News & Articles

The Future of Code for Sustainable Homes

posted 15 Jun 2015, 02:25 by Unknown user   [ updated 15 Jun 2015, 03:35 ]

- Frequently Asked Questions

Q – Is Code for Sustainable Homes now obsolete?

A – No. From 27 March 2015 Local Authorities can no longer set new planning conditions requiring Code for Sustainable Homes. If however, outline planning permission was granted prior to 27 March 2015 Code should be continued

Q – Can Housing Associations still stipulate Code for Sustainable Homes?

A – Yes, for affordable housing funded through the National Affordable Housing Programme 2015 – 2018 (or earlier).

Q – The Local Authority do not appear to have understood or acted on the changes yet, how will they be implemented?

A – The planning Written Ministerial Statement gives guidance for Central Government to Local Authorities. It is up to the Local Authority to implement it. Developers can appeal against extant planning conditions or apply under the Planning Act to have them removed if a Code condition has been set after 27 March 2015.

Q – Have Code for Sustainable Homes registrations closed?

A – No, registrations continue. Legacy sites may still be building to Code for some years to come, therefore registrations will remain open in the normal way.

Q – Will all issues currently under Code be included in the new Building Regulations?

A – No, only elements of security, water & access will be included with water & access having optional tiered requirements to be set by the Planning Authority.

Q – Is there now a level playing field regarding energy/CO2 requirements from Local Authorities?

A – No, Local Authorities can stipulate CO2 reductions up to Code Level 4 (19% reduction over ADL1A2013 requirements) until 2016. 

Q – What standard, if any, is replacing Code? 

A – The BRE are developing the HQM (Home Quality Mark) as a voluntary standard to enable developers to promote their product to consumers. A number of major developers & Housing Associations have already signed up to HQM & it is being widely marketed with online property search websites. Discounts are also available on mortgages & home insurance for HQM properties. The HQM is due to be operational from October 2015 & will work in much the same way as Code for Sustainable Homes, with projects being registered with the BRE & assessed at Design & Post construction stages. The BRE are offering fee reductions for Housing Associations & Developers with multiple sites.

Contaminated Land FREE CPD Seminar

posted 26 Jan 2015, 00:54 by Unknown user   [ updated 26 Jan 2015, 00:56 ]

SES would like to invite your staff to a FREE CPD Seminar*Contaminated Land 1

Following the success of previous seminars, and high demand to offer a seminar on Contaminated Land, SES would like to invite you and your colleagues to a free seminar on "Contaminated Land: From a Consultant's Perspective."

Designed to provide Building Control Officers with an insight into the role of a Consultant with resolving planning conditions relating to Contaminated Land. It will give an opportunity to network and share experiences.

26th February 2015

Time: 8.00 am - 11.00 am
(A Bacon Roll & Teas and Coffee will be provided to all delegates on arrival)Contaminated-Land

The Stansted Centre, Parsonage Road,
Takeley, Essex
CM22 6PU 

*We anticipate demand will be high, so at the outset we are limiting 2 spaces for each Local Authority, although if spaces allow, additional spaces may be available.

Please register your interest by completing the online response form

The 'New' CDM Regulations

posted 26 Jan 2015, 00:52 by Unknown user   [ updated 26 Jan 2015, 00:53 ]

The HSE have announced the outcome of the CDM revision consultation.

Key changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 include:-
  • The replacement of the CDM Co-Ordinator with that of the Principal Designer.
  • Removal of the ‘domestic client’ exemption.
  • A revised Code of Practice.
Under the new proposals, duties will attach to the Principal Designer for the duration of the project, particularly in liaison with the Principal Contractor. Principal Designers need to understand the risks that arise where they retain legal duties under CDM and that they may be unable to contract out of these even if a novation agreement is in place.

We will update you as and when the future information becomes available, but it is expected that the new CDM Regulations will be introduced in April 2015.
 For further advice speak to SES on 01279 873380

Are you fit to drive?

posted 26 Jan 2015, 00:51 by Unknown user   [ updated 26 Jan 2015, 00:51 ]

The new drug driving law that comes into force on 2nd March 2015 will make it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs or abuse medicinal drugs. This law states that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above specified levels in the body, whether your driving is impaired or not.
The list of drugs includes certain medicines that are sometimes abused, such as medicines used to treat:
- extreme pain (morphine, diamorphine, ketamine)
- anxiety or inability to sleep (diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam)
- drug addiction (methadone)
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD (amphetamine)
- multiple sclerosis (nabiximols)
It's your legal duty to ensure you're fit to drive.

Contaminated Land - Update to the Generic Assessment Criteria

posted 26 Jan 2015, 00:50 by Unknown user   [ updated 27 Jan 2015, 03:48 ]

To make up for the gap in the Contaminated land Soil Guideline Values, generated on behalf of the UK government, Land Quality Management Limited and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health published around 30 additional Generic Assessment Criteria values in December 2006.

Due to advances in research on the subject and the release of new guidance from government, these GAC are to be updated and expanded to include around 90 potential contaminants. To avoid confusion these values are to be named Suitable For Use Levels (S4UL).  Furthermore these S4UL have been modelled on 6, rather than the original 3 land use scenarios. These scenarios are:
  • Residential With Home Grown Produce
  • Residential Without Home Grown Produce
  • Allotments
  • Commercial
  • Public Open Space – Residential
  • Public Open Space – Parkland
The most significant aspect of the release of the S4UL for developers is the creation of the Residential Public Open Space scenario, which is envisaged to have less stringent thresholds than the residential gardens scenarios, which should allow and promote the reuse of more soils on site and reduce muckaway costs.

The release of the S4UL is now overdue and SES will begin using them and incorporating them into their reports as soon as they become available.

A celebration of excellence in the Housing Industry

posted 9 Oct 2014, 07:04 by Unknown user   [ updated 10 Oct 2014, 04:07 ]

SES are proud to be included in this years Sunday Times British Homes Awards. Pembroke Gardens, East Sheen undertaken by Richstone Properties, was awarded 'Development of the Year'. SES were the lead energy & sustainability consultants for this development

The development was assessed according to its performance against a range of environmental sustainability criteria and achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Scheme certification to an impressive Code Level 4 standard. Richstone worked closely with SES, Brookes Architects and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, embracing the challenge to provide sustainable, environmentally friendly dwellings on this residential infill site, whilst achieving a modern luxury finish.

The design of these dwellings followed the Mayor of London’s Energy Hierarchy approach and the use of an extremely efficient building fabric designed to Enhanced Construction Detail Standards, keeping air leakage and heat loss to a minimum. With sustainability not only about energy, a number of other environmentally friendly features were incorporated. The dwellings and external areas were designed to meet Lifetime Homes Standards & the ecology of the site was enhanced with green roofs which also help to alleviate the pressure on the local drainage network.

The new homes have a fan in Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, who recently called it “an impressive development, and cleverly arranged to maximise light and space” achieving this with roof lights and large windows.

SES were an integral part of the design team and the following services we provided were instrumental in the success of this development:

  • Advised & modelled the thermal design of the building fabric
  • Carried out the Energy Assessment & negotiated with planners
  • Advised & assessed sustainability factors to achieve the required Code Level 4
  • Provided a plan checking service & carried out site audits to ensure quality & compliance
The SES team

Our highly professional team of consultants have a wide range of practical experience providing you with the most knowledgable solutions to all your environmental needs. We are committed to delivering a high quality service. SES realise above all, that the continuation of our success is dependant upon developing and sustaining relationships with our clients. To this end, we try to ensure that the services we offer provide a high degree of flexibility for the client at all stages of the project design and implementation.

 Want to know more about what we can do for you?

UKAS Accredited Sound Insulation Testing - BINDT Registered Air Tightness Testing
Code for Sustainable Homes Assessments - SAP Calculations & EPCs
BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment Assessments
Contaminated Land Investigations
Health & Safety Inspections & Advice - Health & Safety Training

t: 01279 873380   e:

The importance of Fire Marshal Training

posted 8 Oct 2014, 01:05 by Unknown user   [ updated 8 Oct 2014, 01:05 ]

Fire Marshal training forms a very important part of the recommended fire safety strategy in the workplace, and in fact, it is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 that all staff member in a business environment receive at least some form of basic fire safety training.

If you've been given the responsibility of Fire Marshal then it means you have been given the responsibility of making sure others are safe and know what to do in the event of a fire. This is quite a responsibility and it means you will need to have a full understanding of your place of work so you can understand how is best to exit the building quickly and effectively.

After being appointed as the Fire Marshal you will be required to undergo training to ensure you are as best equipped as you can be for the role. The training will also help you to understand your responsibilities and carry your role out safely should an emergency occur. At the start of any employment, employees are required to receive fire safety training and fire marshal training usually follows on from this training.
Fire Marshal Training

Some of the topics included within the training cover how a fire develops, how to undertake fire risk assessments, carry out fire drills and clarifies your duties as a fire marshal. The training will usually include the theory of combustion and the factors required to start a fire. By understanding this, it can usually be easier to prevent a fire from occurring. Within the workplace, prevention is often the best course of action as fires can be difficult to control once they break out.

Even so, the training will also cover practical aspects such as how to fight a blaze using the extinguishers provided. There are usually at least two extinguishers provided, and it's important that everyone understands which extinguisher is used for what. For example, electrical fires shouldn't be extinguished with water extinguishers as this can cause even more damage.

When a fire occurs, the marshal is also responsible for ensuring the alarm is raised and the staff are safely evacuated from the building. They will need to do a 'head count' in the designated meeting point to ensure everyone is accounted for and there is no one left within the building.

Fire training is a vital part of health and safety for every organisation, and the fire marshals role is very important whatever the size of the organisation.

SES run a half day fire marshal training course which covers the role of the designated fire marshal (fire warden). This can either be run at our training centre, or our instructor can come to your premises to run in-house training.

For further information or if you would like book a course please call 01279 873354.

CSCS Card Changes

posted 18 Aug 2014, 02:26 by Unknown user   [ updated 18 Aug 2014, 08:08 ]

As of the 1st of July 2014 the CSCS construction operatives cards
 been replaced
by the new green labourers

In order to apply or renew your "operatives" card, staff will first need to have attended a Health & Safety training course. SES currently provide a discounted course for a limited period which meets the requirement. ​
CSCS Green Card

The majority of construction site
 within the UK now require all site visitors and site operatives to hold a current CSCS card. To apply for a CSCS card you need to prove you have the training and qualifications required to carry out your job.  The type of work you do, how experienced you are and your qualifications or membership of professional bodies will determine which type of CSCS card you should apply for.

Currently the CIEH Level 2 Basic Health & Safety Awareness certificate together with the Health Safety & Environmental Operative Touch Screen Test will enable you to obtain the new CSCS card for labourer. 

This CIEH Accreditated course will only be accepted to the CSCS administrators until November this year, after which a CITB approved course will then be required, which we understand to be a 2 day course.

SES run the CIEH Level 2 course at a fee of £90 per person (+VAT) with courses run at either Takeley, Colchester or your premises.

To enquire or book a place on our CIEH Level 2 Basic Health & Safety Awareness training course please call
01279 873354

The Importance of First Aid Training

posted 8 Aug 2014, 01:43 by Unknown user   [ updated 11 Aug 2014, 02:03 ]

First Aid Training: Why is it so important?

The frequency of accidents in the workplace vary depending on the type of industry you work in. For example, statistically it is far more dangerous working in Construction than Marketing for instance, primarily because of the risks involved with the working environment. However the same basic rules regarding health and safety and first aid provisions apply to all UK businesses, regardless of industry.
First Aid CPR

Your Staff Need First Aid Training

In order to keep the workplace safe for your employees you need to not only take the steps needed to prevent accidents, but you must also provide proper first aid training. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

Health and safety legislation exists to protect the worker, and the business owner. Show you care and look after those who work for you. There are plenty of business benefits:
  • A reduction in the number of working days lost due to illness and injury
  • Retain your staff
  • Motivate your workers and boost productivity
  • Protect the reputation of your company
  • Shield yourself from potential legal action and reduce your insurance premiums

So, what sort of things do your staff need to know?

Risks within the workplace

The best way to avoid accidents is to educate staff in identifying and mitigating risks in advance. Regular site inspections and risk assessments will help with this process, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that your first aid kit never needs to be used.

First Aid Resources

Where is the first aid kit located? What is in the kit? How are the provisions to be used? Who are the designated first aiders? As well as being aware of risks onsite, your team alsFirst Aid Kito need to know what to do in an emergency. This should be a standard part of your employee induction.

Basic First Aid Techniques

Having a well-trained workforce never negatively affects a business, particularly when it comes to maintaining the health and safety of employees. Although your business is duty bound to have at least one nominated first aider, providing basic training for all staff will help better manage accidents within the workplace.

Regulatory compliance

Under the terms of the applicable first aid regulations, your first aid kit should contain equipment appropriate for the risks and conditions at your place of work. In most cases your standard kit should be at least compliant with British Standard BS 8599.

Depending on the size of your business, you must also:
  • Employ at least one first aider who has been fully trained in using the first aid kit and dealing with potential emergencies and who holds the appropriate certification, or
  • Nominate an “appointed person” who will be responsible for contacting the emergency services when necessary and keeping the first aid kit properly stocked.
The nominated first aid officers will also need more in depth training to deal with potentially life threatening emergencies that involve advanced techniques like CPR.

As well as meeting your legal obligations, training in first aid will help protect your workforce, potentially saving lives in the event of a serious accident.

Which course should you choose?

Emergency First Aid at Work

Our one day Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work course is suitable for employers who have identified a requirement for Emergency First Aid at Work in their First Aid Needs Assessment. The focus of the course is on preventing situations from becoming worse and learning the vital life saving skills that a trained first aider can use until additional help arrives. 

First Aid at Work

If you identify that a more in-depth course is required, our three day Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work course will provide the first aider with the skills required to give effective life support, diagnose and treat injuries or illness and maintain care and comfort for the casualty. The emphasis is placed on dealing with life threatening situations to help ensure that the casualty is kept alive until professional help arrives. 

Paediatric First Aid 

If you work with young children, our two day Level 2 Award in Paediatric First Aid course may be more suitable as this is primarily aimed at those working in childcare settings, but it will be useful for anyone with responsibility for caring for infants and children. 

To book a course call our training advisors on 01279 873354 or email

First Aid: What to do in an Emergency?

posted 1 Apr 2014, 04:30 by Unknown user   [ updated 8 May 2014, 02:41 ]

Each year in the UK, thousands of people die or are seriously injured in accidents. Many of these deaths could have all been prevented if First Aid had been administered before the Emergency Services arrived.

So, what to do in an Emergency?

In the event of an accident the first steps to take are:
  • Firstly, check the area - ensure that yourself or the casualty are not in danger, if you are try to make the area safe
  • If necessary, call 999 or 112 for an ambulance
  • Carry out basic First AidCPR
What if - 
They are unconscious and breathing?
If the person is unconscious but is still breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, you should place them in the recovery position until help arrives.

They are unconscious and not breathing?
The first thing to do if the person isn't breathing is to call for an ambulance, then if possible administer CPR straight away. If you are not trained to give rescue breaths, use hands-only CPR.

Common Accidents and Emergencies
Below is a list of common accidents and emergencies which you may encounter in everyday life. 
  • Anaphylaxis (or anaphylactic shock)
  • Burns and scalds
  • Bleeding
  • Choking
  • Drowning
  • Electrocution
  • Fractures
  • Heart attack
  • Poisoning
  • Shock
  • Stroke
First Aid Courses
The information provided here is purely guidance on First Aid situations, it is not a replacement for doing a First Aid Course. 

SES run a selection of First Aid Courses and can provide bespoke courses to meet your needs. For more information on our First Aid Courses please click here.

It is vital that you gain the knowledge, confidence and skills to act in an Emergency. To book a First Course please call 01279 873354, we run regular courses from our Training centres in Essex and our instructor can also come to your premises to run on-site training.

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