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Links for October 20th through October 26th

by Mel Starrs on October 27, 2010

in News

These are my links for October 20th through October 26th:

  • National Refurbishment Centre – “The National Refurbishment Centre’s report, Rethinking Refurbishment. Developing A National Programme, is now available to download. The report is the culmination of regional workshops, in which stakeholders from across the sector gave their views about the state of green refurbishment across the country and what needs to be done to deliver a national programme. The findings will inform the National Refurbishment work groups who are formulating a nation-wide refurbishment delivery roadmap.”
  • Air conditioning drives down hospitalizations | Reuters – Quandary for overall sustainability – environmental ills vs. social/economic goods?: “As in their earlier study, they found that every 10-degree rise in temperature on a given day was associated with higher rates of hospitalizations for pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, heat stroke and many other conditions. But use of AC reduced the chances of ending up in the hospital.”
  • The Temptations of Survivalism, or, What do you do with your waste?: Places: Design Observer – “Even a cursory analysis shows that the actual independence of self-powered buildings is limited. … the photovoltaic panels now appearing on buildings everywhere have been designed, manufactured and installed using fuel and electricity from the same supply chain from which they provide a measure of independence. The point is not to impeach these projects, whose achievements are notable, but to question the very idea that any kind of desirable survival can be achieved through total autonomy. The photovoltaic panel, or the wind turbine, or the ground-source heat pump are all ways to use the expensive and high-density energies of fossil fuels to gather or leverage the much more diffuse environmental energies of sunlight and wind, which we think of as free. Self-powered buildings provide many benefits, but total autonomy is not one of them.”
  • UK climbs to third in global league of green building – Bit late to this one: “A global index to measure the progress of countries towards creating a zero carbon built environment in terms of energy consumption and production has put Norway at the top, with Brazil second and the UK in third place.”
  • UK can achieve ‘zero waste’ without incineration – News – The Ecologist – I admire their stand but I would prefer to see some hard facts than a dogmatic stance (one reason I’d make a rubbish campaigner): “In response to a Defra consultation on the future of waste, UKWIN says the UK should strive to achieve a sustainable zero waste economy that does not rely upon increasing incineration capacity and also called for an end to waste contracts that incentivise incineration.”
  • Solar-powered stadium to bolster Qatar’s bid for 2022 World Cup – “As part of Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup, the London-based architects responsible for the 2007 reconstruction of Wembley Stadium, Foster + Partners, has designed an energy efficient stadium to be built in the Qatar capital of Doha. When completed, the Lusail Iconic Stadium will boast enough room for 86,250 spectators and will be surrounded by parking and service areas shaded by canopies of solar collectors, which will produce energy for the stadium when it’s in use, as well as generating power for neighboring buildings.”
  • McCloud cuckoo land? | Rupert Bates – Rupert takes on Keven McHeadintheClouds: “Does McCloud really believe housebuilders rack ‘em and stack ‘em, caring not a fig for the people who buy their properties and live in or around them? They are subjected to a planning system that is nothing short of scandalous and a suffocating burden of regulation, much of it contradictory and incomprehensible. And to boot they are the guinea pigs of climate change, expected in under six years time to be building nothing but zero-carbon homes, when nobody has bothered to tell them, because nobody knows, what the definition of zero carbon is and if anybody is prepared to pay for it.”
  • PassivHaus construction: the future of UK housebuilding? – Green Living – The Ecologist – “So why has the UK been so slow to catch on to PassivHaus? Surely more newbuilds should be going this way? Chris Herring, director of the Green Building Store, puts it down to a combination of factors: suspicion of European ideas, the language barrier, the lack of a publicly funded body to promote best practice in construction in the UK since the privatisation of BRE, and the fact that the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes has gone in a different direction (with a focus on renewables). Chris believes that PassivHaus, not costly microrenewables, is the best approach for newbuilds.”
  • Look at carbon, not energy « BSRIA Blog – Opinions and insights from BSRIA Ltd. – In short the carbon arguments for community heating systems depend crucially on the speed of decarbonisation of the grid….without a guaranteed connected load and the effective displacement of high carbon intensity grid supply it will be difficult to make community scale heating financially attractive to a commercial investor.
    So, we should focus on decarbonising the grid or develop heat-sharing technologies through low-carbon communities? These are mega questions and need a national strategy where government must lead the way.”