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This week’s essential reading February 7th through February 27th

by mel starrs on February 28, 2009

in News

These are my links for February 7th through February 27th:

  • Why and how I blog « Robert Kyriakides’s Weblog – Great post from Robert explaining how he manages to blog so prolifically.
  • Expedition’s blog » Think Up Mondays – Chris Wise et al are trying to create something useful out of the recession: "For one year, the employees of Expedition will be dedicating their Monday’s to thinking. Thinking about thinking, thinking about what we do, thinking about how we do it, and why. Think Up, the impetus behind this year of Mondays, is an educational company formed within the auspices of the Useful Simple Trust. The remit is large, but so is the ambition: to use the opportunity that the economic downturn has presented us with to think up a new raison d’etre, and modus operandi as engineers, and to train ourselves into shape."
  • Study shows 30% above ASHRAE energy efficiency difficult to reach in buidlings, 50% unreachable- 2/24/2009 12:16:00 PM – Building Design & Construction – "Findings show that although significant energy efficiencies can be achieved (varying by climate zone), reaching a 30 percent reduction above the ASHRAE standard is not feasible using common design approaches and would exceed a 10-year payback. The study concluded that achieving a 50 percent reduction above the standard is not currently reachable. "
  • buildoffsite – An industry-wide campaigning organisation that promotes greater uptake of offsite techniques by UK construction.
    Buildoffsite is an alliance of clients, developers, designers, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, government, advisors and researchers.
    Goal – A ten-fold step-change by 2020 achieving a 100% increase by 2010
  • Summary — ManuBuild – "The ManuBuild vision is of a future where customers will be able to purchase high quality, manufactured buildings having a high degree of design flexibility and at low cost compared to today. For the first time, inspirational unconstrained building design will be combined with highly efficient industrialised production.
    ManuBuild targets a radical breakthrough from the current "craft and resource-based construction" to "Open Building Manufacturing", combining ultra-efficient (ambient) manufacturing in factories and on sites with an open system for products and components offering diversity of supply in the market. "
  • Passive design primer for offices – Building Sustainable Design – Excellent article from an ex-colleague, Doug King: "Finally, I’d like to introduce the idea of “passive survivability”. This is a concept that will become far more important as we start to feel the pinch of declining fossil fuel resources and over-stretched utility infrastructure. One of the first effects of energy demand exceeding supply will be rolling power cuts, as happened in London’s West End during July 2006. While some businesses may be able to operate with emergency generators, for many the impact could be catastrophic as deep plan buildings will be uninhabitable without artificial lighting and ventilation. Some buildings may have to shut down during the power cuts and for a business, having sent staff home, a whole day’s production may be lost. Passive buildings, on the other hand, should continue to be habitable, albeit with reduced comfort levels, and the backup power supply will only be required to maintain the office equipment."
  • Le Corbusier – creator of the modern world – Times Online – Great article – I have an aversion to Le Corb after my history of architecture lectures at Leeds Uni, but I'll be pottering off to the Barbican with every other architect and engineer in the UK in the next few months…
  • BREEAM: In USE – The successor to the old BREEAM M&O assessment (management and operation) – In Use, has been announced. No sight of the manual yet, so can't really comment. Looks like it will tie up with DEC's…
  • What if Jane Jacobs had directed "Slumdog"? | Congress for the New Urbanism – "Despite their appearance of mess and squalor (and struggles with sewage and public health), the world's major ghettoes are in some ways quite green. Residents often live where they work, rolling up sleeping mats each morning and dispensing with petroleum-fueled commutes. Even garbage is picked clean of all reparable items or tradable commodities, making places like Dharavi the world's ultimate recyclers."
  • Architecture: Stephen Bayley discerns the shape of things to come | Art and design | The Observer – "The UK's first Passive House, designed by Bere Architects, is now being built in Camden, North London. It will, perhaps, be a little bit like living on the Northern Line: what fresh air there may be is pre-heated through subterranean channels. Other problems? Ecological perfection will demand a quality of detailing hitherto unknown to our native builders. And there will be no flinging open the windows to greet the new green dawn. That way you squander your patiently retained heat."
  • Wind turbines on Bahrain WTC start turning – "The BWTC's turbines are predicted to provide 11-15% of the power needed to operate the offices of the 50 storey twin towers."
  • 5 Emerging trends from the recession | Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist – "Generation X is the first generation in the US ever that will earn less than their parents. And Generation Y has an incredible amount of debt due to baby boomers pushing up college costs and housing costs while real wages went down."
  • Meteonorm – Global Solar Radiation Database – What is it? – METEONORM 6.1 (Edition 2009) is a comprehensive meteorological reference, incorporating a catalogue of meteorological data and calculation procedures for solar applications and system design at any desired location in the world. It is based on over 23 years of experience in the development of meteorological databases for energy applications.
    METEONORM addresses engineers, architects, teachers, planners and anyone interested in solar energy and climatology.
  • Imagine – "‘Imagine’ is a database which captures school design best practice from around the world.
    Architects and researchers from the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield [BDR] have conducted a critical analysis of over 150 schools, highlighting excellence in design according to different themes. It considers integrated ICT, environmental design and flexibility for space and learning.
    This resource is aimed at providing inspiration for creating innovative teaching and learning environments called for by the Government’s Building Schools for the Future initiative. Research for this database is sponsored by Balfour Beatty Education and Partnerships for Schools. New research is conducted every three months to ensure the database is kept up-to-date and topical."
  • Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) – JBED: Journal of Building Enclosure Design – Free pdf's of back issues of this US/Canadian publication are available here. In Winter 2007 issue there is a good article on the UK experience of air tightness from Nigel Potter of BSRIA. Lots of good data scattered throughout the issues.
  • Unversity funding will be linked to their carbon performance | Education | The Guardian – via lagavulin: "From 2011, Hefce will link the money it doles out for capital projects to universities' carbon performance. The smaller the reduction in carbon, the less funding they will get."