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The long awaited Domestic RHI is now launched

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altThe Long awaited Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was launched on the 9th April 2014.

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Can nature help restore harmony in our cities?

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altOur cities are facing an uncertain future. Underground roads and automated transport, permeable pavements and water roofs, vertical farming and even glowing trees – from large-scale interventions to smaller scale enrichments, cities in the future will need to look vastly different to cities now.

Cities Alive – rethinking green infrastructure – shows how the creation of a linked ‘city ecosystem’ that encompasses parks and open spaces; urban trees, streets, squares; woodland and waterways can help create healthier, safer and more prosperous cities. To realise this vision, green infrastructure has to now take a more influential role in the planning and design of cities and urban environments.

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Treeconomics and i-Tree now nationwide

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Treeconomics and their use of the i-Tree eco system, along with other relevant software packages, have already completed a number of prestigious reports, with many others in preparation or with research underway. The social enterprise company’s activities are now nationwide with projects covering many of the major conurbations, where their focus on urban tree management is very appropriate.

Both the London Victoria and Torbay project reports are now available in printed form for those that would like to receive a copy. Indeed, the project in the Victoria BID (Business Improvement District) is also supported by a dedicated best practice guide, which is also available on request.

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Optimal Care For Hard Working Electrodes

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Determinations of pH, conductivity, ion concentration, redox potential and dissolved oxygen are common analyses in most laboratories. However the measurement accuracy is dependent on the quality and operation of the solutions used for sensor calibration and maintenance.

To help METTLER TOLEDO has designed a range of buffers and solutions to ensure your electrodes work to the best of their ability. A variety of maintenance and calibration solutions offer a greater lifespan and guarantee accurate measurement results. Find out more, including information on all-in-one kits, by visiting www.mt.com/buffersandmore.

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ABPmer to Scope HRA for South Marine Plans

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altABPmer has been contracted by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to undertake the scoping phase for the South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).

Under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC any plan or project that may have an impact on European Natura 2000 Sites requires an Appropriate Assessment. In marine planning, the HRA runs parallel to the plan-making process and ensures that it conforms to The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. It also forms an essential counterpart to the Sustainability Appraisal which is itself a legal requirement.

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Balfour Beatty plays key role in 2012 Legacy

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altHaving played an important part in delivering the games facilities for the London 2012 Olympics, Balfour Beatty is ensuring a lasting legacy by playing a key role in connecting and engaging with the local community in East London through a number of sustainable initiatives as part of the company’s redevelopment of the iconic Aquatics Centre.

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Bluesky to map energy wastage from homes across Britain’s cities

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Leicestershire, UK, 14 January 2014 - Aerial mapping company Bluesky has been awarded contracts to map heat loss across towns and cities covering around 10 per cent of the population. Using specialist thermal sensors mounted on survey aircraft Bluesky accurately records heat loss from homes and businesses. Working with Local Authorities, property owners and energy companies the colour-coded thermal maps are matched against addresses to give accurate and up to date information to tackle fuel poverty, carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency. Bluesky thermal maps have also been used to identify illegal dwellings – known as beds in sheds, and even uncover cannabis factories.

“At a time when energy usage and fuel poverty are once again top of the political agenda and front page news, it is essential that those who are charged with protecting the most vulnerable in society are armed with the information they need,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky International. “Thermal survey data clearly shows households that differ from adjacent properties. Most often these are shown as ‘hot spots’ and can be explained by poor insulation however unduly ‘cold’ properties are also of concern as these households may be experiencing fuel poverty where they simply cannot afford to switch on the heating. Combining the thermal data with demographic and other datasets can highlight properties where this may be the case.”

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CIWEM critical of letter announcing end to Defra funding

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The letter, sent to all English local authorities by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Lord de Mauley, states that all funding for the scheme will cease from 1 April 2017; a move which has been sharply criticised by a number of experts.

Lord de Mauley’s letter held up the publication of revised Part 2A statutory guidance in April 2012 as justification for the announcement: “This has resulted in a more stringent risk-based approach to identifying and remediating contaminated land. Given these changes, Defra will no longer be supporting the costs of investigating and remediating contaminated land under Part 2A through the Contaminated Land Capital Grants Scheme”.

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WRAP’s Circular Economy

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altDr Liz Goodwin, the Chief Executive of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP, the Government’s waste and resources agency) has outlined the benefits that the EU could claim in 2020 through the adoption of a resource efficient circular economy. In short, these benefits include an improved trade balance and an increase in jobs.

A circular economy is the term used for an industrial economy that acts in an environmentally restorative way. WRAP describe the circular economy as a place ‘in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and material at the end of each service life’.

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