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Digital modelling does it in minutes

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Evaluation and experimentation play an important role in sustainable design, says PETE BAXTER, sales director of Autodesk AEC solutions.

On one level the architectural, engineering and construction industry has taken its green responsibilities to heart.

Many leading architectural firms have environmental design policies, some boast a sustainability director and generally there’s much talk, debate and good intention.


Brownfield land: SiLCs smooth the way

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by PETER WITHERINGTON, deputy chairman of RSK Group Plc.

Despite the development sector being brutalised by the global credit crisis, it is of critical importance that the long-term problem of the UK’s housing shortage does not fall off the radar.

While the Government’s target of three million new homes by 2020 may now appear a tad unrealistic – it would require build rates to soar from an estimated 60,000 last year (down from 175,000 in 2007) to 240,000 per annum over the next decade – the present lull is inevitably a temporary one. Recession or not, future generations need somewhere to live, work and play.


No canteen, not even a toilet; that’s a forester’s life

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TIM MALYON spent many years as a forestry contractor and has represented the Forestry Contractors Association on numerous occasions. Here he muses on the outdoor life and man’s impact on the countryside.

Everyone likes a day out in the country. For almost everyone that means nice scenery, trees, flowers, some sort of animals – if only of the farmed variety – and, of course, reasonable weather.


Wanted: a full range of action

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The media frenzy on biofuels continues. Here, PAUL THOMPSON, biofuels policy analyst at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), explains that there are good and bad biofuels and how the REA is committed to producing good ones in the UK.

A year ago, biofuels were generally welcomed as a useful tool in the fight against climate change. This might seem difficult to believe, given the recent onslaught from the media and some NGOs.


Fuel emissions targets can be achieved – and they must be

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In March 2007 Julia King was appointed by Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to lead an independent review of low carbon vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport.

In March this year, alongside the Budget, part two of The King Review of Low Carbon Cars: Recommendations for action was published by HM Treasury. Here, she sumarises her findings. In the century since the first massproduced car, the Model T Ford, arrived in 1908, the mobility offered by the car has transformed lives for many millions of people. Personal mobility drives economic growth as well as enhancing quality of life. The convenience of car travel is part of our way of life in developed countries and an aspiration for many in the developing world.