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Zero Carbon - Is it just a big Red Herring?
The government wants the construction industry to achieve ‘zero-carbon’ homes by 2016. Well, what exactly is a zero carbon home? According to some, a truly zero-carbon building emits no carbon dioxide in its construction or operation. Brian and Sibylle Rushbridge believe no buildings to this criteria actually exist in the UK but they have seen sensible energy standards flourish on the Continent, and suggest that we would achieve carbon savings faster by adopting the tried and trusted passivhaus standard. ...

A four page article. First published in Summer 2007

'Real' Green Walls
Confusion abounds as to how our buildings might need to be re-designed to acheive the government’s target of ‘zero carbon’ by 2016. Certainly, looking at some of the other trade magazines and the way in which some of the run-of-the-mill products (and whole buildings for that matter) are already being re-branded as ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘zero carbon’, you could be forgiven for believing that little more actually needs to be done, other than the application of some imaginative PR. However, most readers of this magazine know better and are taking the challenge very seriously. We kick off with a report by Peter Armfield. ...

A two page article. First published in June 2007

Heavyweight or Hybrid Walls?
We asked Andrew Yeats and Eric Parks of the award winning architect’s practice, Eco Arc, about their favourite wall details. They are happy to work with both heavyweight construction and lightweight or even a mix of the two. The essential element, they say, is to get the U-values down as low as possible and retain thermal mass on the inner skin. Here they outline the walling options and discussions for a project currently at the planning stage for a 7 home carbon neutral housing development in Scotland...

A two page article. First published in June 2007

Modelling to Assess the benefits of High-Mass Walls
This article attempts to predict the outcomes of three modern wall construction methods as compared to a traditionally built solid stone wall. Although an un-insulated stone wall would not be built these days, it is useful as a ‘control’ with which to draw comparisons. Mike George presents some interesting findings...

A five page article. First published in June 2007

Walls - Are SIPs the Way Forward?
Walls are one of the most difficult elements of a building to guarantee that the design expectations actually get built. However, that may all soon change as off-site fabrication of complete building elements gains more popularity and comes of age. Factory built walls can give consistent quality and cut considerable time off the build programme. There are a growing number of offsite building systems available and more yet to be invented or imported to the UK. In this article, Paul Teather and Keith Hall look at SIPs (structurally insulated panels) for exterior walls...

A three page article. First published in June 2007

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