The National Heat Map was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and created by The Centre for Sustainable Energy. The purpose of the Map is to support planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England. It aims to achieve this by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area. The heat map is primarily intended to help identify locations where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economic. It is important to note that it should be used as a tool for prioritising locations for more detailed investigation – and not as a tool for designing heat networks directly or for querying energy bills.
Having just returned from a United Nations-led tour of disaster-ravaged areas of Japan, Warren Karlenzig reports on efforts across the region to rebuild along smart growth and green economic development models.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report which focuses on the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events, the impacts of such events, and the strategies to manage the associated risks. The report consists of nine chapters, covering risk management; observed and projected changes in extreme weather and climate events; exposure and vulnerability to as well as losses resulting from such events; adaptation options from the local to the international scale; the role of sustainable development in modulating risks; and insights from specific case studies.
Architects, developers and construction companies can now access a new online resource containing information on over 1,200 green building materials. Kingston University’s Rematerialise website features innovative material solutions made up of waste products and renewable resources from around the world. Scallop shells, nettle fibres, mobile phones and car windscreens are just some of the products listed in the library that is the outcome of 18 years of research by Jakki Dehn, a reader at Kingston University. In 1994, Dehn set out to explore the global availability of new materials made from waste and to investigate how these could be utilised in products, furniture and interiors. The library holds information on their environmental benefits, material content, current applications and related technical data.
The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee has published the findings of its inquiry into Building Regulations applying to electrical and gas installation and repairs in dwellings. The parts of the Building Regulations that are of most relevance to this inquiry are Part P, which covers installation work on certain types of fixed electrical installations in both new and existing dwellings, and Part J, which covers the safe installation and use of combustion appliances, including boilers. The Committee wanted to examine these two areas of the Building Regulations in relation to safety in the home, and in particular within the context of DCLG’s current review of the Building Regulations. This is an important area, affecting householders, landlords and business across England. A volume containing the written evidence to the Committee is also available here.
The presentations from the Constructing Excellence Members’ Forum on BIM held on 14 March 2012 are now available to download. The presentations include: Delivering the Government BIM Strategy; Open BIM v Closed BIM; Creating BIM libraries; Manufacturer’s perspective; Interactive session and action planning; and BIM training and support.
Building Futures has launched an inaugural series of think pieces, in which five experts share their views on one of the key issues to emerge from the Building Futures’ report, How will architects be educated in 20 years time? Comment on both the theme in general and individual author’s response is welcomed.
Building on from the National Planning Policy Framework which recognises the importance of putting “town centres first” in planning decisions, the Government has issued its response to the Mary Portas’ High Street Review.
The National Audit Office has published a report on the construction and sale of the high speed railway line linking the Channel Tunnel with central London. The High Speed 1 project has delivered a high performing line, which was subsequently sold in a well-managed way which removed the taxpayer’s open-ended support for the project. However, international passenger numbers are falling far short of original forecasts and the project costs exceed the value of journey time saving benefits.
The Government has published its legacy document which sets out for the first time the breadth and depth of the sporting, economic, regeneration and community legacy that will be delivered after the Games.