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PDF Version of: Zero carbon in the city - Summer 2010
GBmag Summer 2010
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Zero carbon in the city: Existing buildings are often the neglected Cinderellas of the green construction world. Less glamorous and less visible than new buildings, they are also easier to overlook in their potential for massive carbon reductions. Anthony Gormley writes: “The carbon crisis calls for a re-examination of our faith in the technological basis of Western progress. A change in belief is a cultural change; art and artists are implicated.” Architects and builders even more so. The carbon emissions from the buildings we design today will have implications for decades, or perhaps even centuries into the future. This article, by John Christophers, describes the recently completed ‘zero carbon’, part-retrofit house in Birmingham. The first part summarizes technical aspects of the project, before going on to describe the architectural design and materials....

Self sufficient in electricity - Kicking the national electricity grid into the long grass:Independence from outside influences is an age-old desire of man. It certainly is in me and I think perhaps in all men. What better way to prove our worth than by taking, or trying to take, full control of our own destiny - to be self-sufficient. “Me build fire”, Stone-Age man would have gleefully announced to his wife. Well, this story is a contemporary take on that simple statement. Naivety at its best, many might argue, “but I’m not so sure” says Keith Hall...

Breathable roofing membranes - Are they bad news for bats?: Breathable roofing membranes are probably not the first thing that spring to mind when someone mentions bats. Yet as the built environment sector strives to become more sustainable, breathable membranes are being employed in roof spaces, with the joint aims of reducing heat loss and combating condensation - some of these roof spaces are home to roosting bats. Little is known about the impact these membranes have on bats or even the effects bats could have on the membranes. Stacey Waring reports ...

Quality assured Passivhaus buildings (part 2): In part two of his two part article on quality assured Passivhaus buildings, Mark Siddall, who has a specialism in sustainable building design, explains the certification process in a little more detail...

A very British Passivhaus: Over the last 10 months, the construction arm of Green Building Store - Green Building Company - has been building what has come to be known as ‘the Denby Dale Passivhaus’ - the first certified Passivhaus in the UK to be built using traditional British cavity wall construction. Bill Butcher and Chris Herring report...

Green building physics: The way we use electrical lighting is changing rapidly; first arc lighting, then the incandescent lamp – tomorrow... the LED? In the past we have used all manner of things to provide artificial illumination, and lengthen our day, from firelight to candles. In this first article on lighting, Gavin Harper discusses electrical lighting technologies...

The forum debate
Changes to Part G of the Building regulations
Changes to Part L1A of the building regulations
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