The BD Practice and Space Strategy have jointly completed a new publicly accessible study on Solar Masterplanning for Plymouth City Council, to assist them in forming planning policy in this area. The study, possibly the first of it’s kind in the UK to be used for this purpose, analyses three development sites taking them from a conventional urban planning approach to a solar masterplanned approach. The results showing significant improvements in daylight amenity levels: improved health and wellbeing, improved VSCs, reduced heating CO2 emissions, increased Renewable Energy efficiencies and increased density of development.
This report explores the potential benefits of ‘Solar Masterplanning’ for new developments. Integrating design measures at the site layout stage of new developments to optimise solar orientation could have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions in a cost effective manner. Careful orientation of buildings and open spaces to harness solar radiation also ensures daylighting is maximised, together with potential for building integrated solar energy generating equipment. This background report uses case studies to explore this approach and summarises the findings. It will be used to inform planning policy and planning decisions within the city.
The methodology used was based upon BREs BR209 daylight/sunlight bible, BS8206, CIBSE LG10 and TM41 degree day method. (SAP2009 was found to be ineffective when used to assess solar gain impacts and therfore jettisoned early on!) We look forward to seeing more local planning policies on solar masterplanning being developed as a result of this evidence based research and a greater weight given to the NPPF Paragraphs 96 & 97.