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Building of the week: the circular building

No, not circular like the Colosseum or the Albert Hall. Circular as in the circular economy, something I’ve written a fair bit about over the past few years, but not so much in the construction sector. In a circular economy, materials are reused in a closed loop, rather than being thrown away. The only stuff […]

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Building of the week: Chototel

By 2025, an estimated 1.6 billion people will be in substandard and overcrowded housing. That’s an extraordinary number to provide houses for, and it’s hard to know where the funds or materials will come from to deliver them. The existing housing industry, whether private or public, doesn’t look equipped to build that many homes. That […]

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Building of the week: house of sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand, goes Jesus’ parable. But if he’d built it out of sand, that would have been a different story altogether. Assuming he was using Mike Tremeer’s sandbag building techniques, that is. Developed in South Africa, sandbag buildings are an affordable do-it-yourself approach to sustainable housing. The House […]

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Building of the week: Green Solutions House

As I’ve been describing over the last couple of weeks, Active House is a relatively new design standard for sustainable homes. It aims to show how energy efficient homes can also be great to live in, and make them a desirable option whether or not people are interested in the environment. There’s just one problem: […]

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Building of the week: RenovActive

I’ve been exploring the Active House idea over the last couple of weeks, explaining what it is and then looking at the first building to receive the certification. I’ve got two more posts on the subject, and today I want to look at renovating to Active House standard. This is really important, because we can’t […]

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The world’s first certified Active House

Last week I introduced the Active House concept, a new vision for sustainable housing. The ideas have been around for a few years, but it was only recently formalised into a certification scheme. Houses that meet the right criteria can now be labelled with the stamp on the left, and this is the first house […]

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What is an Active House?

This week I dropped in on the EcoBuild exhibition in London, Britain’s biggest trade fair on sustainable construction. I was gathering future blog posts and looking for ideas to make my own home more sustainable, but the main reason I was there was to attend the Active House symposium. I hadn’t heard of the Active […]

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Building of the week: the 3D printed house

The first house to be 3D printed on site was built last month in Russia. It took 24 hours, and cost just over $10,000. It looks like this: Houses have been printed before, but only as components that are then assembled on site. What makes this one different is that the whole thing has been […]

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The rise of the forest city

Here’s a nice update on a previous building of the week – Bosco Verticale, the residential tower blocks in Milan that were designed to create a ‘vertical forest’. After the success of that project, architect Stefano Boeri has had a lot of interest in the idea and a number of other projects have been suggested. Unsurprising, […]

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The 9 foundations of a healthy building

This week I was talking to a family member about ‘sick building syndrome‘, a vague but nonetheless real phenomenon where a building makes people feel uncomfortable or unwell. There was a famous example in Stoke-on-Trent when I lived there. Unity House was built in 1973 as a new home for the council, but from the […]

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