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Links for March 30th through April 5th

by Mel Starrs on April 7, 2012

in News

These are my links for March 30th through April 5th:

  • Contractors turning away from LEED – Journal of Commerce – Trying to hunt down the paper cited here: "Green building systems’ shortcomings were recently pointed out in a paper prepared by the B.C. Construction Association: A Study in the Risks and Liabilities of Green Building.
    It points to the pitfalls of third party verification systems. It also highlights the impact of written agreements on contractors and subcontractors, over aspects of the work, where they have no control.
    “The responsibility of achieving credit across all aspects of a project (design, material selection and installation) means that no one party can control all the aspects in achieving certification,” said the report.
    “There is no way for designers and builders to guarantee whether a building, even designed and built to necessary specifications, will attain certification or not.”
    The difficulty with the LEED process, said Bayley, is it was never a compliance program, but rather it is a roadmap to a green building."
  • ‘Low carbon’ design: a mistaken proxy for ‘sustainable’ design? | METROBLOGS – Excellent post – have added Spohie's book to my wishlist: "Clearly, we want to avoid legislation and frameworks becoming any more complex; but if the direct impact of our ‘carbon reduction drive’ on other aspects of sustainable design is properly acknowledged then we would have a better chance of designing energy efficient buildings that are truly ‘sustainable’. The challenge is to acknowledge that by undertaking one strategy, adverse impacts may occur on another environmental parameter, which cannot always be measured in CO2, and to carefully investigate how any such adverse impacts can be minimised and negated."
  • Mark Brinkley (aka House 2.0): The Future of Heating? – Mark's started reading the Heat Strategy doc – some good points: "Take §27 in the Exec Summary. It starts Reducing our demand for heat is a highly cost effective way of cutting emissions from buildings. Well, is it? No evidence is given to support this statement, it is just assumed to be the case. It might be cost effective to reduce demand by a little bit, but very expensive to reduce it by a lot (more than likely in fact). And without having some idea of what low carbon power sources will be available and how much they will cost, the cost-effectiveness of demand reduction is nothing more than guesswork."
  • energystorage | Energy Research Partnership – "A project by the Energy Research Partnership has been looking at the role for energy storage in the UK's future energy system. The report, published in June 2011 presents a strategic view of the opportunities for electrical and thermal storage to provide a reliable energy supply, setting-out the nature and scale of the challenges that will be faced. We describe how energy storage could go to meeting those challenges and the innovation landscape for further technology development in the UK."
  • Knowledge capture | Policies | BIS – Call for evidence: "The question of how a low carbon built environment may be achieved has generated a wide range of research papers, case studies and other publications. A good awareness of this body of knowledge is important for the Green Construction Board and its working groups, since it permits an appreciation of best practice, supports informed challenge of proposals, and identifies critical gaps in our understanding.
    To ensure we have as clear a picture of as possible of the work available or planned, we have begun a review of publications and research in this area. This has involved a high level search for relevant literature as well as discussions with key research bodies."
  • RICS iConsult – RICS draft information paper – Methodology for the calculation of embodied carbon as part of the life cycle carbon emissions for a building – Consultation Homepage – Due back same day as Part L 2013 response: "RICS invites comment on a new consultation draft – Methodology for the calculation of embodied carbon as part of the life cycle carbon emissions for a building"
  • Statistical press release: UK Energy Statistics – Department of Energy and Climate Change – "Renewables’ share of generation increased by 2½ percentage points on 2010 to a record 9½ per cent. Hydro generation increased by 58 per cent on 2010 as a result of higher rainfall, whilst wind rose by 54½ per cent, of which offshore wind rose by 68 per cent, due to higher wind speeds and increased capacity. Overall hydro and wind generation was 55½ per cent higher than in 2010."
  • About the National Heat Map : Community Energy Online – National Heat Map is updated – caveated to the hilt, obviously: "The National Heat Map has been developed for the stated purpose making use of the best data and technology available at a reasonable cost. Accordingly, the heat map has an expected margin of error, and should not be relied upon in isolation. Similarly, the map does not reveal personal or private information about any individual home or building. At that level, the map shows modelled aggregated information.
    Consequently, DECC gives no guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the heat map and accepts no liability for any inaccuracy or incompleteness. Persons wishing to obtain detailed or accurate information on particular locations or properties must do so by obtaining suitable professional advice, and must not under any circumstance rely on the heat map. In particular, the heat map must not be relied on in the context of any commercial decisions."
  • BSRIA publishes Soft Landings Core Principles – "BSRIA has published a free to download guide to twelve Core Principles that define a Soft Landings project. The Soft Landings Core Principles have been developed by BSRIA working with the BSRIA Soft Landings User Group. They have been written for construction clients and their professional teams to inform Soft Landings project processes.
    Soft Landings is the cradle-to-occupation process for the graduated handover of a new or refurbished building, where a period of professional aftercare by the project team is planned for at project inception and carried out for up to three years post-completion."