Opinions

 

UK buildings are consistently failing to perform. So the UK needs to train architects and engineers with greater technical competence than it is presently doing if we are to address our ever-growing CO2 emissions. So why are there usually no UK students on the Postgraduate MSc Environmental Design and Engineering course in the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at UCL (also host to the UCL Energy Institute)

I wish the UK government in 2013 would address the complementary needs for: 

(a) jobs for people to do. 

(b) deep energy-saving retrofits of homes. 

It seems to me to be financially prudent and responsible for government to borrow money now to save a lot more money over the coming decades and create jobs at the same time. This could be done by the deep-retrofit of buildings now (as is being done in other parts of Europe) and this would create meaningful jobs in the process and a future for disenfranchised youths.

colorado wild fires, 2012, one of many terrifying results of global warming. Image: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

 

Politics: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

A wildfire in Colorado

This story is from the August 2nd, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, published in the USA

For full story, refer to this link: http://m.rollingstone.com/entry/view/id/29695/pn/all/p/0/

BY BILL MCKIBBEN
JULY 19, 2012 | 9:35AM EDT

Image: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Reading the above link should put our previous blog posting into context, highlighting:

heat leaking out of ventilation grilles

A lot of heat is lost from buildings in winter through simple bathroom mechanical extract fans. Furthermore, people all over the UK suffer from cold drafts and heat loss caused by primitive ventilation grilles in the outside walls of their house. This thermal image of a house next to our Passfield Drive retrofit, illustrates the terrible heat loss that occurs in such houses before renovation, even though it seems that everyone in the street has tried to board and tape over the ventilation grilles! (see picture below).

new-professionalism-building-performance-evaluation-post-occupancy

 

From time to time there are priceless email debates between members of the RIBA Sustainable Futures Committee. These debates are often concluded by wise words from Bill Bordass with illuminating attachments from his archives. One day someone must produce a book bringing together in one place all of Bill's written and professional work. 

A recent debate concluded on the topic of 'New Professionalism' and I have attached, with Bill's permission, pdfs of a written document and three slide shows of huge importance to all of us working in the construction sector.

how-to-compete-with-chinese-imports

My friend Bill Bordass sent me this wonderful cartoon by the brilliant Alex.

(See attached pdf for larger image)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued a smog alert for England and Wales as the public get into their cars and drive around or fly out of the country. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13161431#dna-comments

The picture shows the incoming air filter in the heat recovery ventilation unit in my London house after 6 months. Considering the quiet residential location of the house, I think most Londoners would be shocked to see that there is this amount of pollution in the air that we breath. I suspect that the cause is diesel fumes from lorries, vans, buses and taxis.

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