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Links for June 16th through June 21st

by Mel Starrs on June 23, 2009

in News

These are my links for June 16th through June 21st:

  • The young generation with a new vision to build Britain | Art and design | The Observer – Fairly fluffy piece in the Observer on the new generation of iconoclast architects, more devoted to context, collaboration and sustainability than iconic buildings which celebrate individualism. Good quote from Patrick though: "Patrick Lynch is actively hostile to what he sees as the inevitable decline of modernism into what he calls the "idiot avant garde, which means that all your work ultimately looks the same, whatever the climate". He claims that younger architects are disenchanted with "the idea that technological progress equals artistic progress equals moral progress equals virtue, which leads to the kind of thinking that it's OK to go and build for a completely unpalatable regime and f**k up the planet for money, because you're working in your signature style and it's an expression of individual creativity"."
  • BSRIA feature on new BREEAM In-Use measuring a building’s actual sustainability – Good overview from BSRIA: "With BREEAM In-Use the bulk of the work is carried out by the client in the form of an online self-assessment tool.
    If an organisation wants a formal certificate it can hire a BREEAM assessor who would assess the inputs into the online tool and certify the rating.
    the certificates have a limited validity. The certificates expire after three years for single asset assessments, and after just one year for portfolios and Part 3-only assessments.
    the development of BREEAM In-Use was driven by the need to assess a building within a few hours.
    BREEAM In-Use is also relatively cheap at just £100 per asset (a building).
    The plus points for the BREEAM In-Use scheme is that it links into other rating tools, which buildings are required to have anyway, such as Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates. BREEAM In-Use is also advertised as being useful to gaining and maintaining ISO 14001 accreditation."
  • New Planning Policy for Wales – Although Wales are only looking for 'Very Good' score in BREEAM, the energy still needs to be 'Excellent' (and I presume needs a PCR?): "Applications received on or after 1st September 2009 for non-residential development which will either have a floorspace of 1,000sqm or more, or will be carried out on a site having an area of one hectare or more, to meet the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ‘Very Good’ standard and achieve the mandatory credits for ‘Excellent’ under issue Ene 1 – Reduction of CO2 emissions."
  • CARBON REDUCTION COMMITMENT GUIDE LAUNCHED: British Property Federation – Confirms my iitial thoughts on CRC: "Hermes, which runs the BT pension fund, has undertaken a modelling exercise3 across its directly managed 103 properties. It found that during the first three-year period of CRC – where the price of carbon is fixed – it may be cheaper for the landlord to simply write-off the cost of carbon allowances rather than incur the administrative and legal costs of engaging with tenants, in effect taking away any incentive for tenants to reduce carbon. Although this situation is likely to change in year four when the price of carbon is no longer capped, it does mean that the scheme could fail to reduce as much CO2 emissions as it would with the benefit of tenant engagement. The government might then fail to achieve its ambitious carbon reduction targets by 2020."
  • Architecture is most exclusive profession – Building Design – I initially toyed with ideas of doing architecture when at school. I didn't have A level Art (clashed with Physics) so ended up in engineering (probably much better suited to me). No pangs of regret when I see stats like this: "documents released by the Cabinet Office’s panel for Fair Access to the Professions show it costs more to qualify as an architect — over £60,000 — than any other profession. The panel also found newly qualified architects earned just over £20,000 a year, one of the lowest starting salaries in the professions."