The case for public authorities

Tara Gbolade considers whether the face of public authority housing is changing. Local authorities (LA’s) and housing associations (HA’s) aren’t identified as ‘innovative’ when it comes to quality and provision of housing in the UK (with a few exceptions!). With slowness in responding to changing markets, a very real cost budget to meet, and the Section 106 requirement by the government, public housing have historically suffered as the ‘add-on’ to development, often also represented as such. But, with councils like Camden, Norwich and Exeter, as well as HA’s like Hastoe leading the way with Passivhaus developments, could the face of » Read More

Posted in AECB Latest News, Soapbox on April 13th, 2017

Visitor centre mock up

The School of Natural Building secures 6.3 m euros grant funding to build with straw

New project is a significant milestone for sustainable building. The School of Natural Building (SNaB) has been jointly awarded 6.3m euros to increase the uses of low carbon technologies in sectors with high energy saving potential. By working with UK partners Hastings Borough Council & Groundwork South as well as European partners in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, SNaB will help to reduce GHG emissions across North West Europe. The project is called ‘Up Straw’ and the aim of the project is to showcase sustainable building projects with reduced carbon footprints. The UK will build the first building, a straw » Read More

Posted in AECB Member News on April 13th, 2017

interior of Kellogg College with group

Kellogg College visit by the AECB Oxford group

Members enjoy a follow up visit to this nearly completed Passivhaus project. The Oxford group recently revisited the Kellogg College Passivhaus project, which is now nearing completion and is on schedule for client handover. This is a live site and Chris Swinburn was able to explain successes and a few challenges of the project to members. When the larger group visited in November, one of Chris’ chief concerns was how well the labour force would install the exterior insulation, with regard to cold bridges. This question was discussed for quite a while between members and on return it seemed that the install went “as » Read More

Posted in AECB Latest News on April 7th, 2017

Local authorities and sustainability standards

Tom Jarman asks what can planning authorities do, and how do we create a dialogue rather than minimum compliance? Local authorities (LAs) are required to have a local plan which contains their development goals and direction of travel for the next decade and a half.  The local plan contains a housing allocation, including numbers of buildings and areas where development is likely to be granted planning permission.  It will also contain guidance which indicates what needs to be considered to make a development broadly acceptable.  This blog considers the current legal situation, in terms of what LAs can ask developers » Read More

Posted in AECB Latest News, Soapbox on April 7th, 2017

Masterclass – Insulating and Achieving Airtightness with Cross Laminated Timber

Join industry leaders for a day Thursday 11th May in London Organised by Ecological Building Systems 10% discount for AECB members The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC13 7BT Topics: Insulating CLT with woodfibre Achieving airtightness – detailing and critical junctions Specialist fixing details Case studies from leading UK Architects Download Flyer

Posted in General News on March 28th, 2017

The importance of improving indoor air quality in the fight against air pollution.

Carl Fivash argues we should be fixing the problem from the inside out. If we are to protect a generation of young children from serious harm, time is running out to clean-up the toxic air pollution choking many of Britain’s towns and cities. That was the urgent warning issued recently in a letter to the Prime Minister by the campaigning group Doctors Against Diesel, and it’s a concern shared by many scientific and medical experts. It will take years to reduce the number of diesel vehicles on our roads, but we can protect ourselves from air pollution’s harmful effects right » Read More

Posted in AECB Latest News, Soapbox on March 23rd, 2017

Outside of silver standard house

Conker Conservation complete latest project to AECB Silver Standard

Paul Mallion and team receive AECB Silver certificate for ‘Old Dover Road’ project. Congratulations to Conker Conservation on their latest Silver standard project. Paul Mallion and his team were tasked with a 1960’s detached bungalow with cavity wall and air leakage of 7.94ach and a heating demand of 167 kWh/m2 per annum.  The house benefitted from cavity wall insulation and 50mm floor insulation and double glazing.  They used PHPP to model various improvements on a step by step basis but the client was keen to achieve AECB Silver standard in conjunction with creating a new space with large rooflights.  Old » Read More

Posted in AECB Member News on March 23rd, 2017

We are still taking a disgraceful approach to build quality – and waving goodbye to energy savings.

Paul Buckingham argues that profit driven construction is having detrimental effects on quality and energy efficiency. Seven years of experience with thermographic imaging and air testing on all kinds of buildings have confirmed AECB member Paul Buckingham’s depressing conclusion that almost without exception, buildings in this country are still shoddily assembled and continue failing to meet the standards set. What is worse, the prevailing ethos seems not to be ‘how well can we build?’, but ‘how quickly and cheaply can we get these boxes ticked?’ In this latest Soapbox, Paul shares some more of his horror stories, and calls for » Read More

Posted in AECB Latest News, Soapbox on March 21st, 2017

a passive house

Exclusive: UK may deliver EU sustainable building targets in spite of Brexit – while Scotland & Wales commit

Investigative report by our partner magazine, Passive House Plus reveals some real hope on low energy building in the UK. Jeff Colley, editor at Passive House Plus magazine has published an exclusive article today saying: “The  Welsh and Scottish governments have issued statements to passive House Plus including the verbatim response that they had “transposed all requirements of Directive 2010/31/EU to date and our intention is to continue to do so.” A European Commission spokesperson told Passive House Plus that “we understand that the UK has withdrawn the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, but not the targets as such.” » Read More

Posted in AECB Latest News on March 20th, 2017

Prewett Bizley staff receiving award

Prewett Bizley Architects named Sustainability Architect of the Year

New build and retrofit project impress judges at the 2017 BD Architect of the Year awards. AECB members, Prewett Bizley Architects were delighted to be named Sustainability Architect of the Year at the BD Architect of the Year Awards Ceremony last week.  This award recognises architects who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering a more sustainable built environment.  They were shortlisted alongside two larger architectural practices with their two projects –  ‘Dundon Passivhaus’ in Somerset and ‘Bloomsbury Town House’, a retrofit of a grade II listed Georgian town house.  Bob Prewett, Director of Prewett Bizley was delighted to receive the award and » Read More

Posted in AECB Member News on March 17th, 2017

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