A tranche of twenty-first century timber hi-rise projects are emerging across Europe, aimed at squaring the compact city hi-density circle with the demands of zero energy housing. Oliver Lowenstein looks at WaughThistleton’s ground-breaking Murray Grove in London, along with further projects in Germany, Norway and Sweden, in the first of this two-part series. Several countries in Europe are in the midst of building medium, to hi-rise buildings. Unsurprisingly, this is a building aspiration which is unlikely to disappear. While not on the level of the hyper hi-rise buildings found across the planet, from Shanghai to Dubai to New York, timber hi-rise’s emergence signals how change is afoot.
PassivHaus Conference report:
Since 1991, when the first PassivHaus was built, some 10,000 certified PassivHaus projects have been completed and a great deal of political will has been mustered. The plenary speakers blew the trumpet for PassivHaus, extolling its virtues and gave the whole occasion some weighty political kudos. The four plenary speeches of the first day, including a presentation by Dr. Wolfgang Feist, one of the originators of the PassivHaus concept, really served to drive home the fact that, in Germany, there is a will to make things happen. Over the next two days some sixty or so presentations were made covering a multitude of subjects, including building typologies such as swimming pools, offices, sports halls, schools and of course houses.
A fascinating and appropriate journey has taken place on a former village car park in Chewton Mendip, Somerset. It has seen a dusty corner site evolve from a little used 10 parking space eyesore, to the location for a curving terrace of three homes. They have been built to attain standards that exceed those demanded by PassivHaus for energy consumption and also include other features that respond to important ‘green’ issues. Arthur Bland and David Hayhow provide us with the builder’s and architect’s perspectives.
Most of us enjoy seeing birds, on our garden feeders, hopping across the lawn or just flitting between the branches of the trees. But are we aware that many species which once shared our buildings, even ones that were once very common, are declining as a result of current new build and regeneration practices? Here our editor, a former builder, introduces us to this feature which explores some of the problems and how we can help ensure our buildings are suitable for wildlife but still airtight and energy efficient ...
Thermal Bypass - in-depth research
The governments' green building agenda (update)
Green building physics - acoustics
And loads more