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    • #30891
      Peter Draper

      Dear All,

      We are looking to develop a Sustainable Building Wiki to help people to contribute ideas, experience, knowledge and concerns into a resource that is openly editable. Our main concern is that there is a lack of confidence from builders, architects etc in using sustainable building materials. If we can create a central resource from practitioners for people to use then we stand a better chance of these technologies / techniques / materials being used.

      So if we can host a Wiki where we can cover all the different types of building and this can include the really practical things like:

      How thick does a wall need to be to satisfy Part L, Passiv Hause, AECB Silver etc?
      How is this made waterproof?
      What detailing is required at key intersections (doors, windows etc.)?
      What practical skills are required by a builder?
      What quirks are there with using this particular material?
      What are the best complimentary materials to use?
      How is airtightness achieved?

      If we can have a central resource that can answer these questions then more architects and builders will have confidence in taking up the challenge.

      To create this we will need the following:

      Architects and designers happy to share info and detailing
      Case studies written by the owners / contractors for sustainable buildings
      Research findings from Universities

      If you feel that you would be willing to contribute please let me know, as I don't wish to spend time and energy getting a Wiki up together if there is no support from AECB members for it.

      This idea has come out of discussions with Cardiff University School of Architecture (who may be willing to create a PhD around expanding any Wiki to include CAD drawings etc.) and Rounded Developments Enterprises. Basically we want to get info that is locked up in BRE out to the public free of charge. The basic Wiki would be indicative of detailing etc, but we feel that this could easily link to a fee paying site where architects etc could sell specific details / information. This info would then be covered by PII from the relevant professionals.

      If you are unsure about Wiki's just have a look at Wikipedia to get an idea of how it all works.

      Please let me know your thoughts. Cheers


    • #35026
      Nick Grant


      This sounds a good idea but my concern would be duplication and dilution of current AECB board and member efforts in these areas unless you are proposing this as an AECB initiative.

      No problem setting up an AECB Wiki but would need someone like yourself to drive it forward.


    • #35027
      Eco Design

      Yes, an interesting idea Peter. My first reaction was that the AECB forum gives a start to this process and as the AECB is the hub of clear practical green & energy efficient building solutions, Nick's thought of setting it up as an AECB initiative to freely disseminate good green practice would sit well with the AECB.

    • #35028
      Peter Draper

      Dear All,

      The original conversations with Cardiff University were aimed at getting an online U value calculator for natural building systems based around different standards. So people could go online and put in, say a straw bale house and get the thicknesses, detailing required in order to comply with Silver, Gold, Passiv haus, Part L etc. I think that this is still required, but the conversations then went on to the need to show detailing of structures etc as well. So the idea of the Wiki was born, so the people could edit / add details, calculations etc rather than trying to create a whole new project that would take a lot of time, effort and cash (esp, if the U values were anything but indicative only).

      The benefits of the AECB forum were talked about, but the issue with forums is that they provide a dialogue rather than a set of necessarily reliable data. So the format discussed was this Wiki with a whole set of pages dedicated to different styles of building and people's experiences and calculations to go with them, after all people have had to produce calcs for building regs etc. With this as a backdrop, it should encourage people (architects, developers etc) to feel more confident with the different technologies and options.

      CLP is still ostensibly an energy standard and a Wiki is needed to start to address the issue of how to reach the standards using natural materials rather than conventional ones. It would also address issues like extensions / conversions on existing buildings rather than just new build.

      I am happy to create and host the Wiki via the Rounded Developments Enterprises website, I am not sure how this would be done via AECB. It would rely on AECB members inputting a lot of info and drawings etc in order to make it a viable source of info, so it could easily be linked to via the AECB website or vice versa.

      Ultimately it was suggested that specific drawings could be made available in CAD format via the Wiki (and Cardiff Uni might run a PhD on how to do this). Bath Uni would also be interested in contributing data etc to the Wiki, which would be nice and it could take the info to a new level.

      There is a commercial opportunity here as well, since all drawings will be either generic or specific to an existing building and so developers may wish to commission drawings from contributors to the Wiki for their particular project.

      I hope that this makes our initial thoughts clearer.



    • #35029
      Peter Draper

      Hi Chris,

      RDE is also a not-for-profit organisation and our remit is to champion sustainable building in Wales, so we would agree that it needs to be robust and, of course, free to all. The commercial side would be something that might happen anyway off of the back of it, but we were not looking to make money from the exercise.

      If the AECB wishes to host then fine, it was something that we thought would support our efforts to promote sustainable building, and also have the knock-on of bringing people to our site.

      Wherever it sits it will require contributions from AECB members, so there will need to be support from AECB in order for it to work. As you will know the actual setting up of a Wiki is simple enough, it just needs some though about the structure of the site so that there is a common thread running through all of the data. After that, we were looking for it to take on a life of its own with minimal amounts of support / moderation.

      Once launched we would look for some publicity in Green Building and also contact various orgs that we know would be interested.

      I would wish this to be very much a stand alone peer-reviewed and led project, as we do not have the time for providing day to day moderation etc.

      So in a way it makes little difference where it sits, as people like yourself and Chris can be registered as moderators and it can be accessed from anywhere. So it could be badged as AECB and RDE and we could host. As a small social enterprise we would wish to get some mileage in associating RDE with the project, especially if we are kick-starting the process.

      Thoughts again welcome.



    • #35030

      Sounds like a brilliant idea, hope it happens

    • #35031
      Peter Draper

      We have just received a small grant from Environment Wales in order to create the WIKI. Once the basic format is up we shall be looking for contributions. If anyone is keen on getting involved in the new WIKI either by helping to generate the format, or by publishing case studies etc please contact me (Peter Draper) via the Rounded Developments website – http://www.rounded-developments.org.uk

    • #35032

      Excellent news, hope it progresses well.

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