The Green Register Blog

For and by sustainable construction professionals

Can the planning system reduce the environmental burden of nappies?

Posted on August 1st, 2012

Rob Burosso

Having recently wrecked my environmental credentials by having a second child my world is again one of nappies and sleepless nights. Of course we're told the most sustainable nappy is a reusable one so they're hanging up everywhere at home, which got me thinking…

Now, I'm not going to use this blog to do a life cycle analysis of nappies but rather to show just how difficult they can be and include things you'd never think of. The case against the disposable nappy revolves around two points; the resources consumed to make them and the space they take up in landfill. The former I'm not going to question but the latter..... I've got some issues....

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What’s in a teapot?

Posted on July 1st, 2012

Jim Allen

You see before you a photograph of a piece of domestic crockery, with a difference. It has been the subject of DESIGN. Its basic function is obvious but for the uninitiated in the art of tea making it is to contain high temperature liquid (water) allowing the diffusion and dissolution of various chemicals from a herbal product (tea). It is dependent on the skill of its operator if the perfect cup of tea is to result, but we will not dwell on the number of tea spoons or bags, pre-heat, the precise water temperature or brew times here. It is the impact of the pot itself that interests me, and the steps taken by its designers to improve...

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The wettest drought on record or why we need to be smarter about water……

Posted on June 1st, 2012

Cath Hassell |ech2o

Introduction

There was never really any doubt about the subject of this blog for me. It always had to be about “the wettest drought on record”. It is usually easier to get people to sign up to sustainable water during a drought, (although, conversely, it makes it harder as soon as the drought is over.) But this “drought” has proved far harder because of the amount of rainfall. Plus the fact that the south west of England and the Midlands were classified as being in drought even as the unprecedented April rains were falling made it even more of a PR disaster.

...

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Why PV’s will hinder rather than help any further “Kyoto” agreements

Posted on May 1st, 2012

Rob Burroso

While the renewables industry, and in particular the PV crowd, are still smarting over the governments’ decision to halve their subsides overnight, back in December, the wider global issues of what to do when Kyoto expires at the end of the year have hardly been talked about. But what that fiasco (1) did, to my mind, was to illustrate just how difficult any further agreement will be.

First, let’s look at what paying 130 (2) times more for something than it is actually worth has achieved. For a start a massive growth in the rate of PV installations; anyone with a roof and/or a good credit record could look forward to a 6-8% return on investment...

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The next step to ‘Zero Carbon’ buildings?

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Mark Saitch | POSITION | COMPANY

Proposed changes to the building regulations, supporting guidance and tools are out for consultation.(1) Included in this review are parts A, B, C, K, L, M, N, Access Statements, Security, Changing Places Toilets, Regulation 7 and the building control structure and process. Not too much for us to read, think about and respond to in addition to our normal workload there then!

Part L changes are proposed to reduce predicted emissions through higher performance targets and by closing the “performance gap” (2) for new buildings by stimulating improvements to existing buildings through “...

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ECO-BUILD or ECO-BLING?

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Tom Dollard | Head of Sustainable Design | Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects

Ecobuild this year has been compared to a nightclub – a fair comment with all the Eco-bling and show-boating on a scale previously seen only at Interbuild or MIPIM. It is encouraging that Sustainability has truly hit the mainstream with Saint Gobain, Lafarge, and VM ZINC as some of the biggest stands. However, trekking around the mammoth air-conditioned halls of the Excel centre – I began to wonder – where was sustainable design? How would I ever see the sustainably sourced wood through the trees?

After some evasive action and...

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The challenges of eco-retrofitting interiors

Posted on February 1st, 2012

Brian Murphy | National Green Specification

The interior design profession is coming around to the idea that refurbishment jobs need to take into account the environmental impact these projects have and to address this, The Green Register is holding a seminal one day conference in London on 9th February to address some of the more pressing issues interior designers have to face. But what are these issues?

Since interior finishes are removed and replaced frequently, the building-fabric-only needs to be competent or every refit would require building regulations applications, associated design and application fees and increasing energy performance...

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Becoming an Accredited Eco-refurbisher: A New Course from The Green Register

Posted on February 23rd, 2011

Guest blog by delegate Tim Brown, Ashton Design, Cumbria

Work in Cumbria is varied and diverse but predominantly involves renovation/refurbishment and extension of traditional buildings, many employing solid stone walls and dipping slate roofs. Therefore when I learnt of the one day course to become an Accredited Eco-Refurbisher and with the experience of previous Green Register events I decided to venture down to Bristol.

Travel to Bristol by train or bus from `The North` is not easy for a one day event so I used up all of my travel brownie points (I work from home) and arrived by car the night before. Bristol is a vibrant city and a stroll along the river bank looking for...

Posted in Events, Testimonials

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Sustainable Building & Services Course - Birmingham

Posted on February 23rd, 2011

Guest blog by delegate Malcolm Glenister, Dipl. Arch. (Glos.,) RIBA, Director of BPL Architecture, Tewkesbury, Glos., GL20 5NX.

I attended the 2-day introductory course "Sustainable Building & Services", at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, 1046, Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6LJ, on 12th - 13th May, 2009, which was a very rewarding and enjoyably informative 2 days, with a small group of fellow architects in tranquil landscaped surroundings just off the A38.

The 2 days were packed full of interesting and useful information across a wide range of topics, which actively involved the 9 architects from a diverse range of practices and locations.

Day 1...

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The Success of Sustainability Now

Posted on February 23rd, 2011

On 13th and 14th May, Phil Clark, Editor-in-chief digital communities at UBM Built Environment pulled off an impressive feat inviting everyone from the construction industry to participate in the virtual event 'Sustainability Now'. I was invited as an expert to take part, and had two slots over the two days where I would contribute to live discussions on issues close to my heart.

After overcoming the technology, I enjoyed a very lively debate with lots of people whom I'd never met - with at least three threads of conversation going on at the same time. There was much to discuss and some controversial comments such as "it has not been proven that human activities cause increases...

Posted in Testimonials

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