Doing some research and I came across the wonderfully voyeuristic Business Week Company Insight Centre. After the news of Zaha Hadid awarding herself £725,000 on a turnover of just over £10m I thought I’d see what the rest of the industry was up to. I was surprised to learn to learn that WSP CEO Chris Cole […]


Engineers – a protected species – part deux

by mel starrs on February 28, 2008

in The Profession

Remember about a year ago there was an epetition floating around regarding the use of the word engineer? Because I signed up to the petition (along with 1,726 others), I received the response in my email. I’ve copied it out in full in case anyone’s too lazy to click through. Basically, they aren’t going to […]

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by mel starrs on November 22, 2007


Bovis Lend Lease has pledged to build all projects worth £5m or more to BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard by 2010. I’m finding myself underwhelmed by this.  I would be more impressed if they committed to carbon reductions (it’s easy enough to get a ‘Very Good’ on a reasonably sited new build project without necessarily addressing […]


Upcoming event

by mel starrs on May 9, 2007

in Events & Conferences

From the British Expertise website: British Expertise, working with RICS, RIBA, APM and others, is running a Sustainability conference in London on Tuesday, 15 May 2007. Sustainability is increasing seen as the main driver in development and planning initiatives and is emerging as a fundamental principle to create a new kind of built environment: one that […]


More on EPC’s for houses

by mel starrs on April 19, 2007

in Part L

The Government wants go further to make it easier for homebuyers to access grants for energy efficiency measures, linking them to new EPCs. Grants look to be worth about £100 – £300 for homes rated E, F or G. Current estimates for the cost of an EPC are £85 (which the seller, rather than the […]


Getting ready for EPC’s

by mel starrs on April 18, 2007

in Part L

The always excellent TheyWorkForYou has alerted me to these factoids: Q: how much has been allocated to the Energy Performance Certificates scheme for (a) start-up costs and (b) 2007-08? A:The Department has allocated some £1.96 million to start-up costs for the Energy Performance Certificates scheme. This money is required to put into place the necessary […]


A green and murky conundrum…

by mel starrs on April 4, 2007

in Embodied Energy

Mark Brinkley has written up a great critique of Bill Dunster (of BedZED infamy) and his green philosophy, following on from the article in the Sunday Times at the weekend. Highlights include: Bill’s a fan of thermal mass, acheived by concrete (high embodied energy) He’s not a fan of mech vent, opting for wind cowls […]


EPC and HIPs – market forces?

by mel starrs on March 23, 2007

in Part L

Yvette Cooper estimates we need between 2,500 and 4,500 qualified assessors. She sets out how much setting up HIPs has cost here (£11.7m total). Let’s remind ourselves why HIPs and EPC exist: The Housing Act 2004 requires that a mandatory Home Information Pack (HIP) is put together on every home that comes to the market […]

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Today is the last date to book for early bird discounts at the National CIBSE Conference.  Find the booking form here (pdf, 8pages) and save £50.  Despite the always frustrating business of juggling a plate of lukewarm buffet with a glass of orange precariously balanced on one of those wholly inadequate plastic holder thingies whilst never being […]


In brief: HIPS, renewables, timber and Arup

by mel starrs on February 7, 2007

in News

I’ve upgraded the blog to WP 2.1. This won’t make a difference to most of you readers, but the interface for my input is much easier, with word check built in! Yay. I’ve finished crashing through the backlog of blogs from the last week. Lots of interesting goings on: Yet another consultation (pdf, 26 pages) […]