Internet review

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 11 July 2008



Todd, S. (2008), "Internet review", Structural Survey, Vol. 26 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Internet review

Article Type: Internet review From: Structural Survey, Volume 26, Issue 3

The web site information included below includes two key and other informative sites. If there are any other interesting sites or sources of information that you have found useful, please e-mail me at

The Building Research Establishment

The main menu of this site is structured as:

  • Home;

  • About BRE;

  • BRE by sector;

  • A to Z of services;

  • News;

  • Training and events;

  • Job opportunities;

  • Contact us;

  • Search site;

  • E-newsletter;

  • Staff profiles; and

  • How to find us.

There is also a “spotlight” section on:

  1. 1.

    Barratt’s Mail on Sunday Green House at BRE. The Green House was chosen as the winning design in the British Homes Awards 2007 by readers of the Mail on Sunday and viewers of Real Estate TV. It was designed by architects Gaunt Francis, the home is to be the first UK house suitable for volume production that meets the UK Government’s zero carbon criteria. Housebuilders Barratt’s began work on site in October 2007, with completion due in April 2008.

  2. 2.

    The Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). “The KTN aims to intensify technological innovation within the built environment by working closely with our members and partners to learn about and collaborate on new solutions - wherever in the world they may be found – delivering significant improvements in performance and productivity to those organisations engaged with us.” MBE KTN is a single, National Network for the Built Environment. The Network brings together all current and future organisations that operate in supply chains in the built environment industries, including businesses (suppliers and clients), universities, research and technology organisations, the finance community and government departments and agencies. The key priority areas are:

    • energy efficiency;

    • flexible and adaptable structures;

    • intelligent structures;

    • climate change impact; and

    • life extension.

  3. 3.

    2008 BREEAM Award Winners for Wales Announced. Investigates BRE Global’s accreditation schemes for qualified assessors and inspectors.

  4. 4.

    The BRE Victorian House Project. There is an excellent section which describes refurbishment – The BRE Victorian Homes Project. This project looks at current refurbishment standards and demonstrates how much can be done to improve the way we renovate homes. The rethinking housing refurbishment team are transforming a disused Victorian stable block into three energy efficient homes fit for twenty-first century living. Sited next to BRE’s Innovation, the finished building will house an Information and Training Centre where visitors will be able to learn about best practice refurbishment including the latest processes, materials and technological advances. Traditional crafts and skills will be taught in the Centre’s workshops. The Latest News section includes:

    • BRE Acquires Europe’s Leading Intelligent Building Consultancy Division.

    • LPCB approves fire detection panels for Terminal 5. LPCB, part of BRE Global, announces the certification of the Gent by Honeywell Epsilon system designed specifically to meet the needs of Heathrow Terminal 5. The system has been approved to EN54-2:1997 – Control and indicating equipment, and EN54-4:1997. Terminal 5 is the UK’s largest freestanding structure at 40 metres high, 396 metres long and 176 metres wide. The building is expected to hold 30 million passengers. The Epsilon panel is a fully integrated fire, voice alarm and public address system designed to meet the changing and expanding needs of the airport. The final system will scale to over 500 system nodes managing in excess of 30,000 loop devices.

    • BRE Global launches consultation for a Responsible Sourcing Framework Standard. BRE Global are creating a new product standard that will provide a level playing field for the sustainability of construction products. The framework will take into account specific environmental, economic and social impacts and provide recognition for suppliers embracing genuine sustainability. The proposed scheme will assess products by focussing on responsible sourcing and product stewardship, addressing the social, economic and environmental impacts of construction products over their whole life. Products will be assessed by looking at existing quality, environmental, health and safety management systems together with other important criteria including:– global warming emissions;– minimising raw material usage;– labour practice;– biodiversity;– social dimensions and impacts; and– development of the standard has been influenced by the addition of a responsible sourcing credit which has been included in BREEAM since 2006.

    • Microgeneration Certification Scheme product approval. Specifiers working in microgeneration will be able to choose from a recognised list of approved products. Following notification of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to the European Commission, MCS is now open for the approval of products. The MCS product scheme, which was notified under the Technical Standards Directive (98/34/EC) is now fully operational. Interest from manufacturers has been sustained and the scheme is now making good progress assessing heat pumps, solar heating collectors, micro wind turbines, and non roof-integrated solar photovoltaic products. The Scheme’s new mark is about to be awarded to certified products and installers. MCS standards are currently being finalised for integrated solar PV and solar heating collectors, inverters, biomass, hydro turbines, combined heat and power and fuel cell products. For the purposes of grants under the Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP), BERR is accepting products which are:– certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme;– non roof- integrated solar thermal products which bear the Solar Keymark; and– products on the “Clear Skies” list (until further notice).

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Homepage includes a main menu:

  • About us;

  • Newsroom;

  • Services;

  • Join RICS;

  • Using a surveyor; and

  • Members.

The Homepage also includes links to:

  1. 1.

    Global intelligence, trusted advice – includes the latest market surveys, economic insights and reports:

    • RICS Economics and market surveys;

    • RICS Global Real Estate Weekly;

    • RICS response to UK Budget; and

    • European Housing Review 2008.

  2. 2.

    Setting and maintaining standards:

    • Our role;

    • What our members do;

    • RICS courses;

    • How to join;

    • Regulated by the RICS; and

    • Training – APC and ATC.

  3. 3.

    Corporate Citizenship:

    • Disaster management;

    • Sustainability; and

    • Home buying reform.

  4. 4.

    The very best advice:

    • Flooding;

    • Buying a home;

    • Selling your home;

    • Property surveys; and

    • Phil Spencer On the House podcasts.

  5. 5.

    Local insight – global vision:

    • Global property survey – RICS Global property survey provides unique insight into commercial property occupancy and investment trends in major cities around the world.

    • Energy Generation – New Markets for Old Woods? Over the last ten years, timber prices have fallen significantly and still remain depressed, particularly for the lower quality products traditionally sold to the pulp and board industries. In turn thinning operations for many woodlands result in a cost operation, which as result means that such operations are often postponed or neglected. By contrast, energy prices have been increasing and there is an ever-growing interest in renewable energy, in particular wood biomass. This article gives further information on the use of biomass.

    • Can greenery make commercial buildings more green? If we look at how using vegetation in buildings can impact on energy efficiency, the internal environment, water management, microclimate and biodiversity, it seems that savings in energy, water and CO2 emissions are negligible when compared to the economic and environmental costs of constructing and operating a commercial office building. The full article can be downloaded as a pdf.

    • Insightful and useful research:– Trends in agricultural tenure in England and Wales 1990 – 2007.– RICS UK Housing Market Survey January 2008.

Communities and Local Government

The Main Menu of this web site includes:

  1. 1.

    What we do:

    • About us.

    • Cities and regions.

    • Communities and neighbourhoods.

    • Fire and resilience.

    • Housing.

    • Local government.

    • Planning, building and the environment:– About planning, building and the environment.– Planning and Building Regulations. “An end to the waiting game for planning decisions”; “Solar power homes get the go ahead for April start”; Planning for the Sustainable future: White Paper: the White Paper sets out our detailed proposals for reform of the planning system …; Energy efficient boilers and hot water systems; andAdvice for home owners and businesses about the current efficiency of their heating and hot water systems.– The environment.

    • Thames Gateway and the Olympics.

  2. 2.


    • “15 locations shortlisted for the next stage of the eco-towns programme”.

    • “Lowest increase in council tax for 14 years announces”.

    • An end to the waiting game for planning decisions.

  3. 3.


    • All publications:Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in England: Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 - Section 5. The Model Standards represent what is normally to be expected as a matter of good practice on caravan sites.– The Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008. Minimum Revenue Provision Guidance: Results of the Consultation. Following consultation this response publication summarises the main points made by consultees and indicates the action taken by communities and local government.– Cross Boundary Working: Spatial Plans in PracticeSupporting the Reform of Local Planning. This study seeks to provide detailed analysis of the practice of cross boundary working in local development framework (LDF) production, including evidence of good practice.– Participation and Policy Integration in Spatial Planning: Spatial Plans in Practice – Supporting the Reform of Local Planning. This study seeks to provide detailed analysis of the practice of cross boundary working in LDF production, including evidence of good practice.– Stakeholder Involvement: Spatial Plans in Practice – Supporting the Reform of Local Planning. This study seeks to identify the extent to which the objectives associated with stakeholder involvement have been achieved through the implementation of LDFs.– Eco-towns: Living a Greener Future – Consultation Paper. This consultation document seeks the public views on the vision for eco-towns and the short-listed locations proposed.– Citizenship Survey: April-December 2007, England and Wales. This release provides headline findings from the first three quarters of the 2007-2008 Citizenship Survey, covering April-December 2007. The release covers active and empowered communities; community cohesion; and racial prejudice and discrimination.– Draft Revised National and Regional Guidelines for Aggregates Provision in England: 2005-2020 – Consultation. The draft revised national and regional guidelines for aggregates provision provide revised demand forecasts for all aggregates in England for the period 2005 to 2020.

    • Consultations.

    • Research and Statistics.

Solar Century

Solarcentury’s vision is to help create a cleaner world and a sustainable future. Their aim is to revolutionise the global energy market. They envisage solar systems on the roof of every building, backed up by a family of other micro renewables, supplying clean power and achieving deep cuts in emissions. The web site is structured as:

  • Who we are;

  • What we do;

  • Projects;

  • Products;

  • News; and

  • Knowledge base.

There is also detail of:

  • Solarcentury and Ulster Bank launches the UK’s first solar mortgage.

  • Homeowners – more about energy efficiency.

  • Professional – solar advice for commercial developers, public sector clients and architects.

  • CO2 reduction – consultation and advice for renewable energy planners and CO2 reduction strategies.

The Latest News Section includes:

  • Solar 4Schools and the Co-Op provides free Green Energy for 50th Solar School.

  • Come and hear the leading voices on climate change in London.

  • Solar leasing – now available to the public sector.

Flir Systems

This web site details the company’s range of thermal imaging cameras. Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. The higher the object’s temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot. Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible infrared or “heat” radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities.

Land Registry

The main menu of this web site is structures as:

  • About us;

  • FAQs;

  • House Prices;

  • Registering your land;

  • E-conveyancing;

  • Education and training;

  • Your information rights;

  • Practice;

  • Property information;

  • Section links – Land Registry Direct;

  • Forms and publications;

  • Latest information;

  • Customer service; and

  • Fees.

Stephen Todd

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