We preserve our routines because it makes life easier, and because we don’t see the effect of inaction clearly enough. When it comes to expressing my own view, finding the voice is a start but it can’t be the whole thing. In which case: what’s next? What can I do differently?Read More
I never truly believed I had a shot at bidding for something offering so much potential. And I wasn’t really surprised that somebody could afford to pay at least 164% of the guide price and still turn it into a profit-making opportunity. Even so, the extent to which I didn’t stand chance was still rather demoralising.Read More
Almost any building you care to point to has its own story and identity. Whether it's an architect trying to get one over a competitor, an architect trying to outdo him or herself, or an architect responding to some social or physical constraint, there is personality in every pane of glass, every steel support, and every brick or block of limestone.Read More
Once the full extent of the VW scandal became clear, it was not uncommon to hear suggestions that the performance of buildings - and housing specifically - should be highlighted as a similar scandal in an effort to raise public awareness.
How outraged were people really, though?Read More
We can all reel off topics we think should have been taught at school. Subjects that might have made finding our way in the world that little bit easier; that would have been more relevant to our everyday lives. Mortgage interest rates over quadratic equations, that kind of thing. Is it time building performance became one of those subjects?Read More
The optimism communicated by much of the book is infectious. Its compelling arguments for a brighter future almost help you to forget chapter one’s alarming summary of how it will take nothing less than significant action to avoid reaching a tipping point for the climate in 20 or 30 years.Read More
Why can’t I do that?
Maybe because I’m not interested in fine art and haven’t held a paintbrush since finishing a mediocre watercolour of an Italian villa for a school art exam when I was 14?
Why do I do this to myself?Read More
People are fallible. Daily life and unexpected changes in routine get in the way. We put things off for a minute, and a minute turns into an hour or two or more. We forget to open windows, or we open them and we forget to close them again. We can learn to use an overly-complicated letterbox, but we struggle to operate our buildings properly.Read More
It's perfectly possible to construct buildings resilient enough to face this oncoming challenge, but the sad truth is that few are. There shouldn't be an excuse, but that's a post for another time. The even greater challenge is retrofitting existing buildings in a sensitive and holistic way to provide them with that resiliency.Read More
The development of homes from single-roomed halls in which every household activity took place to multi-roomed houses is particularly fascinating. In the larger houses of the very wealthy, kitchens and dining rooms would be so far apart that one stately home owner resorted to installing a railway in his property in an effort to deliver food to the table while it was still warm.Read More