Design and construction

New developments must incorporate sustainable design principles in their construction. The Core Strategy contains policies on climate change, resources and sustainable design of developments (CS64) and renewable energy and carbon reduction (CS65).

Use the menu options for guidance and information on how Design and Construction issues will affect sustainable development. These points should be addressed within your sustainability statement.

Guidance on renewable energy & your development

The Government’s Energy White Paper sets a target that 10% of the UK’s electricity needs should be from renewable energy sources by 2010.

The 2008 Yorkshire and Humber Plan (or Regional Spatial Strategy) sets a target of 11 megawatts (MW) to be achieved in Sheffield by 2010 and 52 MW by 2021.

Core Strategy policy CS65 (Renewable Energy and Carbon Reduction) sets targets of 12MW and by 2010 and 60MW by 2021.

The policy also requires all significant developments to provide a minimum of 10% of their predicted energy needs from a decentralised and renewable or low carbon energy.

"Significant" developments are new buildings or conversions of 5 or more dwellings (including apartments), or more than 500 square metre gross internal floor space.

Design considerations

  • evaluating the target amount of renewable energy required
  • establishing the anticipated energy needs and carbon dioxide emissions of the developments
  • choosing the technology to be used
  • assessing whether this requirement can be met on site
  • understanding how much energy the technology will produce, and whether it is in the form of electricity or heat
  • investigating whether it is possible to connect the development to the City Centre District Heating Scheme
Guidance on design quality & your development

A high quality of design is required to ensure that all new developments are visually attractive in terms of architecture and contribute towards producing places that are distinctive, well used, durable and adaptable.

The Sheffield Sustainable Development and Design Panel reviews applications and help raise design quality, complementing the Urban Design Compendium that outlines citywide strategic design principles as well as detailed city centre design guidance.

Within the Housing Market Renewal areas design quality is raised through the development of master plans, briefs and design principles as well as through the creation of design panels and developer panels.

All applications with a significant design content must have a Design and Access Statement submitted with them. This covers a very wide range of application types and is designed to drive up the quality of development. Sheffield has additional local requirements for change of use applications that affect public access.

Design considerations

  • demonstrate a clear design rationale for the proposal, illustrated and explained through the Design and Access Statement
  • make sure that the Design and Access Statements provide adequate information about how the design is responding to its local context, with illustrations
  • ensure the building meets the needs of all its users
  • make clear where the design is responding to published design guidance
Guidance on legibility & your development

Development must contribute towards legibility, so that people can orientate themselves easily, navigate around and ultimately feel safe within the city.

Good legibility contributes towards creating a sustainable city through encouraging and facilitating walking and cycling; which helps to reduce carbon emissions associated with other modes of transport.

Design considerations

  • make sure that the layout is easy to understand and to navigate around
  • retain important views and landmarks
  • utilise natural desire lines and incorporating them into the design
  • maximise opportunities to create new landmarks
  • express the function of buildings through the design, detailing and quality of materials
Guidance on sustainable design & your development

Core Strategy policy CS64 (Climate Change, Resources and Sustainable Design of Developments) sets requirements for mitigating climate change and using resources sustainably.

All new non-residential developments over 500 square metres gross internal floor space should achieve a BREEAM rating of "very good". 

The Code for Sustainable Homes was withdrawn by the Government on 31 March 2015, therefore the requirement to achieve Level 3 as set out in paragraph 11.7 of the Core Strategy will no longer apply to new applications for residential development.  

Extant planning conditions requiring achievement of specific Code for Sustainable Homes levels should still be met.

Designing developments to achieve these standards will make it easier to achieve the requirements in Core Strategy policy CS65.

Design considerations

  • design the elevational treatment in response to the orientation
  • develop the building form to help to reduce the degree of heat loss
  • orientate main elevations as close as possible to 30 degrees of due south
  • consider the internal arrangement of buildings to make the best use of natural light, by placing principal rooms on the southern elevations
  • ensure the layout and design is appropriate to the landform
  • avoid areas in permanent shade and spacing buildings to minimise overshadowing of southern elevations
  • install water recycling systems
  • use sustainable materials
  • developing the building form and design to facilitate future expansion or conversion
  • considering floor to ceiling heights appropriate for a range of uses
  • designing the building to be flexible enough to allow for adaptation to serve changing circumstances
  • enabling different uses to take place at different times of day through the careful location of entrances.
  • assessing the condition of existing buildings on site
  • evaluating how they can be successfully integrated into the layout
  • considering how they can be adapted to meet energy efficiency standards
Guidance on density & your development

Higher density development is welcomed in strategic locations, such as in the city centre, in and around district centres and along major public transport routes.

Increased density is an important sustainability aim, helping to support more sustainable patterns of growth and minimise the need to travel.

Design considerations

  • make sure that the scale of development is appropriate to the surrounding area
  • avoid over development that can cause problems for neighbouring uses
  • respond positively to the topography
Guidance on internal layout & your development

The internal arrangement of buildings has a direct impact on how well they function, as well as affecting their relationship with the street.

Positioning more active uses to face the street, together with windows and entrances can increase the potential for natural surveillance, which can assist in making the street feel safer and benefit users and passers by.

Design should consider how the internal arrangement can help to avoid unnecessary energy demands, such as an over dependence on mechanical ventilation or artificial lighting.

Design considerations

  • avoid the need for long internal corridors
  • make the most of natural light
  • avoid deep plan single aspect developments
  • consider ways to maximise light into basement rooms
  • examine ways to provide natural ventilation to kitchens and bathrooms, such as passive stack ventilation
Guidance on district heating & your development

Sheffield has an award winning City Centre District Heating Scheme, with more than 45km of underground pipes delivering a low carbon energy source able to provide all the heating and hot water needs of over 140 buildings across the city centre.

Buildings connected to the network range from offices and public buildings to hotels and residential premises.

Connecting buildings to the network reduces the reliance on fossil fuels and improves local air quality; every year the network prevents on average over 21,000 tonnes of CO2 from being released across the city, helping to make Sheffield a cleaner, greener city.

The City Centre District Heating Scheme allows businesses to avoid the Climate Change Levy and connecting to it contributes towards achieving an excellent BREEAM rating.

With a carbon dioxide emissions figure of only 0.12kg/kWh a high credit score for carbon dioxide should be achieved. Additional credits will be gained due to the low nitrogen oxide emissions associated with connecting to the network.

Core Strategy policy CS65 (Renewable Energy and Carbon Reduction) encourages connection to the City Centre District Heating Scheme.

Contact Planning Policy Enquiries

Forward & Area Planning
Howden House
1 Union Street
S1 2SH