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Links for January 3rd through January 7th

by Mel Starrs on January 8, 2010

in News

These are my links for January 3rd through January 7th:

  • She Just Walks Around With It: What I Would Tell Any Recent College Graduate – Wise words from Kristy: "That is NOT the same as liking what a company does, seeing a company that has lots of potential and potentially cool jobs, and just not liking some aspects of your current job there. Every job — especially in the beginning, good lord — comes with some "sh*t work": dumb things that just have to get done, and that you just have to do.
    Oh, I could write a manual about Success in the Workplace at the Entry-to-Mid Level.
    My point, really, is that every corporate job is going to suck to some degree. If it sucks and you totally can't see any reason to stay except for the paycheck, look for something else. If aspects of it suck but the long-term (1-3 year) potential is evident, don't screw up a good thing by focusing on the stupid."
  • House 2.0: On Housing Benefit – Mark's B&W view of housing: "The problem is essentially that we have created a two-tier housing market. There is the private sector, which is expensive and insecure (esp. for renters), and the social/council sector which is cheap and very secure. And subsidised to the tune of £20billion a year…. It doesn’t strike at the root of the problem, which is that there are two different markets operating and cheap and secure housing is always going to be preferable to expensive and insecure, even more so now as windfall profits from owning private housing have been put on hold.
    A more logical solution would be to have just one housing market. To do that, you have two options. One would be to privatise the social/council house sector, and remove all housing benefit, instead supporting the poor by some other method – for instance, giving them money and letting them decide how to spend it. Alternatively, you could nationalise all housing and have it all rented out by the state."
  • The enduring influence of architect Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language. – By Witold Rybczynski – Slate Magazine – Most people discover Alexander through his classic, A Pattern Language, which appeared in 1977. Small and fat (more than 1,000 pages), printed on fine paper, and bound in a plain maroon cover embossed with a gold escutcheon, it resembles a Latin breviary. Its author's ambitious goal was nothing less than to catalog the entire built environment—from towns to bedrooms—as a collection of discrete "patterns," 253 of them. Each pattern was explained, supported by research, and illustrated by sketches and photographs. The patterns were linked to one another, showing which ones worked well together, and arranged hierarchically from large to small. "Neighborhood Boundaries," for example, suggests that strong neighborhoods require clear edges and restricted access. At the other end of the scale, "Ceiling Height Variety" observes that buildings with uniform ceilings are uncomfortable and recommends varying ceiling heights between large and small rooms to create different degrees of intimacy.
  • CIBSE > About Building Services > Ken Dale Travel Bursary – The Ken Dale Travel Bursary makes awards available of between £1,500 and £4,000 to CIBSE members in the developmental stage of their career who wish to spend three to four weeks outside their own country researching aspects connected to their field of work and which will benefit CIBSE, their employer, their clients and the profession. CIBSE is especially keen to encourage applicants to take-up the award for research that articulates CIBSE's concern for the environment.

    The Bursary also offers the candidate the opportunity to experience technical, economic, environmental, social and political conditions in another country and to examine how these factors impact the practice of building services engineering.

  • David Barrie: A New Deal for urban regeneration – Via Phil Clark on twitter, a great new blog find and a great post too: "Economic productivity today is increasingly linked with social welfare – and there's an ever-increasing recognition of a feedback loop between welfare, natural resources and economic development.
    In other words, sustainability is slowly but surely coming to mean not just environmental justice and intergenerational value but intra-generational value and equity"
  • Blog | Yudelson Associates | Australian Efficient Building Scheme Allows Buildings to Trade Carbon Reductions – “An Efficient Building Scheme is identical to an emissions trading scheme except that it recognizes energy efficiency improvements in non-residential buildings, rather than emissions avoided. Simply put, it treats one ton of greenhouse gas emissions that is not emitted because energy is not used, in the same way that a conventional Emissions Trading Scheme treats one ton of CO2 that is not emitted due to a change in energy generation methods.” In other words, it’s far better to reduce demand than to fiddle with what the power plant has to emit to meet the (higher) demand of a building that wasn’t upgraded in terms of energy requirements.
  • Anna Minton’s blog: Boris’ ‘Manifesto’ to keep public space public – "Surprised and pleased to see Boris Johnson call for public space to remain genuinely public. In his ‘Manifesto for Public Space’, which goes under the heading, ‘London’s Great Outdoors’, Boris writes that “there is a growing trend towards the private management of publicly accessible space” and that where this “corporatisation” occurs, “Londoners can feel themselves excluded from parts of their own city”. But he makes clear “this need not be the case” pointing to the Kings Cross development where it has been agreed that the local authority will retain control of the streets and public areas – ‘adopt’ the streets to use the jargon. He explicitly states: “This has established an important principle which should be negotiated in all similar schemes.”"
  • BBC News – No central heating in new homes – Reading this, it screams of Passivhaus, yet isn't mentioned at all?: "The properties will be made air-tight and will be fitted with triple-glazed windows.
    They will also contain a "whole house ventilation" system which will recover at least 80% of the heat from stale air in the home and redistribute it into a supply of fresh filtered air.
    The executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Northern Ireland, Peter Farquharson, said the ambitious plan would "fundamentally change how people view new homes" and have a "far-reaching impact for the community and the sector"."
  • Future Friendly Homes » The Passive House Solution | Certified Passive House Consultant | How Passive House works and why it matters – Passivhaus taking over the world? A good overview from an accredited practicioner stateside: "It is now available in the US. Consultants, projects or building components that have obtained the right to carry the logo have committed themselves to design excellence and the Passive House energy performance criteria. I am a Certified Passive House Consultant, one of 200 in the US and the first in the state of CT to provide this service."