sustainability

Climate change partnership

By Roger Hunt l February 16, 2013

Your Social Housing in a Changing Climate is a new report from the London Climate Change Partnership. It makes fascinating reading and there were some illuminating presentations at its launch at City Hall earlier this week. The report focuses on the Colne and Mersea blocks in the London Borough of Dagenham. These two blocks, comprising 200 flats,…

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Centred on solar

By Roger Hunt l January 31, 2013

The solar PV (photovoltaic) industry has had a bumpy ride of late and more than one installer has told me that “domestic solar has fallen off a cliff”. Even so, at the recent launch of the BRE National Solar Centre in St Austell, Cornwall, Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister, tempered the difficulties of the past…

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RIBA honours Passivhaus Feist

By Roger Hunt l January 21, 2013

The news that Professor Wolfgang Feist – the founder of the Passivhaus Institut – is to be awarded a RIBA honorary fellowship next month confirms both the growing acceptance of the Passivhaus standard in the UK and his contribution to sustainable architecture. It also emphasises the fact that high levels of energy efficiency and good…

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Think before buying

By Roger Hunt l January 17, 2013

Yesterday a double glazing salesman arrive at my door at the very moment the phone rang with a call from a solar panel saleswoman. Such annoyances are rarely quite so simultaneous but they are regular. This is one of the reasons I’m pleased to hear that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has written to…

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Happiness architecture beauty

By Roger Hunt l December 9, 2012

Kevin McCloud is an author, broadcaster and designer. He’s also the joint founder of Hab a housebuilder or, as he says, a ‘placemaker’. With The Triangle, the company’s first development, completed and with more schemes in the pipeline, I recently caught up with the founders of Hab and wrote a piece for Show House magazine.…

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Think before extending

By Roger Hunt l September 7, 2012

The Government’s announcement allowing extensions and conservatories to be built without planning permission raises many issues. Not least of these is the fact that an ill conceived extension could detract from the value of neighbouring properties if it’s not in keeping with the existing building, out of scale or of a low standard. With any…

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Berlin’s concrete memorial

By Roger Hunt l September 1, 2012

Concrete is not a material readily associated with contemplation and the ability to evoke deep emotions. Certainly, 2,711 large, smooth, grey blocks of the stuff spread over a 4.7 acre site sounds deeply depressing. And yes, in some ways it is. But not because of the material, it’s because of what they signify. This is…

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Retrofitting with care

By Roger Hunt l August 22, 2012

Blogging here has been on hold recently because I’ve been busy writing my next book: Old House Eco Handbook. It’s a companion volume to Old House Handbook and, instead of focusing simply on the care and repair of buildings, it builds on the subject to consider all aspects of retrofitting from insulation to energy generation.…

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Beautiful brick

By Roger Hunt l March 16, 2012

Conservation meets new build, meets sustainability. This was the theme that emerged from yesterday’s Brick Development Association (BDA) Conservation Day at the Building Centre in London. Dr Gerard Lynch, the acclaimed expert on historic brickwork and master bricklayer, was first to speak, proving that the art of creating fine brickwork hasn’t vanished despite the loss…

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Brick Lane, not Tarmac Lane

By Roger Hunt l February 16, 2012

The news that an online petition, Brick Lane, Not Tarmac Lane, had been launched after Tower Hamlets started resurfacing the London street, at a reported cost of £300,000, reminds us to think about what’s under our feet. The current cobbles in Brick Lane are apparently not that old but they’re an integral part of the…

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Seeing stars: light pollution

By Roger Hunt l January 23, 2012

After last week’s exploration of the night sky with the BBC’s Stargazing Live team, it’s worth giving a thought to all those whose view of the solar system was spoilt by light pollution. Since the explosion of street lighting after the Second World War it’s been increasingly difficult to see stars against a dark sky…

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