Agenda 21 is a United Nations run programme on sustainable development. It is designed to be implemented by organisations within the U.N., governments and non-government organisations on a global, national and local level in order to produce a plan of action for all areas in which the environment is impacted by human activity.
A mixture of mineral aggregates and bitumen used in the construction of road and car park surfaces.
Pre-cast concrete, brick sized flexible modular paving system.
Virtually in-volatile adhesive material derived from crude petroleum which is used to coat mineral aggregate for use in construction and maintenance of paved surfaces.
Building Research Establishment (BRE)
BRE is a private organisation, formerly run by the UK government, which carries out research and consultancy for the construction industry in the UK. The BRE is responsible for the establishment and enforcement of both British standards and building codes.
The British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method is an assessment process through which the sustainable credentials of a non-domestic building within the UK can be determined and given a rating.
BRE Certification for sustainability standards is based upon the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) which assesses products and buildings to give a sustainability rating. This rating gives the developer an accurate idea as to the environmental impact of the products they are using.
Carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of human activity upon the environment through the emission of greenhouse gases given as a carbon dioxide equivalent. It is used by individuals or companies as a useful method of determining their impact on climate change.
Carbon offsetting is the act of balancing out greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of carbon reduction projects, for example the planting of trees. This has become a popular way of reducing the impact of operations such as air travel but has come under criticism due to the dubious nature of some of the offsetting companies and the projects they operate.
California Bearing Ratio; an empirical measure of the stiffness and strength of soils used in road pavement design.
There are a number of alternative materials which can be used as a replacement for cement. These include materials such as Pulverised Fuel Ash which is a bi-product of coal fired power stations, and Blast Furnace Slag which is a bi-product of the steel industry. Both materials contain mild cementitious properties and as such can be used as a partial replacement for the energy intensive cement.
Communities and Local Government (CLG)s
CLG are building more and better homes, improving local public services, regenerating to produce a sustainable environment and tackling antisocial behaviour.
Code for Sustainable Homes
Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental rating scheme for houses in England. It assigns newly built homes a rating from 1 (poor sustainability) to 6 (high sustainability) to indicate their environmental impact. The rating is based upon the homes' energy efficiency, water conservation, water surface management, site waste management, household waste management and materials used. All housing, both social and new build is subject to the Code from May 2008.
Carbon neutral refers to a process with a zero total carbon release. This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as the offsetting of carbon released in the process or the use of renewable sources of energy.
Code for Non-Domestic Buildings
As previous, but applicable to all non-domestic buildings, this is still at consultation stage and is expected in 2009, meanwhile BREEAM methodology applies.
The Concrete Centre
The Concrete Centre (TCC) was set up to help develop new concrete solutions and assist the industry in marketing concrete appropriately. It has worked with other related trade associations to form a dedicated website, which highlights the sustainability of concrete and provides information on the environmental impacts of certain products.
Cradle to Gate
Cradle to gate is an environmental assessment of the impact of a product from its manufacture to the moment it leaves the factory gate. This therefore omits the impact of transport to consumer, product use and its eventual disposal.
Cradle to Grave
Cradle to grave is an environmental assessment of the impact of a product through its entire life cycle, from manufacture through to eventual disposal.
Cradle to Cradle
Cradle to cradle is as cradle to grave, except the final disposal phase is replaced by a recycling process. This will therefore produce either a new identical product, or a different usable product.
Based upon the BREEAM specifications, this methodology provides an environmental rating scheme for homes, although replaced by The Code for Sustainable Homes for all new homes built in England; EcoHomes is still used in Wales and Scotland for new homes.
Ecopoints is a BRE methodology which provides a score to measure the total environmental impact of a particular product which is then expressed in standardised units (Ecopoints). Developed by the BRE as an assessment of environmental impacts, this is based upon the product's entire life cycle taken as a 60 year service life and identifies the relative importance of these impacts within society.
Embodied Energy is the quantity of energy required to manufacture a specific product, material or service and supply it to its point of use.
Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
EMS is a part of an organisation's management system in which the specific details of their environmental policy can be audited in order to determine if they are being implemented within the defined parameters.
The process by which the Earth’s surface or soil loses moisture by evaporation of water and uptake and transpiration from plants.
Global warming relates to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's surface that has been observed in recent years, and it is projected to continue. It is debated as to whether this is a natural occurrence or whether human activity has impacted or accelerated it. However evidence is overwhelming that human activity since the industrial revolution is responsible.
The Green Guide to Specification
The Green Guide to Specification is a publication which provides designers and their clients with guidance on the environmental impacts of a large number of building elements including roofs, walls, etc. Published by the BRE, different methods of building each element are rated A+ to E. Those building to BREEAM standards use the Green Guide to select the most appropriate construction methods.
English Partnerships: Housing Corporation: Homes and Communities Agency
English Partnerships (EP) is a government funded department with responsibility for the regeneration and redevelopment of communities within the UK. The Housing Corporation (HC) is responsible for social housing. EP and HC are merging to form The Homes and Communities Agency which will specialise in working with local government to improve the efficiency and sustainability of new and existing communities.
ISO 14000 series
The ISO 14000 series is the international environmental standard which exists to assist organisations in minimising the negative environmental impacts and also to adhere to all applicable laws regulations and permitting requirements.
BS EN ISO 9001
ISO 9001 is the quality management standard against which organisations are assessed. It presents a structured approach to identifying and managing environmental impacts.
The greenhouse effect is a process by which energy radiated by the sun enters the Earth's atmosphere and cannot leave, therefore resulting in an increase in temperature. This is a normal occurrence without which the Earth's surface would be cold and lifeless. However, global warming has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leading to rapidly increasing temperatures.
The Green Guide to Housing Specification
The same as the Green Guide to Specification but aimed at the housing market, this guide contains all the specifications commonly used in housing.
OHSAS 18001 is the standard against which organisations are assessed on their Health and Safety performance. As with other standards, it is based around the setting of objectives and targets and the monitoring of the businesses performance against these.
Will not allow water to pass through it.
The Kyoto Agreement
The Kyoto Agreement or Protocol is an internationally defined objective of reducing greenhouse gases with a view to combating climate change. It takes its name from the Third Conference of Parties which met in Kyoto in 1997, and the Protocol itself was enforced from 2005 onwards. Within the treaty 36 developed countries, plus the EU, are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level specific to each country.
Landfill Tax, which was introduced in the UK in 1996 as the UK's first environmental law, is a tax based upon the type and quantity of waste being disposed to landfill.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
LCA is an investigation into the environmental impacts of a product, process or service, for its entire lifespan. It then places values upon these impacts to give an overall evaluation of its environmental, as opposed to its monetary, cost.
Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)
Refers to typically off-site manufacture (OSM) utilising prefabrication of precast concrete, timber or light gauge steel panels or elements but also includes ICF Systems (insulating concrete formwork) and Tunnelform Systems both of which utilise ready-mixed concrete. It offers solutions which can reduce on-site construction time and promote sustainable development. MMC/OSM is no longer an EP or HC requirement. Any housebuilding system which meets the required ‘Code’ Star level, 3 and above, is acceptable.
The load bearing structure of a road (note the path at the side of a road, commonly referred to as a pavement, is the footway).
A measure of the ease with which a fluid can flow through a porous medium. It depends on the physical properties of the medium, for example: grain size, porosity and pore shape.
A surface where the surfacing material itself is impermeable to the inflow of rainwater, but the surface has inlets or holes through it which water enters the soil or construction below.
A surface that allows inflow of rainwater into the underlying construction or soil.
A system that collects rainwater from where it falls rather than allowing it to drain away. It includes water that is collected within the boundaries of a property, from roofs and surrounding surfaces.
Recycled aggregates are generally concrete obtained from demolition sites which are crushed down and used again in other building projects. This can also relate to crushed asphalt, bricks and blocks, all of which reduce the need for extraction of new materials.
The Red Book
The authoritative guide to those companies whose operations, products and services achieve compliance with the quality assurance, product approval and certification schemes BRE Certification operates. It lists construction and environmental products and services.
Responsible Sourcing BES 6001
Customers are beginning to make demands on their suppliers to ensure that their materials come from sources which use sustainable and ethical production methods. To meet this demand, the BRE has published a responsible sourcing standard which will give businesses a way to rate their operations or products. The standard will use a rating system based on performance in areas such as ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 (see 25 and 27), human rights and quality standards.
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) Ratings
SAP is a method of calculating the energy efficiency of dwellings to fulfil Building Regulations. Currently SAP does not recognise the benefits of Thermal Mass.
Secondary aggregates are materials which can be used as aggregate but are the waste product of another process. An example of this could be the waste rock from china clay extraction which is not the primary reason for the extraction operation but is a useable material in its own right and furnace bottom ash.
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a comprehensive report, published in 2006 by the British Government, which highlights the effects of climate change on the world economy. It has become the most widely known report of its kind and has highlighted ways in which climate change and global warming can be combated effectively.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)
SUDS is a system of practices to deal with storm water run-off and the managing of pollution at its source. The aims are to prevent pollution, control flooding, recharge groundwater and enhance the environment.
Sustainability is often expressed as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs which generally relates to a process or operation’s ability to maintain itself at a certain level indefinitely. When used in an environmental context, this relates to a balancing of the impacts of human developments such as industry and agriculture, with the needs of ecological habitats.
Sustainable development relates to the fulfilment of human requirements within a society while still maintaining the natural environment indefinitely.
Thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb and store heat. High thermal mass products, such as concrete, act as sponges storing heat during the day, thereby cooling the building and releasing heat during colder periods such as night time. This evens out temperature fluctuations keeping buildings warm at night in winter and minimising the need for air conditioning in summer.
UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)
Aggregate Industries is a founder member of the UKGBC, their mission is 'to dramatically improve the sustainability of the built environment by radically transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated'
Waste and Resource Action Plan (WRAP)
WRAP is a non-profit company formed by the UK Government in 2000 as part of their waste strategy. Their aim is to develop markets for materials which would otherwise have been considered waste, and works in partnership with businesses to become more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more often.
Whole Life Costing (WLC)
WLC looks at the cost of an item over the duration of its lifetime as opposed to the one off cost of simply buying the item. As a result, WLC takes into account energy, maintenance, operating, staff training and disposal costs.
Zero Carbon is generally regarded to be a process or product which releases no carbon in its operation or manufacture. However, the exact scope of what is included in this is still to be accurately defined by the UK Government. This is expected to be announced by the end of 2008.