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Links for April 9th through April 13th

by Mel Starrs on April 17, 2010

in News

These are my links for April 9th through April 13th:

  • Building4Change : Bring disciplines together and get out more, Lovelock warns scientists – POE vs. DSM – similar case in point: "Lovelock also warned that scientists should not regard computer modelling as a substitute for traditional research methods in measuring and tackling climate change. He added: "It is difficult to get the scientific community to go out and measure. They model instead, and sometimes they even look it up on Google. It is utterly necessary to go out and measure.""
  • Morrell champions retrofit over eco-towns | News | Architects Journal – [AJ paywall] Morrell on fine form as usual: "Morrell also criticised the government’s eco-town plans: ‘There were nine or 10 [eco-towns] and now there are two,’ he said. ‘That’s Darwin at work and God bless him.’<br />
    Touching on the aims of the government’s feed-in tariff, commissioned last week, Morrell said: ‘We’ve made a big mistake with on-site renewables. I suspect they became a depredation of site value without any massive benefit, and I wonder whether what we’re doing is incentivising the same mistake in a new shape.’"
  • Howls of indignation from every corner – The Regeneration Blog – I'm in serious danger of becoming a total Jackie Sadek fangirl: "While I am all for people being able to give their views, comprehensively, both in private and in open forum (and, more importantly, understand they'll be listened to) I do not expect my community in South Kilburn – or anywhere else come to that – to be able to make informed decisions as amateurs, posing as planners (four years training) or architects (seven years training) or what have you, let alone be able to do sufficient NPV calculations to underpin funding proposals or development appraisals.<br />
    Why should they? They're far too busy, doing their own jobs and bringing up their children."
  • Building Star Legislation Promises Funding for Retrofits – – Not yet passed through Congress, but interesting: "The two-part bill creates rebates for products and services as well as a package of tax incentives, grants, and low-interest loans for building owners. Rebates would cover insulation, equipment, and lighting as well as services such as energy audits and building commissioning (see table). The bill would also increase the Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction from $1.80/ft2 to $3.00/ft2 ($19–$32/m2). Other incentives would be available for variable-speed drives for motors and chillers and Energy Star (reflective) roofs; building owners could take the incentive or the rebate for these products, but not both. Finally, the bill creates a loan program to cover those portions of a retrofit not covered by the rebate program."
  • New SEED Standard Introduced – Green Standards, Green Building, Economics – residentialarchitect Magazine – "…a group of architects, designers, activists, and community leaders unveiled a new standard called SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design). …SEED will provide guidance, evaluation, and certification for the social, economic, and environmental relevance of design projects.<br />
    He [Bryan Bell] and a group of collaborators have put five years of work into developing SEED and the SEED Evaluator, an online tool that helps users through the process of creating a socially, economically, and environmentally sensible building or community. The Evaluator addresses issues such as public safety, job creation, and sanitation, to name just a few. And it requires strong evidence of community participation and input for a project to be eligible for SEED certification.<br />
    A group of third-party certifiers will review submitted projects to determine whether they satisfy the SEED criteria."
  • Tax, tax, tax and more tax – a rallying cry for construction | Brickonomics – So is there anyone who thinks a carbon tax would be a bad thing?: "The central point is: why generate elaborate policies if they ignoring the blindingly obvious that energy is absurdly cheap if it is doing the damage we think it is to the planet?<br />
    There is of course one clinching argument for taking the simple taxation route to carbon reduction – it should reduce the amount of pious preaching we have to endure from senior executives and politicians who, in all probability, have produced in their lifetime yeti-sized carbon footprints."