Built Environment

Is BIM the future?

by mel starrs on November 13, 2007

in Engineering & Science

BIM (Building Information Modelling) has long been the way I think the industry ought to work. It just seems so logical to me. The premise is simple – build an intelligent 3D model of a building which can be exported and manipulated by various designers, including architects, structural engineers and building services engineers. This model […]


Open plan offices

by mel starrs on September 11, 2007

in Uncategorized

In case you may have missed it, Architectural Record has started a blog, and it’s actually quite good.  Catching up with the archives, I found this gem on open plan offices. Having been on the receiving end of some less than stellar office re-organisations and also involved (somewhat indirectly in the actual design decisions, but […]


Existing buildings key to carbon reduction

by mel starrs on September 7, 2007

in Uncategorized

The blogosphere have been saying it since day one, now the industry events circuit is catching up.  CIBSE have announced The Great Refurbishment Event: Making refurbishment a green opportunity scheduled for 24 October 2007 in London. And in case we need reminding why existing buildings are key, Cyril Sweett estimate that by 2050, 60% of […]

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The AECB appears to be realigning it’s Carbon Lite program with CSH.  Press release in the latest newsletter states: At the heart of the programme are three Steps to improved energy performance in buildings, which provide robust solutions to the CO2 targets at levels 4, 5 and 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. These […]



by mel starrs on May 3, 2007

in Uncategorized

No longer do you need to rely on a central marketing department to scan the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) for you – you can have it delivered to your inbox via RSS .  Tenders Electronic Daily (or TED) is available in 23 languages.  Feeds include Construction and Real Estate. If you haven’t […]


Pareto principle at work in design

by mel starrs on March 1, 2007

in Uncategorized

I came across this article (10 pages, pdf) from 1996 via RICS (Royal Institiute of Chartered Surveyors). The article is “Improving the quality of conceptual structural design: A neural network approach“, which no doubt sounds very dull to most readers.  Glutton for punishment, I forged ahead and found some nuggets in there (I’m actually looking […]


HEEPI (Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement) have released a position paper on “Sustainable Laboratories for Universities and Colleges – Lessons from America and the Pharmaceutical Sector” (.doc, 29 pages). Although not a design code, it has some useful observations which will interest those involved in laboratory design, and outlines the Labs21 approach. Some points I […]


edit: this was originally posted 22 January, but I fear there may have been a glitch and it has been marked as private.  Odd.  Anyway, here it is again… Spotted via the IET headlines, this article in the Telegraph highlights the findings of a report in Energy Policy in December which criticises the fragmented approach […]