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Links for November 24th through November 30th

by Mel Starrs on December 1, 2010

in News

These are my links for November 24th through November 30th:

  • USGBC Announces ‘LEED Automation’ to Streamline and Create Capacity for LEED Green Building Projects | Chloregy – “The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developers of the LEED green building program today announced LEED Automation, a new program in collaboration with leading technology companies that is designed to streamline and create capacity for the LEED building certification process. LEED Automation enables LEED Online, the online tool projects use to submit documentation and certify LEED projects, to interact with third party technology platforms.”
  • New Guide – first spark in energy revolution – “A new guide on CHP and district heating, being launched today, is set to become the ‘how to manual’ for community groups, councils and developers, interested in generating their own energy and slashing bills in the process. Community Energy – planning, development and delivery, a Combined Heat & Power Association (CHPA), LDA Design and Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) guide, outlines a straightforward step-by-step approach to the challenge of creating a successful and efficient community energy scheme.”
  • black_tansa_: Obsolescence… – love the prose on this blog: “Our rose-tinted view of these ecological add-ons is completely understandable. Turbines and solar panels are highly visual. They are the obvious choice, the easy choice. They are symbols of hope. Symbols that demonstrate society has woken up to the fact that something needs to be done before it is too late. But short-term technological solutions, reliant on long-term maintenance are not going to be the answer to our problems. Instead of relying on machines to counteract what we’ve done to the environment, we need to work with the environment. Surely more emphasis needs to be placed on ‘passive’ solutions, on the design of buildings that can retain or expel heat without the requirement for complex machinery.”
  • Code 2010 the finer points | RoryBergin’s Blog – Rory has beaten me to posting the detail of the changes to CSH: ‘On the whole one can expect to lose credits when swapping from Code 2009 to Code 2010.”
  • Passivhaus Refurb: Week 2 of the build – “To refurbish or not to refurbish” – I’m loving this blog and good to see progress on site. Good observations: “All (I hope) of the shortcomings of the existing building have now been exposed and this week I have found myself questioning why we are bothering to refurb and not demolishing what is left and starting again. If we had chosen to demolish it, we would have been able to do away with many hours of difficult design work. The problems of thermal bridging between the ground floor concrete slab and the structural walls would have gone away in an instant. We wouldn’t be paying tens of thousands in VAT, as VAT can be claimed back for new builds.”
  • » The Passivhaus Style – Hurrah – Rob’s blogging again. He’s warming to Passivhaus but has aesthethic reservations: “Our host talked us through the key principles of super insulation levels of below 0.15, super air tightness that allowed no more than 0.6 air changes per hour, super rigorous detailing that eradicated connections between the outside and the inside, super seductive triple glazing products and ventilation heat exchangers that performed at an efficiency that was, well, super. The examples shown to us offered timber frame construction for new build and wrapped existing buildings in a cozy blanket and all new air tight skin. The almost hermetically sealed results providing their inhabitants with a life free from cold and heating bills. We left shaking our heads at the insanity of the normal, slapdash world of construction then shook them again at the thought of the work in front of us required to fix it.”
  • black_tansa_: Towards A New Sustainable Architecture…The Black manifesto. – “The word sustainability has been so abused it has become meaningless. Society likes to think that a sustainable future is a good thing, but it’s difficult and intangible. Everyone is scared of it. Politicians talk about zero-carbon but don’t understand it. Sustainable is not just a sticking plaster. It’s complicated and ugly, and there are conflicts and compromises. Sustainability is not just about energy. Authentic sustainability is fundamental to our future and demands long-term social, environmental and economic rethinking.”
  • Community energy guide published – PlanningResource – “The Community Energy guide shows how local communities, local planning authorities and private developers can work together to ensure that we achieve positive solutions on energy demand reduction and renewable energy.”
  • Are energy efficient buildings more valuable? | News | Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – Nils Kok is a name to watch – lots of good statistical economic research being released under his name: “The study provides some of the first empirical evidence as to the market adoption and financial impact of energy performance certificates, as well as to claim that there is a higher transaction price for properties labeled as more energy efficient.”
  • Non-Green Office Buildings Sacrifice 8% in Rent Revenues – – “Dutch economist Nils Kok has published the most comprehensive statistical analysis to date on the relative value of green and conventional buildings. The results show that U.S. buildings labeled under the LEED or Energy Star programs charge 3% higher rent, have greater occupancy rates, and sell for 13% more than comparable properties. “Labeled buildings have effective rents [rent multiplied by occupancy rate] that are almost 8% higher than those of otherwise identical nearby non-rated buildings,” the study reports.”
  • environment | Environment | Gentoo Homes – via Kate on Twitter: “We have published our first “Footsteps” report which illustrates some of the work we have carried out, and the achievements we have made, in the past 2 years. Gentoo has also unveiled a ground breaking new report into the vital issue of the deliverability of sustainable homes, aiming to make it as straight forward and cost effective as possible. “The Code Word report” a review of Traditional and PassivHaus based designs against the Code for Sustainable Homes, was well received by a select group of key industry experts at its official launch in London.”
  • Cradle to Cradle(R) Criteria for the Built Environment — NUNSPEET, Netherlands, October 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — – Euro15 for 20 pages? Yikes – not too transparent (my perennial criticism of C2C): “The purpose of this booklet is to provide planners with guiding criteria for developing a building with measurable C2C features. The focus of these criteria, that distinguishes them as C2C, is to maximize beneficial impacts instead of just minimizing negative ones.”
  • Building Envelope Calculator | CA Building Products Technical Services – Looks useful – haven’t tried against SBEM yet though (buyer beware, blah, blah, blah): “The Building Envelope Calculator allows you to see at a glance what impact your building envelope design decisions will have in passing Part L requirements. This calculator is simple to use and only requires some basic details on the parameters of the building. From there information such as U-values and air permeability can be altered to see what the effect is on the overall % improvement of the building envelope in accordance with Part L.”
  • Low carbon housing: lessons from Elm Tree Mews | Joseph Rowntree Foundation – 118 page pdf: “This report sets out the findings from a low carbon housing trial at Elm Tree Mews, York, and discusses the technical and policy issues that arise from it. The Government has set an ambitious target for all new housing to be zero carbon by 2016. With the application of good insulation, improved efficiencies and renewable energy, this is theoretically possible. However, there is growing concern that, in practice, even existing carbon standards are not being achieved and that this performance gap has the potential to undermine zero carbon housing policy. The report seeks to address these concerns through the detailed evaluation of a low carbon development at Elm Tree Mews.”
  • How Cities Can Prevent a Green Building Apocalypse | Buildings | – Replace LEED with CSH or BREEAM for UK perspective – completely agree with Chris. Worth clicking through to see the graphic: “If you need evidence that LEED certification was never meant to be a building code, and should not be a building code, use this picture. Building codes are the minimum. By mandating LEED certification for all private construction, a government essentially makes LEED certification a building code, a minimum. LEED certification is supposed to represent buildings that have gone beyond the building code. With this picture, the U.S. Green Building Council is telling us not to use LEED certification for private-construction mandates.”