Monthly Archives: April 2007

For each 250 that join, I’ll donate £1 to solve Climate Change through C&C

As Dave Hampton over at Carbon Coach says:  “Take a look at this new group – its membership has soared from 0 to 1000 in just 72 hours – please consider joining and helping”

I endorse Dave’s comment and urge you to look at the groups intentions and commitments – and consider joining – the group can be found through Facebook

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Think Debate – whats your top 10?

As part of the Think 07 event this week, the Think web site is running a number of debates that should hear your voice and opinion – see below – and if you do have a top 10 actions we should be taking to address climate change and carbon issues in our industries –  then please post it here too!

Sign up to the built environment ten actions on climate change in association with HRH Prince Wales and Business in the Community. You can submit your ideas on what these should at

Log on to a new, free web resource – – where you can create your own networks, debate hot issues and video showcase your company – go to now to sign on for free

Got a burning question for VP Al Gore? There’s still time to submit your question. Just go to

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They bid to win

Some 25 construction professionals attended the Best Practice Clubs Bidding to Win event last Thursday that provided a free taster session of the Evolution-IP Biding to Win course. As Roger
Jones, the club secretary said:

“delegates took away expert advice that can be applied immediately to improve bids”

Two related events are planned through the club:

May 24th Life After Frameworks. Free Evening session to be held at the Globe Accrington

June 7/8 Bidding to Win – Part funded Evolution-IP event to be held at Guys Thatched Hamlet. Bilsborough

More details will be on the Club Events page

Book early to be sure of a place.

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Free Steps to Heaven

Picked this up from Mel Starrs at Elemental this morning.

Property week have made their news and searchable database free on line at As Property Week say:

“News, gossip and data are ‘must haves’ for property people the world over. Today Property Week brings you all three every day FREE through our new website”

This follows on from Building who have adopted a similar approach in moving away from subscription for on line publishing. Lets hope many others follow

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If that sounds like a product from Ikea to you, then you are correct. The name BoKlok means “smart living” in Swedish, and is Ikea’s approach to prefabricated housing. Last month, it received planning permission for 36 dwellings in St. James Village, Gateshead.

Live Smart@Home, a subsidiary of the Home property group, will oversee construction.

Since it started the line with Skanska in 1997, Ikea has built 3,500 of these prefab dwellings through Scandinavia, Norway, and Finland. BoKlok apartments are designed much like the retail giant’s furniture, although not quite flatpack !

Units arrive on site with their interiors already installed; the roof, exterior walls, and plumbing added afterwards. (Just as well considering the queues at Ikea last weekend)

More at Bloklok

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Building the Future – build as we mean to go on ….

Last Wednesdays (April 18th) Guardian Society supplement was a must read series of articles under the theme of Building the Future. The supplement, a collaboration with Think 07 addressed Sustainable Building for the 21st Century.

Copies of the supplement are available from Guardian Professional

The built environment accounts for 50% of all the UK carbon emissions. Construction materials contribute a further 10% of total carbon emissions, whilst we in the industry produce a third of all waste – said to be 31 million tonnes per annum (that’s 1 tonne per household)

The supplement articles include:

Back to the drawing Board
Kisrtsy Gogan a partner at Futerra, puts the case for rethinking our industry – in relation to achieving carbon zero emissions.  I am always reminded of Einstein in realtion to ‘rethinking’ – “we cannot fix todays problems with the same patterns of thought that created them ”

Time for business to show leadership
Targets may be in place for zero carbon housing – but now is the time to turn attention to targets for the business and other private sectors – argues Heather Stewart, economics correspondent for the Observer

Good intentions of political gestures?
Will costs be the barrier to zero carbon homes – or will costs reduce as everyone builds to zero carbon standards?

A brand new way of living

Sustainability is not jut about carbons – its about mixed facilities and communities co-existing

The transport Equation
Re-visiting the car in cities issue

Lessons from Elsewhere
Swedish case studies – proving carbon zero and communities based facilities work, the project at Malmo was an inspiration for housing minister Yvette Cooper to push forward with the carbon zero targets for homes.

Homes for Zeros
What technologies will we need into the future?

Half a million honmes a year will need a green make over

Are we doing enough to address the existing housing stock?

The new power generation

…”the construction industry no accepts that it must urgently change the way it has operated for many years”…. Changes are coming thick and fast – but unlike the other sectors the construction industry plays catch up …

Think 07 – London May 01 – 03 It is time to build as we mean to go on ….. I will be attending parts of this three day event and report back on key issues

Relevance to the north west – and the Lancashire construction best practice programme is clear – our innovation event in July, hosted through UCLan will address many of the issues raised in this supplement.

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Construction waste plans to be compulsory

Just look at these statistics from Defra:

13% of all the solid materials delivered to construction sites goes unused

Each year 400 million tonnes of solid materials are used in the UK construction industry but only two-thirds is added to the building stock.

The rest is sent directly to landfill

In addition waste crime is stopping us from achieving a sustainable construction sector

fly-tips around the country, many of which are made up of construction and demolition waste, adversely affects the quality of life in many communities

Not surprisingly then, projects over 250,000 will be required to produce detailed Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP’s) predicting how much waste will be created, and how it will be recycled or disposed of responsibly.

Projects worth more than £500,000 will face even higher scrutiny.

Do you have a view on this? – if so the Defra Government proposal consultation closes on July 5th

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