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I am currently writing a paper on responsibly retrofitting existing dwellings within the UK. One of the most useful resources has been the Energy Saving Trust who have produced a large range of documents addressing almost anything energy conservation orientated. The most relevant and interesting I found was the Domestic Energy Efficiency Primer, which you can download directly from the EST website here. It looks at every area of a dwelling and suggests what possible improvements can be made, addressing several types of construction common in houses in the UK and advising as to the level of experience needed to undertake each measure.

Brenda Boardman’s 2007 bible on how to meet 2050 targets of 80% carbon emission cuts.


The most talked about environmental talks are about to commence in Copenhagen. Much hope is pinned on this summit and I don’t think it is an exaggeration at all to say they have the power to save the world over the space of a week. Great Britain has had the aim to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 for some years now. Brenda Boardman’s 2007 Home Truths is a comprehensive paper on how this could be achieved proving that these figures are not just pure fiction. The fact that the world’s leader will be assembled in one place to talk about world emissions is a miracle in itself, but as highlighted by this Guardian article the summit could save the world, but equally it could also doom it.

Why is this post appearing on an Architecture blog? For far too long architects only gesture towards sustainability. A small windmill on your roof does nothing and despite their reputation, solar panels (photovoltaics) are not green. Sustainability can be designed into a building without sacrificing other architectural qualities, in fact it can enhance a project if embraced.