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Archive for June, 2007

Phil Clark at Zero Champion sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act for figures on CO2 emissions for Portcullis House, the office building for Members of Parliament across the road from Big Ben. When he received a response he wasn’t sure if performance was good or bad. It’s bad:

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There was an article in the Guardian last Saturday (thanks to Tessa for spotting it) by Alex James, the bassist from Blur, about having an architect come to his home to give green advice. It’s a scheme run by the RIBA where architects provide green advice in exchange for a donation to charity. At first glance this sounds positive. Certainly it’s a great channel to spread information on energy efficiency.

But things get a little weird when the article states that thick rubble walls keep the house warm in winter – which they don’t. Then architect George Stowell suggests that Alex installs a biomass CHP unit to generate his own electricity on site from wood chips. But there aren’t any commercially available biomass CHP units on a single house scale (or even twenty times that big). He may have meant biomass heating, but it’s a hell of a mistake to make, recommending something that doesn’t exist.

It might be better to send a services engineer. CIBSE should consider something similar to the RIBA programme.

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