The Green Register Blog

For and by sustainable construction professionals

Sustainable Construction - 2000 to date – are we there yet?

Posted on December 1st, 2014

Lucy Pedler | The Green Register

I recently made a presentation to a room full of architects for the RIBA South West in Exeter. Having been given free reign about what to present, I chose to take a look at what progress we have, or have not, made since the turn of the century.

There is no doubt that Bill Dunster’s BedZed scheme in south London welcomed the new century in with a bang. It is one of the most...

Posted in Building envelope, Carbon emissions, Features, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development


Water and Narrow Boats

Posted on November 1st, 2014

Jillian Mitchell | Project Logistics

I recently enjoyed a week’s holiday on a narrow boat.  There’s something about pootling around at 3 miles an hour, spending time in the great outdoors, which slows the mind and gives time to think, or better still, time to simply be – a rare treat, these days.

This blog isn’t about my holidays, although of course that would be fascinating.  This is actually about water consumption.  (I won’t cover the wonders of civil engineering and water...

Posted in General News, Have your say, Recommended, Sustainable Development, Water

1 Comment

Fracking: The Numbers Game

Posted on October 1st, 2014

Rob Borruso

I was planning a whole load of puns to go with this blog especially as my take on this is going to be rather heavy on facts and figures. But actually no, I think it is best that we all suffer the numbers. To my mind to issues surrounding fracking are, in many ways, a lot like those surrounding nuclear power. The public at large want lower bills and energy security at the prices that cheap fossil fuels have always delivered. Unfortunately, the fact that the era of cheap energy bills is now in the past is an inconvenient...

Posted in Features, General News, Have your say, Recommended, Sustainable Development


Hot taps in public toilets – are they necessary?

Posted on September 1st, 2014

Cath Hassell | ech2o 

G3 (1) of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) states that hot water must be provided ‘to any washbasin in, or adjacent to, a room containing a sanitary convenience.’(1) Under the guidance it states that: ‘in the Secretary of State’s view the requirement will be met if: the installation conveys hot water to the sanitary appliances … without waste, misuse, or undue consumption of water.’ (2) G4 states that: ‘adequate hand washing facilities must be provided in rooms containing...

Posted in Carbon emissions, General News, Legislation, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development, Water

1 Comment

Zero Carbon Homes 2016

Posted on August 1st, 2014
Tom Dollard | Associate and head of sustainable design | Pollard Thomas Edwards

In her speech last month setting out the government's proposed legislative programme for the year ahead, the Queen confirmed that we will be building zero-carbon homes in 2016. Surprisingly, she also revealed a loophole that could let developers bypass carbon reduction schemes on small sites.

The Zero Carbon Hub (ZCH) has been working with industry...

Posted in Carbon emissions, Features, General News, Legislation, Low and Zero Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Development

1 Comment

Recycling V Reuse – Not as simple as you think

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


Sustainable energy finance – A direction to a green economy?

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


The complexity of flood management

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


Daylight can help us to live more healthily

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


Wastewater heat recovery – a better option than greywater recycling?

Posted on March 1st, 2014

Cath Hassell | ech2o consultants 

Greywater recycling

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.[1] 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



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