Old walls perform better

By Roger Hunt l March 10, 2011

For the past year or so I’ve been following some interesting in-situ research by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) about the energy performance of old buildings. Now the results from the first stage of that research are suggesting that standard U-value calculations, used across the construction industry, underestimate the thermal performance…

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Ecobuild in eight hours

By Roger Hunt l February 21, 2011

For me Ecobuild is a must. Ever since the show was launched in 2005 at the QEII Conference Centre with just 50 exhibitors and 1,000 visitors it’s had a firm place in my diary. But there’s a problem: the annual challenge of seeing the ever growing number of stands and attending the mass of seminars…

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Sustainable luxury?

By Roger Hunt l February 5, 2011

I’ve always been more than a little wary of the contradiction of putting the words ‘luxury resort’ and ‘sustainability’ together but recently I met up with the team behind the 12 Blues Resort & Spa in the Maldives. They claim that this is “destined to become one of the world’s most desirable six star resort…

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Passivhaus retrofit

By Roger Hunt l December 20, 2010

Dating from the 1860s, 100 Princedale Road in the Holland Park area of London doesn’t, at first glance, look to be much different from any of the other houses in the terrace. But it is. Octavia Housing is aiming to register it as the UK’s first certified retrofit to Passivhaus standards. Passivhaus buildings are designed…

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Wrapping up for winter

By Roger Hunt l December 1, 2010

I’m frequently asked about what can be done to save energy and keep buildings warm in winter so there seems no better time to share some of my thoughts than when I’m snowed in. With any property, adding extra insulation in the loft is the most important thing you can do. But do be sure to allow…

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National Maintenance Week

By Roger Hunt l November 18, 2010

Maintenance is vital whatever the age of a building. Nonetheless, it’s worth remembering that maintenance should be considered on the drawing board, at the point of conception, when many potential problems can be designed out through careful detailing and the specification of appropriate materials. Another important point is the very real ‘green’ benefit of maintaining…

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The future kitchen

By Roger Hunt l November 11, 2010

A huge flow of embodied energy passes through the kitchen. This was one of the messages to emerge from a panel debate hosted by home furnishing specialist IKEA when it lunched The Future of Kitchens, a report it had commissioned from The Future Laboratory. Frustratingly, although this event happened some time ago, very little energy…

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Flooding and old buildings

By Roger Hunt l November 7, 2010

Incredibly, a YouGov survey commissioned by Landmark Information Group has revealed that, although one in four homes are at risk of flooding, 83% of homeowners don’t believe their homes are at risk. In the hope of making people more aware, Landmark – a supplier of digital mapping services, property and environmental risk information – launched…

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Researching retrofit

By Roger Hunt l October 28, 2010

Britain has the oldest housing stock in the developed world with 8.5 million properties over 60 years old. This poses huge problems when it comes to the refurbishment and retrofitting of homes to make them more energy efficient, especially as nearly half of them are ‘hard to treat’ with solid walls and/or no loft space.…

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Testing zero carbon

By Roger Hunt l September 22, 2010

Greenwatt Way, in Slough, Berkshire, is more than a zero carbon Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 development. It’s a live testbed for, amongst other things, five different types of energy generation. This means it has an energy centre on a scale very different from what I had expected of a ten home scheme made up…

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Leaf Awards 2010

By Roger Hunt l September 13, 2010

‘Crossing borders to create excellence in architecture’ is the strap line for The Emirates Glass Leaf Awards 2010 and, at the Awards ceremony in London last Friday evening, I certainly wasn’t disappointed – the event brought together a global cross section of innovative and inspiring schemes. Represented in ten categories, winners ranged from Broadcasting Place,…

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