Low impact eco village

From the eco cities of the world to plans for a low impact eco-village in Wales.

Lammas, in its bid to get planning permission has put together a comprehensive and absorbing website. Well worth checking out.

from the Lammas website: 

The Houses

Low-impact architecture uses a combination of recycled and natural materials. The project is essentially a self-build affair. The first phase will see the construction of five detached dwellings and one terrace of four dwellings. There will be a combination of building styles including straw bale, earth sheltered, timber frame and cob. The houses will feature the latest environmental technologies and design techniques. The dwellings will blend into the landscape. Indeed they will be largely made from elements of the landscape (for example turf roofs, cob walls, timber cladding).



Urban revolution

Continuing the theme of Eco Cities

Jaime Lerner‘s ‘urban revolution’ successfully transformed a congested, grimy, crime-ridden city into a world-renowned model of green living and social innovation. London can do it too, reports  Tom Phillips in an excellent and inspiring article.

Jaime Lerner will be speaking in London next Monday, one of a series of Exemplar Talks at Somerset House. For details email exemplartalks@somersethouse.org.uk

… the futures nano

The science of nanotechnology is already revolutionising the worlds of medicine and construction, according to a Guardian article looking at nanotech in food, Once Bitten
Seamless tubes of graphite one atom thick and 10,000 long (to the naked eye, large quantities would look like soot), carbon nanotubes are up to 100 times stronger than steel but around eight times lighter. They can be teased into a twine that can be woven into sheets and, potentially, mixed with composites to eventually overhaul the way – and the height to which – we build.

And those buildings could be covered with solar cells made from nanomaterials that could supply all their energy needs. 

And in communications … nanotechnology would allow the Nokia Morph concept phone to be laid flat like a keyboard or folded into a bracelet that can be connected wirelessly to a headset.

And in RFID, nano-transistors could revolutionise asset management  and hence reshape the way in which facilities management works.

hello there

 My fascination with maps (bit of a cartophile) and mash-ups that the Web 2.0  internet now allows, (where would we be without all the google map hacks?), I keep an eye on where readers to isite are based.  To share this – below is a ‘real time’ snap shot list of visitor locations who were on line this afternoon, (well afternoon here),

I guess it ‘s what helps me keep blogging, knowing what the maven (*)  in me wants to share is being picked up, and I hope of use.  Now I need to find a way to get you all to comment now and again !

Lancaster, Blackpool, United Kingdom
Menomonie, Wisconsin, United States
United States
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Rockford, Illinois, United States
Lancaster, Blackpool, United Kingdom
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Glen Burnie, Maryland, United States
Downey, California, United States
Hampton In Arden, Solihull, United Kingdom
West Lafayette, Indiana, United States
San Carlos, California, United States
Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Bristol, Bristol, City of, United Kingdom
Rochdale, Rochdale, United Kingdom
Downey, California, United States
Leitrim, Monaghan, Ireland
Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Countess Wear, Devon, United Kingdom
Stevenage, Norfolk, United Kingdom
London, Lambeth, United Kingdom
Egham, Slough, United Kingdom
Chelsea, Newham, United Kingdom
Mansfield, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Dallas, Texas, United States
Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Falls Church, Virginia, United States
London, Lambeth, United Kingdom
Peace Valley, Missouri, United States
Erlangen, Bayern, Germany
Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Riga, Riga, Latvia
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Hedgerley, Slough, United Kingdom
London, Lambeth, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
London, Lambeth, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Blackpool, Blackpool, United Kingdom
London, Lambeth, United Kingdom
Star, Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom
Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Lancaster, Blackpool, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Birstall, Bradford, United Kingdom
London, Lambeth, United Kingdom

* Maven: (extract from wikipedia)

Malcolm Gladwell used it in his book The Tipping Point to describe those who are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends.  Gladwell also suggests that mavens may act most effectively when in collaboration with connectors – i.e., those people who have wide network of casual acquaintances by whom they are trusted, often a network that crosses many social boundaries and groups. Connectors can thus easily and widely distribute the advice or insights of a maven.

FMB Building a Greener Britain

In a week when Ken Livingston and joined forces with Sian Berry (Green Party) against Boris Johnson, in their pursuit for the next London Mayor, warning of his negative and regressive green views and plans, the FMB (Federation of Master Builders) released a press statement calling Boris Johnson’s vision for London housing – “fresh thinking’.

Details of the FMB campaign can be found at Building a Greener Britain

Jayne Curtis at the FMB has provided the following  commentary:

 As you will see from the press release the FMB says: “Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party mayoral candidate for London, hits the nail on the head when he says that fresh thinking is needed to get more homes built, and that the quality of what we build is as important as the quantity, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) commenting on
his housing manifesto, ‘Building a Better London’.”

The press release goes on to say: “The question still remains about what to do with London’s existing housing stock? Boris Johnson needs to consider how to make London’s existing housing stock greener and more energy efficient.”

The FMB would also like to point out that it does not favour any mayoral candidate and is keen to work with whoever is elected. The FMB works with all political parties; as you will see from the Building a Greener Britain campaign, which is endorsed by David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party, and Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party.

The Building a Greener Britain campaign is focusing on refurbishment and how to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment. The FMB has commissioned research which is being conducted by the Low Carbon Futures team at the Oxford University Environmental Change Institute and is being lead by Gavin Killip, one of the authors of the 40% House report, and Dr Nick Eyre, former Director of Strategy at the Energy Saving Trust.

The vast majority of buildings that are with us now will be around in 2050, the date when the Government hopes to have lowered carbon emissions by 80%, with buildings contributing 47% of the UK’s total carbon emissions it is therefore vital that something is done to look at how we can reduce carbon emissions from the existing building stock.

With three quarters of FMB members carrying out RMI work on existing buildings, the FMB has a key role to play in helping the Government achieve its target to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The ground breaking research will present a series of practical policy recommendations aimed at government which will help encourage
householders to make their homes greener. In order to help the government the FMB strongly believes that builders should play a full and constructive role in building the new greener Britain.

a real school for the future – without eco-bling

Education Guardian reports today on the development of Acharacle School on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Scotland.  The report by Tariq Tahir, should make ‘essential ‘ reading for those involved in school design, construction and in community assets. In addition the school childrens blog ‘they are building outside our class‘ illustrates how construction can be a real educational benefit.  One to RSS and watch develop.

And with no eco-bling, no greenwash, this is sustainable development…

The design, illustrating a sustainable future, for two or three generations is based on the use of mass-timber.  Architect Howard Liddel from Gaia comments … “the modern school does what it says on the tin but what it has on the tin is a skull and crossbones, and these are toxic fumes. Modern buildings have huge amounts of formaldehyde coming out of the floor coverings, seat coverings, the walls run with condensation.”

“What this project is doing is ticking a lot of boxes in a very subtle manner. There’s no covering the building in ‘eco-bling’ – the gimmicks people put on to make buildings green. It’s really quite liberating for an architect.”

He promised that the new building would provide a much healthier working environment for the staff and 50-odd pupils. “We have an immense problem with toxic materials in buildings – we have 55,000 chemicals we use in building and only 3% of them have been tested for their effects on humans.

“The timber is very good at dealing with indoor moisture passively. In other words, you don’t need a ventilation system when you’ve actually got a material that’s dealing with the moisture. Continue reading “a real school for the future – without eco-bling”