFT partner, ventillation

Free heat meter surveys for social landlords

Posted by Richard Lupo on 05/04/16 07:30

At Baker Homes we know that the recent heat metering regulations have concentrated effort on installing meters in heat networks.  This is good for residents, because they get charged only for what they use as opposed to a flat rate regardless of what they use.  It’s also good for the environment because, when heat meters are installed the heat usage is generally more efficient and so results in fewer carbon emissions.

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Topics: Heating, Energy, Bills

Free CPD on PassivHaus design principles

Posted by Richard Lupo on 22/03/16 10:30


Using Passivhaus design principles for new build homes and refurbishment can dramatically reduce carbon emissions, cut residents’ fuel bills and improve general health and wellbeing.  But what are Passivhaus principles?  What’s involved?  What are the costs?  What are the benefits to the landlord?  Baker Homes has been alerted to a resource that may help with getting these questions answered.  What’s especially useful is that the resources is free and comes in CPD format, so will be useful to building professionals.

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Topics: Retrofit, SHIFT partner, New build, Passivhaus

An update on the latest technology and research on smart buildings

Posted by Richard Lupo on 03/11/15 07:30

Level 39 in the famous Canary Wharf was the venue for an event named “Reducing Energy Demand with Smart Buildings” on 24th October 2015.

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Topics: Social housing, Baker Homes, research, Housing Sector

Treasury propose carbon tax for charities and public bodies

Posted by Richard Lupo on 23/10/15 07:30

Treasury has published a consultation on streamlining carbon reporting. Hidden in the consultation, aptly named “Reforming the business energy efficiency tax landscape” is a proposal for charities and public bodies to report, and potentially pay tax, for their carbon emissions.

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Topics: Consultation, Regulations & Standards, Energy, Carbon, Housing Sector

Value for money can save you money

Posted by Richard Lupo on 01/09/15 07:30

Recent policy announcements have hit housing associations hard. Funding for energy efficiency projects is less certain and revenue from rents will be limited in future. As a result, ensuring every penny spent is doing as much as it can is of all the more importance.

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Urban heat island - what is it, how does it create overheating and how can greenery help?

Posted by Richard Lupo on 18/08/15 07:30

Parks and greenery in built up areas can reduce overheating by 1oC. And people’s actual reception of comfort from parks and greenery equates to nearly 2oC cooling. That is the finding from a recent review paper in Building and Environment scientific journal.[1]

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Topics: Health and Wellbeing, Overheating, Flooding, Ecology, Climate change

Lead the way on net wellbeing accounting

Posted by Richard Lupo on 10/08/15 07:00

In 2010 the Prime Minister said it was important to “start measuring our progress as a country, not just by how our economy is growing, but by how our lives are improving; not just by our standard of living, but by our quality of life”. Richard Lupo, our Senior Sustainability Consultant (pictured) is carrying out research into a new method of net wellbeing accounting and is looking for volunteer case studies. 

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Topics: Health and Wellbeing, Residents, Energy efficiency

The wait is over! New sustainable home building standard is announced

Posted by Richard Lupo on 21/04/15 07:00

After over a year of disruption since government announced “winding down” of the Code for Baker Homes, a new home building standard has finally been announced.  It is called the Home Quality Mark (HQM) and is being developed by BRE.

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Topics: Social housing, Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing, Regulations & Standards, New build, Performance gap

Are you charging your residents too much for communal heat?

Posted by Richard Lupo on 14/04/15 24:30

What do others charge for heat supplied?  What is the normal daily standing charge? 

These costs can be quite tricky for landlord and tenant relationships.  As there is no national benchmark, the rates charged can often lead to complaints. This is especially difficult when residents compare metered heat prices with gas prices.

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Topics: Heating, Housing Associations, Residents

You won’t believe how misleading this energy bill is

Posted by Richard Lupo on 05/02/15 10:15

Although electricity and gas bills have a reputation for being difficult to interpret, this is not necessarily the case for many professionals working in the sector. However, we came across a bill recently that really makes things difficult for those working hard to measure and manage carbon emissions. Take a look at the image. For example, you could be forgiven for thinking that 5438 kWh of electricity were used for the period on the day time tariff. The bill clearly states 5438 kWh, right? Wrong. Let’s take a closer look.

The bill also states that the charge for each kWh is 13.48p, which means that the charge should be £733.04. But the bill says £7,330.42, i.e. ten times as much. So what’s gone wrong?

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Topics: Fuel poverty, Bills

Your chance to rule – game lets you play to solve carbon dilemma

Posted by Richard Lupo on 29/01/15 07:30

What would you do if you were in charge of reducing UK carbon emissions?

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Topics: Climate change, Carbon

New research examines the link between rent arrears, voids, energy efficiency measures and cost savings for landlords. Download the report.


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