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Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

It’s Mies van der Rohe’s 126th birthday today! In celebration, here’s a fitting piece of tribute punk (originally spotted by the mighty Rob Annable about 5 years ago, but it’s always stuck with me).

Mies’s work is still hugely influential and mostly loved – but always horrifically inefficient and guaranteed to overheat. And four decades after his death, we’re still cranking out the glass boxes. ARCHITECTS, IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON!

Ah well, happy birthday mate.

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PAYS (“Pay As You Save”) is getting a lot of airtime these days. Born in the US, it figured largely in yesterday’s low carbon transition strategy and the Government clearly hope it will take the pain out of the £10bn per year (or so) that needs to be spent on improving existing stock.

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I just received a very interesting comment from a “simple builder” about the regulatory maze. There are some interesting points in there. I don’t agree with all of them but I wanted to draw attention to them just the same:

Sorry guys I just have to speak out.

I speak as a simple Builder, we are a practical breed, not scientists, but we are being treated with rafts of legislation written by lunatics…

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The requirement for all homes to be zero carbon by 2016 is going to fail unless we take action now. In particular, a set of interim requirements under the Code for Sustainable Homes must be imposed on private housebuilders. In addition, the Code must allow more flexibility in how zero carbon is achieved.

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Phil Clark and Fulcrum have put together a fantastic list of upcoming proposed policy changes relevant to construction. Though I couldn’t find the attached doc he talks about: Fulcrum’s housing chart – where is it? Phil’s promised to keep the list updated as more information is released.

That’s just saved me a pile of research this morning, Phil. Thanks.

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The Draft Statutory Instrument (DSI) for Stamp Duty Exemption for Zero Carbon Homes, announced at the last budget, will undermine the majority of attempts to deliver the greenest of housing. The DSI doesn’t appear to be available online, but the link is to a copy we acquired from the Treasury after badgering them.

The DSI is to be laid before Parliament at the end of next week for Committee approval by the end of the month. It is at best a misguided piece of well-meaning legislation that will do more harm than good, or at worst a genuine attempt by central Government to limit the loss of stamp duty receipts from too many zero carbon homes.

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far end
A project I’ve been involved in at XCO2 won the Building Design /100% Detail Cool Wall contest last Sunday. It’s Far End House, set to be the first PassivHaus in the UK (fingers crossed). My involvement has been limited to working through the PHPP spreadsheets – Jayde Austin has done all the hard work – but I wanted to shout about it anyway.

In this case, mob justice was right.

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