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Links for April 21st through April 27th

by Mel Starrs on April 28, 2011

in News

These are my links for April 21st through April 27th:

  • Skyscraper Boom Reaches End as City of London Goes ‘From Vanity to Sanity’ – Bloomberg – Fascinating article on the economics of tall buildings: "In London, high-rise buildings cost 50 pounds to 150 pounds more per square foot than shorter ones because of their stronger frames and typically more irregular shapes"
  • Mace vets subcontractors for carbon use Ι Construction Enquirer – "Mace has asked its subcontractors to submit monthly performance reports detailing carbon use on its sites.<br />
    <br />
    The firm hopes the initiative will help it to avoid heavy penalties under the Government’s carbon reduction commitment scheme when it comes into force next year.<br />
    <br />
    The scheme will also give clients hard data to benchmark Mace against rival contractors when bidding for work.<br />
    <br />
    Subcontractors are being told to record information about water, waste and diesel use. This will be fed into the Credit 360 Platform programme currently being used by clients like British Land.<br />
    <br />
    Mace aims to use the information to build a database detailing its carbon footprint on building sites by the autumn.<br />
    <br />
    This will allow clients to scrutinise its performance when bidding for future work in the UK.<br />
    <br />
    A league table of energy efficiency will be published in October by the CRC."
  • Laying the foundations for a green future – – "As UK CEO, Putnam explains the wall, and its grading from light to deep green, to employees and clients alike.<br />
    <br />
    Along the wall are various projects in which construction giant Skanska is the builder or developer and show how "green" each project is according to current building industry standards.<br />
    <br />
    "The journey is to "Deep Green", and that is how we describe it internally and externally," Putnam said."
  • GreenCalc will grow into BREEAM-Light « SourceYour | So You Know Better – "Today Sureac and the Dutch Green Building Council signed a declaration of intent to develop GreenCalc into a new variant of BREEAM, BREEAM-Light. harmonisation of the two sustainability tools to arrive at one common language is the main aim."
  • BASIX – Building Sustainability Index – "Introduced by the NSW Government, BASIX, the Building Sustainability Index, ensures homes are designed to use less potable water and be responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions by setting energy and water reduction targets for house and units. BASIX is one of the most robust sustainable planning measures in Australia, delivering equitable and effective water and greenhouse gas reductions across NSW."
  • The five types of successful acquisitions – McKinsey Quarterly – Corporate Finance – M&A – Things to keep in mind in these times of consolidation in the market: "In our experience, the strategic rationale for an acquisition that creates value typically conforms to at least one of the following five archetypes: improving the performance of the target company, removing excess capacity from an industry, creating market access for products, acquiring skills or technologies more quickly or at lower cost than they could be built in-house, and picking winners early and helping them develop their businesses. If an acquisition does not fit one or more of these archetypes, it’s unlikely to create value. Executives, of course, often justify acquisitions by choosing from a much broader menu of strategies, including roll-ups, consolidating to improve competitive behavior, transformational mergers, and buying cheap. While these strategies can create value, we find that they seldom do. Value-minded executives should view them with a gimlet eye."
  • Keeping CRC and energy costs under control « Jones Lang LaSalle Green Blog – "in all the proposed versions of the scheme, the cost of the CRC – when seen within the context of overall energy spend will be small, especially given the expected rise in energy costs over the next years. When the first CRC cost is incurred in 2012, Jones Lang LaSalle calculates it will be approximately3-5 percent of total energy spend.<br />
    The predicted rise in costs for energy over the next decade will be far more significant than the additional cost of CRC. Electricity supply – particularly in the UK – has not increased with the rate of demand. Over the next ten years, the energy infrastructure in the UK will undergo significant change, with many large power stations reaching the end of their life-cycle, and we experience the transition to a lower carbon infrastructure."
  • Building Energy Efficiency Is a Hard Market to Crack: Cleantech News and Analysis « – Interesting article pertinent to Green Deal (via David Frise): "It’s a cliché you inevitably hear in any discussion about building energy efficiency retrofits: It’s the “low-hanging fruit” of cleantech. Apparently, however, it’s not low enough, because the market hasn’t exactly taken off. The residential market in particular has been tough because the spending on energy efficiency projects tends to be low, and the returns on investments for service providers can be lengthy."
  • New environmental regulation: deciphering the BBC-Effinergie label – Bouygues Immobilier – "The Grenelle de l’Environnement aims to reduce the average consumption of primary energy in new buildings from the current 150 kWhEP/m²/year to 50 kWhEP/m²/year by 1 January 2013<br />
    This point will therefore mark the transition from the Réglementation Thermique 2005 (RT 2005) to the BBC standard, lowering consumption to an estimated 33.33% of the previous level*. However, the maximum energy consumption value is weighted by the application of a coefficient to reflect:<br />
    * the climate zone: this ranges from 0.8 on the Mediterranean coast to 1.3 in North and North-Eastern France<br />
    * the altitude of the building: 0.1 is added to the coefficient for buildings at between 400 and 800 metres above sea level, and 0.2 for those above the 800-metre contour<br />
    So the maximum level of energy consumption permitted under the BBC standard ranges from 40 kWhEP/m²/year on the Côte d’Azur to 75 kWhEP/m²/year above 800 metres in the Vosges mountains."
  • USGBC Blog: Fine-Tuning our Buildings for Optimum Performance – "The notion that green building is a process and not just an event is something that is often overlooked. Much like the life cycle of a building, the green building process is one that takes a building from merely a sustainable “vision” to a sustainable structure."
  • Historic Scotland – Looking after our heritage – Technical papers – A wealth of fascinating reports: "Technical Papers present recent research results and are available for free download."
  • Ecobuild – Blog – "There’s been an explosion of interest in ratings tools among the Nordic countries. Some are adopting LEED, some have chosen BREEAM, some both. In Denmark, they’re adopting the German DGNB tool, which has a strong focus on lifecycle impact, because they think it is most advanced in terms of anticipating the EU’s drive for standardisation in this area.<br />
    What's interesting is that most of them are developing their own national labelling systems as well. I was humbled by not only the fact that my Nordic colleagues had been constructing energy efficient buildings for years, but that they were all speaking English, and it seems this bilingualism extends throughout their culture. While the new Green Building Councils enjoy strong relationships at the Nordic level and are keen to play an active role internationally, it was also quite clear that they are fiercely proud of their different national traits and that they want to maintain their own languages and identities."
  • Ecobuild – Blog – An old post, but points the way as to how CSH and localism might work: "The government is clearly set on the localism agenda, and it’s not about to change its mind. It’s just starting to think about what localism is going to mean in practice in the built environment. I attended the first stakeholders roundtable in mid December on how regulations and standards for homes and buildings could be devolved and delivered at a local level – from the Building Regulations to the Code for Sustainable Homes, Lifetime Homes and Secure by Design. One of Grant Shapps’ ideas is to have a local standards framework, which local authorities could adapt to local needs. Some standards, such as the Building Regulations, could be mandatory across the board but local authorities would be able to take a pick-and-mix approach to the rest. So there would be a consistent menu, but differences in terms of what would be actually required at a local level."
  • The Low-Carbon Buildings Method – "The LCB Method is a simplified methodology built on PAS 2050 for estimating GHG emissions from buildings construction."
  • 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error
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  • Local Planning Authority Green Belt Statistics: England 2010 … – "The area of designated Green Belt land in England at 31st March 2011 was estimated at 1,639,540 hectares, about 13 per cent of the land area of England."
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  • Barbie didn’t pick the easiest option | Opinion | Building Design – "Architecture does worse than other professions in employing and retaining women – while more than a third of students in the UK are female, women are less than one in six in the workplace.<br />
    <br />
    It’s both clear and unclear why this is the case. Building sites are macho environments, but then women are better represented in the police service. Architecture offices have a punishing working hours culture, but so does medicine, where women make up almost half the profession. Women doctors or police officers, unlike architects, have public sector protections for maternity leave, flexible working, pay and promotion, but most lawyers are in the private sector and women still account for nearly 50% of that workforce."
  • guest

    The article on mace was interesting, but on further review it turns out this is what my company has been doing for the past three years!! Good to see they are doing it too though.