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Links for December 8th through December 12th

by Mel Starrs on December 15, 2010

in News

These are my links for December 8th through December 12th:

  • Announcements > Green Building Certification Institute Launches LEED Fellow Program – Another interesting move: “In order to be eligible for the LEED Fellow designation, an individual must be nominated by a qualifying peer. A nomination period is open now until Jan. 7, 2011. Nominees must have 10 years of green building experience and be LEED APs with specialty who have held the LEED AP credential for at least eight cumulative years.”
  • Your Guide to the New Draft of LEED – – Great overview of the proposed changes to LEED. Worth reading.
  • Real Life LEED: LEED 2012 and the Greenbuild Rating System Development Update – Would love to have the same data for BREEAM: ” According to Horst, to date 10% of LEED projects by number, roughly 4,000, are registered outside the US, but when you look at registrations by square footage that number jumps to 28% of all projects. The trend is that international projects are growing relative to all projects, with 40% of the registrations by square footage year to date 2010 are outside the US.”
  • Unlocking the Potential of Empty Homes: Three Remarkbale Announcements – “These proposals would mean that councils would have to consider empty homes and getting new homes built together. A good idea in itself; what’s the point of building new homes if there are already homes lying empty? You might ask. Certainly we’ve been asking that question for years. Now we have an answer. Not everybody will like this, but if councils get this wrong it will hit them in the wallet. For example under this proposal a council that gets a hundred new homes built, but also sees a hundred homes becoming empty will get no New Homes Bonus reward. A council that gets a hundred empty homes into use will earn lots of New Homes Bonus even if no new homes are built. This is a clever idea, it will mean councils will have to look at their existing housing stock instead of just trying to get more homes built.”
  • CIBSE survey reveals that non-compliance with regulations is widespread – Modern Building Services – “To simplify matters he reported that CIBSE proposes combining Energy Performance Regulations with the Building Regulations.
    He explained, ‘There is significant scope to combine the technical development, consultation, legal drafting and compliance arrangements for these two activities. We therefore believe that the department should seek to implement the recast entirely through revisions to the Building Regulations, absorbing the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.’<br />
    CIBSE has identified opportunities to rationalise and streamline the energy-efficiency elements of the Building Regulations and the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations, which are currently separate. Rationalising these regulations would enable their regulatory burden to be reduced and make possible cost savings in the implementation of the recast EPBD, which has to be undertaken in parallel with the next cycle of revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations.”
  • Building Regulations point to growth of LED lighting – Modern Building Services – “This requirement pushes upwards the need for efficient light sources and luminaires. A lamp with an efficacy of 80 lm/W and a luminaire with a light output ratio of 70% would just about hit this mark. New LED technology is also hitting overall efficacies in excess of 65 lm/W (circuit), making it a contender to replace conventional solutions in complying with Part L. With the projected increase in efficacy of LED technology, we expect that in five years 70% of new lighting sold could be LED-based and deliver greater energy savings than today’s solutions.
    LED lighting is here today, and it is expected that in five years’ time, 70% of new lighting could be LED. …
    One of the problems with Part L is that it focuses on installed load rather than energy used….[actual savings with controls] is far greater than the current allowance made for lighting control in the latest Part L.”
  • From 2006 to 2010 – Modern Building Services – Good 2010 Part L case study from David Kingstone of Buro Happold.
  • Vertical farming: Does it really stack up? | The Economist – “the cost of powering artificial lights will make indoor farming prohibitively expensive. Even though crops growing in a glass skyscraper will get some natural sunlight during the day, it won’t be enough. Without artificial lighting the result will be an uneven crop, as the plants closest to the windows are exposed to more sunlight and grow more quickly, says Peter Head, …“Light has to be very tightly controlled to get uniform production of very high-quality food,” he says.
    Indeed, even in today’s single-storey glasshouses, artificial lighting is needed to enable year-round production. Thanet Earth, a 90-hectare facility which opened in Kent in 2008 and is the largest such site in Britain—it provides 15% of the British salad crop—requires its own mini power-station to provide its plants with light for 15 hours a day during the winter months. This rather undermines the notion that vertical farming will save energy and cut carbon emissions…”
  • ‘The Economics of Green Building’ – Nils Kok – “This paper analyzes the economics of “green” building. First, we analyze a panel of office buildings “certified” by independent rating agencies, finding that large recent increases in the supply of green buildings and the unprecedented volatility in property markets have not significantly affected the relative returns to green buildings.
    Second, we analyze a large cross section of office buildings, demonstrating that economic premiums in rent and asset values are substantial.
    Third, we relate the economic premiums for green buildings to their sustainability, confirming that the attributes rated for both thermal efficiency and sustainability contribute to premiums in rents and asset values. Even among green buildings, increased energy efficiency is fully capitalized into rents and asset values.”
  • Compare and contrast: Passivhaus and the UK building standards  | Architecture Today – Very pro-Passivhaus, anti-CSH post from Jonathan Hines of Architype. Good points but a tad zealous on the Passivhaus: “The broad box-ticking environmental aims and zero-carbon targets of UK standards encourage contradictory solutions and complex design. The radically low-energy target of Passivhaus, and its rigorously accurate process, encourage simple solutions and integrated design.”
  • / Middle East – Qatar clinches bid with cool new stadium – More on the Qatar stadium design by Arup: “Unlike a domestic fridge, the stadium’s chilling system is driven by super-hot water. Rotating mirrors track the sun and focus its energy, heating water to 200ºC under high pressure.
    “Absorption chillers” then create a strong vacuum based on lithium bromide absorbing water vapour in a closed chamber. This sets up the pressure differences required to create a cooling effect from the expansion and evaporation of vapour.
    Solar heat drives vapour from the lithium bromide solution, leading to a continuous refrigeration cycle. The cold is stored in tanks below the stadium. As spectators enter, cooled air circulates down to the seating area and around the pitch. During Fifa’s visit to the model stadium, on the pitch the temperature was 23ºC. Outside it was 44ºC.”
  • House 2.0: Low energy homes – they don’t always work – The comments on this post are excellent and (at the time of posting) no-one being ranty, zealoty or nasty. Really useful information on MVHR, heating and insulation. Well done blogosphere….
  • Footings : Liz Male Blog | Shhhh. Don’t use the S word… – Great post from Liz and this warning from the code is spot on: “The concepts involved in sustainability are highly complex. At this time there are no definite methods for measuring full sustainability or confirming its accomplishment (whether environmental, social and/or economic). Therefore claims about a product or service being ’sustainable’ or ‘environmentally sustainable’ should not be made.”
  • Johann Hari: There won’t be a bailout for the earth – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent – “Now there is a radically different theory that is gaining adherents, ominously named the Medea hypothesis. The paleontologist Professor Peter Ward is an expert in the great extinctions that have happened in the earth’s past, and he believes there is a common thread between them. With the exception of the meteor strike that happened 65 million years ago, every extinction was caused by living creatures becoming incredibly successful – and then destroying their own habitats. So, for example, 2.3 billion years ago, plant life spread incredibly rapidly, and as it went it inhaled huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This then caused a rapid plunge in temperature that froze the planet and triggered a mass extinction.”
  • UK should commit to a 60% cut in emissions by 2030 as a contribution to global efforts to combat climate change – 7 December 2010 – “The Committee on Climate Change today recommended a carbon budget for 2023-27 and a target for emissions reductions in 2030 – halfway between now and 2050. The recommended target for 2030, to cut emissions by 60% relative to 1990 levels (46% relative to current levels), would then require a 62% emissions reduction from 2030 to meet the 2050 target in the Climate Change Act. The Committee estimates that the recommended target can be achieved at a cost of less than 1% of GDP (i.e. a fraction of one year’s growth over the next two decades). In order to achieve deep emissions cuts required in the period to 2030, the Committee recommended that the carbon budgets currently in legislation (which cover the period up to 2022) should be tightened to reflect a 37% reduction in GHGs in 2020 relative to 1990 (from the currently legislated 34% cut), which could be raised further again to 42% once the EU has moved to more ambitious climate change targets.”