The Government's drive towards zero-carbon housing took a major step forward with the announcement that from the 1 May 2008 all new homes are to be rated on their green credentials as part of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
There are generally no less than seven credits available within BREEAM assessments with respect to ecology/biodiversity. With respect to EcoHomes, Eco1–Eco4 comprise 9.23% of the total score, which can make the difference between a "Pass" and a "Good" and can significantly contribute towards achieving a "Very Good" or "Excellent" grade. Ecosulis has worked closely with a number of developers and BREEAM assessors to successfully gain such scores.
To maximise your credits it is best to consider ecological issues and opportunities at the early stages of development. Effective steps towards achieving this are:
- Appointing an IEEM Suitably Qualified Ecologist to undertake a survey pre-design (the checklists in themselves cannot achieve this)
- Retaining and protecting areas of high-quality habitat
- Using native species or species of known benefit to wildlife within landscaping proposals
- Obtaining more realistic species numbers for before and after development (as opposed to using DEFRA’s)
- Incorporating features of ecological enhancement, such as bird and bat boxes
- Preparing a post-development Ecological Management Plan.
Ecosulis is able to act as a "Suitably Qualified Ecologist" and has extensive BRE experience with respect to retail, healthcare, education, bespoke, industrial, Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes assessments.