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March 2006

Warmer Homes Greener Herts
Homeowners in Hertfordshire are being urged to take advantage of the Warmer Homes Greener Herts campaign in order to save energy. The scheme can help people find grants and discounts in order to save energy. In the face of rising energy bills, energy efficiency in the home is becoming increasingly important, and measures such as ... more
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The Green Electricity Illusion
An urban myth is doing the rounds in the UK at present, which seems to be gaining more and more credence. It is said that specifying electric resistance space and water heating is more environmentally sustainable than specifying a gas condensing boiler. The argument is that if the occupier signs up to a renewable energy supplier then ... more   back to top

Devon's Oak Meadow Development 'Very Good'
Devon and Cornwall Housing Association deserve praise for their Oak Meadow development in South Molton. The 35-unit development achieved an EcoHomes Very Good rating, the ‘Best Social Housing Development’ category at the NationalHomeBuilder Design Awards 2005 and a Green Apple Award... more  back to top


Ken's Vision For A Low Carbon London

Ken Livingstone has criticised proposals for building new nuclear power stations across the UK as he outlined his vision for a low carbon London at the Greenpeace Business Lecture. Addressing business leaders at the Greenpeace lecture the Mayor launched a new report ‘Powering London into the 21st century’. The report details how decentralising London’s energy would be far more efficient in cutting the city’s CO2 emissions, and the demand for imported gas as opposed to pursuing a centralised nuclear power focused national energy

It provides a practical blueprint for shifting London’s energy away from dependence on centralised production, which wastes two thirds of energy generated, towards a more independent, decentralised approach to energy production which gets more value for taxpayers' money. The report, produced by energy experts PB Power, for Greenpeace and the Mayor of London, lays out a vision for London that builds on approaches already successfully adopted in Denmark, where decentralised energy provides over 50 per cent of energy supplies and the Netherlands where it supplies over 40 per cent.

Closer to home, Woking Council has cut its own CO2 emissions by 77.4 per cent between 1991 and 2004 a result of decentralising its energy supplies. The Mayor of London has already started working towards creating a decentralised energy network for London. In 2005 he launched the Climate Change Agency which will design, finance, build and operate low and zero carbon developments. The Agency is run by Allan Jones who spearheaded the development of decentralised energy in Woking.

Mr Livingstone has previously expressed his enthusiasm for both the Thames Gateway development and the Olympics being built to run on decentralised energy. Independent decentralised energy projects are already successfully up and running in London, including ones in Kings Cross and Tower Hamlets. The London report’s findings independently reinforce those of a report released last week into the effects of adopting a decentralised energy policy UK-wide. The report, based on an economic model used by the UK Foreign Office and the European Commission, concluded that putting new nuclear power stations at the heart of the UK energy strategy will lead to higher carbon emissions, more reliance on gas and be more expensive
when compared to producing energy locally.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: ‘As this new study shows, we stand a far better chance of achieving Government targets on carbon reductions by investing in decentralised energy. Nuclear power is neither the cheapest, the safest, or the most reliable way to reduce greenhouse gases. 'We don’t have time to make mistakes in tackling climate change. The nuclear lobby is working overtime. Rather than spending taxpayers' money on the failed technology of the past, I hope the Government will invest in the most efficient, proven solutions to combat global warming: greater energy efficiency, decentralised energy and renewable energy.'

Stephen Tindale, Executive Director of Greenpeace, said: “The government says its Energy Review is about finding how we can best cut CO2 emissions and ensure a secure energy supply for the UK. If the government is genuinely concerned about climate change and fuel security then they need to start taking decentralised energy seriously and stop wasting their time considering the less effective, dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear option.”

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High Energy Costs Inspire
Business Innovations

Today’s high energy costs could be a springboard into new thinking which can future-proof businesses. Every price hike affects the bottom line. That is the alarming reality for any business today as energy costs spiral upwards. In the UK Gas prices have risen 70% in the last 12 months with further increases expected ... more  back to top

Sustainable Homes Code
Consultation Closes

The consultation period for the Governments draft Code For Sustainable Homes has ended among a hail of criticism. The proposed scheme has been branded "totally inadequate" by the Town and Country Planning Association, Friends of the Earth and Renewable Energy Association. The organisations have warned the Government that the Code will have ... more   back to top

International Protest Over Illegal Tasmanian Logging
London campaigners have joined international action to help save the old growth forests of Tasmania and protest against a corporate lawsuit against campaigners in Australia. The case, brought by the logging company GUNNS, resumes in Melbourne on 9th March. Organised by Rainforest Action Network, protests are taking place in London... more   back to top

British Power Station Pollution
Worst In Europe

Britain is Europe's worst polluter, with 18 of the continent's 50 filthiest power stations, which are responsible for killing more than 7,600 people a year, a new report concludes. The report, which will enhance the country's reputation as the "dirty man of Europe", says Britain has nearly three times as many of the worst air polluters as... more 
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Decentalising Energy In London
The Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA) have welcomed the recent announcement by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone that the London Climate Change Agency will be setting up a joint company with CHPA-member EDF Energy to develop sustainable energy projects in London. Livingstone said: 'The issue of Climate Change is shooting up ... more  back to top

Renewables Funding - The Next Round
The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) is expected to start in April 2006, subject to State Aids clearance. The Programme is the successor to the current DTI small-scale renewables grant schemes of Clear Skies and the Solar Voltaics (PV) Major Demonstration Programme, due to end in March 2006
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'Green Building' is the monthly newsletter of the Green Building Press. In this monthly newsletter we bring you interim green building news, events and special offers on publications, forthcoming events and training opportunities.


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Forthcoming Events

Solar Cities Congress 2 April 2006
The organisers of this event are hoping for as many young people as possible to come to the Solar Cities Congress in Oxford April 3 - 6, 2006. Prof Sue Roaf has been able to persuade the Congress Board to give students (or young person below 25 years old) a price that is below ... more     back to top

Green Build 2006
29 April

Green Build 2006 is once again being run in association with the National Trust at Sheringham Park . Green Build has grown to be probably the biggest eco-build exhibition and conferencing event run by a Local Authority. The emphasis of the two days is mainly on the domestic market-both new build and renovation ... more 
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Building With Hemp
8 May 2006

This fascinating five day course run by hemp expert Steve Allin, author of the book 'Building with Hemp', is being held at Anam Cré Studio, in County Kerry, Ireland. The week will consist of an intensive introduction to the materials, method and use of hemp/lime design and construction ... more     back to top

Green Building Forum

Post your questions on our green building forum. If other website visitors don't offer an answer then we will get you one within 72 hours.


Boosting the U-value of external walls

I have one bog standard detached 1970's house: brick-60mm cavity-breeze block-plaster construction. We have had cavity wall insulation injected in the past year. This is supposed to drop the overall U-value down to around 0.6, ... Are there any options for improving on this without knocking down and starting again?
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Insulation over exisitng 19mm T&G chipboard flooring?

I'm currently considering my options with regards to insulating the floors of my ground floor rooms... Would it therefore be possible for me to install some kind of insulating boards (eg Kingspan) over the existing floor to improve the overall insulation? ...
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