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Other specialist services


Overshadowing of open amenity spaces such as playgrounds, parks and gardens is an important planning consideration for which Waldrams’ visualisation analysis can help obtain planning permission. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) guidelines recommend that 50% of each proposed amenity area should receive at least two hours of direct sunlight on 21 March or that the proportion of the amenity space that receives two hours of direct sunlight should not be reduced by more than 20% from the existing condition.

All planning applications for schemes near open amenity spaces or creating amenity spaces will require an overshadowing assessment as part of the daylight and sunlight planning application report. Waldrams specialises in daylight and sunlight reporting, using the methods detailed in the BRE guidelines to analyse overshadowing to amenity areas such as gardens and parks.

In addition to the BRE sun-on-ground assessment, Waldrams also provides a more detailed transient shadow analysis that can be undertaken for any date at any time throughout the year. This analysis can be included to support planning applications.

Environmental impact assessments

Waldrams conducts environmental impact assessments (EIA), including daylight and sunlight analysis of surrounding properties, overshadowing, light pollution and solar glare. Our dedicated team can rapidly respond to EIA coordinator needs to facilitate EIA document preparation. We have delivered many complex EIAs involving all aspects of natural lighting over the last 10 years.

Solar glare

Solar glare occurs when sunlight is reflected from a glazed facade or shiny metal surface. A disabling solar glare is a serious safety issue as it can interfere with a road or rail driver’s vision, particularly at critical junctions, traffic lights and railway signalling. Waldrams has developed industry-leading techniques in conjunction with Network Rail to advise on all solar glare issues. Waldrams’ analysis identifies the propensity for solar glare to occur at specific dates of the year and times of day to assess the extent of the glare.

Light pollution

Light pollution or light spill is a general term encompassing sky glow, light trespass, glare and building luminance. Light pollution analysis is of particular importance for gaining planning permission where a development has bright lighting (e.g., stadium floodlighting) but is becoming increasingly sought by planning officers in dense urban centres where new development has the potential to cause light spill into sensitive receptors such as bedrooms and ecologically dark places.

Waldrams provides cutting edge analysis to calculate the risk of additional damaging light spills using state-of-the-art modelling techniques and presentation. Where the risk of a harmful light spill is significant, our expertise and experience are invaluable in reducing this to an acceptable level through careful window and lighting design without materially impacting the scheme’s general shape and form.

Maximise development potential

Throughout a project’s design development stages, we work closely with architects to maximise development potential while reducing rights of light risk and planning risk. We suggest scheme cutbacks and enhancements and maximum building envelopes to enable developers to design the optimal scheme within the site’s constraints. Our in-house CAD team rapidly analyses the evolving scheme options to advise the design team and quickly provide planning application reports. We provide invaluable pre-acquisition advice to our clients to understand at a very early stage the real potential for the site.

Radiance studies

Recent rights of light court cases are beginning to adopt radiance-based daylight analysis in addition to historical 0.2% sky contour analysis. Waldrams is pioneering the use of radiance analysis in this respect. In designing accommodation, radiance analysis enables a more accurate visualisation of how well-lit the spaces will be. Radiance analysis can also help to increase the planning acceptability of newly built accommodation. Waldrams is developing improved uses of radiance analysis for rights of light and daylight for planning.

Expert witness services

Waldrams has extensive experience in acting as an expert witness at planning appeals and has an excellent track record of gaining planning consent at appeals. We can also act as an expert witness in rights of light cases.

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Waldrams is part of the RSK group of companies

The RSK group is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business offering bespoke end-to-end solutions to a variety of sectors. Headquartered in the UK but with an established presence throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, RSK helps organisations around the world achieve their business aspirations in a sustainable and efficient manner.