Back to the future…

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Very pleased to have spent the afternoon at Plummerswood with the clients – my last project at Gaia. Great to hear a little bit about how the monitoring has been going and that the clients are opening the house for the forthcoming Passive House Open Days in November, but perhaps the nicest bit was seeing how the site has changed over the last twelve months and how the clients are sensitively and slowly adjusting their immediate landscape to get the very most out of it. Brilliant.

 

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www.brettstapel.org website updated with manufacturers info!

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11/10/12     Those of you keenly following the progress of Brettstapel (glue-free massive timber) in the UK might be interested to know that http://www.brettstapel.org now includes an interactive google map of Brettstapel manufacturers and UK projects. Even more exciting is that the UK’s first building to use Brettstapel from homegrown timber has started on site…

Green Deal & ECO Conference

 05/10/12     Spent Thursday at CICStart’s conference which looked not only at the Government’s Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligations) but also at refurbishment of traditional buildings. Roger Curtis of Historic Scotland gave an update of the various energy efficiency projects Historic Scotland are currently working on – particularly interesting to see how this work could be used on our cottage refurb project in St Monans.

It sounds like the Green Deal is a poorly-conceived scheme that will do absolutely nothing to reduce fuel poverty, and that the only individuals who might qualify for energy efficiency upgrades through ECO will be those on benefits. Just getting clear information on both schemes involves getting over a number of hurdles that only an Olympian could contemplate…

Castlerock Edinvar (aka Places for People) finished off the day with a good case study of a self-funded internal refurb of one of their Victorian tenements. Working with Adam Dudley Architects they’ve developed a nice way of improving the thermal performance of existing walls and  windows. The state of the art seems to involve filling the void between the lath & plaster and existing stone walls…I’m not sure how robust this is, despite everyone being convinced that it’s OK. Surely that cavity exists for a reason?

Nourish Conference 2012 – how is YOUR food grown?

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28/09/12     Spent an absolutely fascinating day on Friday at Nourish‘s 2012 conference, which included some speakers with amazing insights into how our food is grown here in Scotland. In addition to Christopher Birt from Liverpool Uni telling us how our fat-rich, meat and dairy-based diet is the legacy of post WW2 food policy and Jo Hunt from Knockfarrel Produce making clear the links between major supermarkets and the dearth of small farm businesses, there was also Anya Hultberg from the wonderfully-named Copenhagen House of Food (or Madhus, as it’s called in Danish…) showing us how they’ve managed to change food procurement to use 90% organic food in all public meals!