Green initiatives under threat as building boom gains pace, plus focus on London at Paris construction show

  • 14 Nov 2013

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Green initiatives under threat as building boom gains pace

True to form, when politicians have the hand on the tiller, get the life jackets on. The latest looming disaster is the possible roll-back of support for green initiatives, resulting from the UK Government spin-war with the energy companies. Here are links to open letters from the GGF and Knauf Insulation to the UK Prime Minister imploring him not to sacrifice energy efficiency measures just to gain a few votes.

On my visit last week to Batimat in Paris (see my report below) I met Ken Livingstone who was speaking about the impact the London Olympics legacy is having on the amazing renewal of the capital.  One key reason why the Olympics were such a triumph for UK construction was that he resisted political management of the project. When it was proposed, Ken’s response was ‘over my dead body’. Retrofitting UK housing stock to improve energy efficiency is an even bigger task and somehow it needs the focus and skills of industry to achieve this, without Government meddling.

Some highlights from Buildingtalk on Twitter this week: the cranes are well and truly back in London, with office building hitting a 10 year high; main contractors are now demanding BIM from subcontractors; profits soar on retirement homebuilding plus new house reservations are up 50%; and we pose the question is future new-build nuclear energy at an end?

Finally, it’s great that architect Frank Gehry has been hired to design new London offices for Facebook. However, I think it is time that Zaha Hadid, the most exciting architect of our generation, who lives and works in London, is given a major project in the city.  What do you think?

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