Posted on July 1st, 2014
Q: Ceramic tile sample recycling?
• Do you know of any depots who collect unused ceramic tile samples?
• As an architectural practice, we get lots of samples and companies are often very reluctant to pick up samples once the job is complete or if the...
Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Sustainable Development
Posted on June 1st, 2014
Chris Hocknell & Rita Margarido | eight associates
What needs to be done?
Commercial sector buildings are responsible for 10% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and it is estimated that £1.6 billion in cost savings could be achieved through investment in commercial energy efficiency. However, the Bank of England states that banks and investment institutions are actually reducing their lending although they have significant financial reserves. Clearly there is an opportunity for directing these funds to productive means; it is called sustainable energy finance.
How can it be...
Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, Legislation, Retrofit, Sustainable Development
Posted on May 1st, 2014
Jim Allen | E&M West
Working with water is a challenge wherever you are. Balancing human need for supply on the one hand, and safety and security on the other are common concerns, although the severity of the challenge and the particular focus will vary.
In the UK recent experiences with extreme weather events in all corners of the country have focussed attention on flood risk. Existing provision for drainage and flood defence was tested and found wanting, having suffered years of limited investment and frankly neglect.
Flood management is complex, with responsibilties split between local and national...
Posted in Features, General News, Recommended, Sustainable Development, Water
Posted on April 1st, 2014
Cora Kwiatkowski | Stride Treglown
Architects are continuously on the look-out for the better insulation, the paint with no solvents, the more sustainable timber systems, and the new state of the art material. But natural light? We don't give it the special attention it deserves, although it is a very special building material, is readily available, not owned by individuals or countries - and it is free.
In 1903 Professor Niels Finsen discovered that direct sunlight can heal tuberculosis. A few years later, the social housing revolution in Berlin, Vienna and Stuttgart (building with more ‘Licht und Luft’ – light...
Posted in Features, General News, Recommended, Sustainable Development
Posted on March 1st, 2014
Cath Hassell | ech2o consultants
I often say that, at its core, harvesting rainwater is beautifully simple. I would say that the exact opposite applies to recycling greywater for use back in a building. Waste water from baths, showers and wash basins has a high organic load which starts to deteriorate after 24 hours. There are different methods of treating greywater – biological, chemical, mechanical, or a mixture. All work, but the withdrawal of two of the main system suppliers from the UK market in 2012, (the Ecoplay and the smaller Pontos Aquacycle units) shows the difficulty...
Posted in Carbon emissions, Case Studies, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development, Water
Posted on February 23rd, 2014
The Green Register ran our regular two day Sustainable Building and Services introductory course in Exeter last week. Usually more than half of the attendees on these courses are architects but this time nearly half were builders. We were really delighted with this - each time we run these courses we get a different mix of people, all contributing their own experiences, frustrations and ideas for the future. This time the builders brought a fresh perspective to the two days, their contributions rooted in the practicalities of achieving well insulated, airtight, low impact buildings.
It's an unfortunate side effect of the downturn that builders have more time to attend training...
Posted in General News
Posted on January 1st, 2014
Jillian Mitchell | Project Logistics Architecture
In May 2013, changes to the limits and process for building without the need for planning approval came into force, amidst much criticism amongst professionals and politicians alike. Media headlines heralded rear extensions at double the sizes in previous PD, but left out much of the complex matrix of Parts and Classes which determine if planning approval is required, and made very little mention of the neighbour consultation process required, if an approval is to not be triggered. See here for a technical explanation of the changes: ...
Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, Legislation, Recommended, Retrofit, Sustainable Development
Posted on December 1st, 2013
Thomas Vazakas | RPS Health, Safety and Environment
The much anticipated Part L 2013 which was due to come into force in October 2013, following consultation that began in January 2013, was finally officially launched at the beginning of October During the launch it was promised that the Approved Documents and beta versions of the SAP and SBEM software would be issued within weeks. However it took until the 25th November before Approved Documents L1A and L2A were released and there is still no confirmed release date for the Approved Documents for existing buildings. Meanwhile the test version of SBEM software is due to be...
Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Legislation, Recommended, Sustainable Development