The building envelope makes a significant contribution to overall energy usage – therefore, tighter U-values in walls, floors and roofs is absolutely key. It’s why getting the design right from the outset is far less costly than retrofitting later. Here, Ben Cheetham, Specification Manager at Keystone Lintels, looks at the benefits of a one-piece thermally-efficient lintel including low thermal conductivity performance, buildability, improved SAP calculations and why they are up to five times more thermally efficient than standard lintels.

Over recent years, there has been a significant rise in societal interest in, and commitment to, finding sustainable ways to live. More recently, in these pandemic-addled times, there has been a growing awareness of the positive impact of simply being outside and connected with nature. Using natural, ecologically-sound building materials and creating connections with the natural world outdoors are the two cornerstones of biophilic architectural design. These principles can be applied to create learning spaces that enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of today’s occupants while preserving the environment for future generations.

James Brett, Director of London-based construction contractor, Edgeley Construction, discusses the importance of building pre-construction into the main contractor’s package.

The need for healthy homes has hardly ever been more apparent than during the current global condition. The current efforts to reduce the negative impacts of buildings are inadequate. Therefore, the built environment must be designed in a different way. To bring regenerative, collective habitation to all scales of development, Amsterdam architecture practice GG-loop, sharing the vision with Arup, is developing Mitosis: a modular building system created by a parametric design tool following biophilic and user-centric design principles.

Astral Tower is the highest building in Varna, Bulgaria, reaching up to 140m. The location of the building lot is chosen based on a thorough urban planning survey and solar analysis. Locked between two main boulevards of the city, Astral Tower is within walking distance of public and institutional buildings, as well as the historical centre.

Following the recent publication of its white paper on unitised facade builds, Sapphire Balconies examines this growing trend and the technical considerations to bear in mind when designing this type of external building envelope with balconies.

Richard Besant talks us through the important revisions to the European standard for powder coating and outlines further measures to ensure the highest possible performance of your powder-coated finish.

Designers at the London studio of Perkins&Will have created an innovative, co-living community concept that responds to the housing crisis affecting major cities worldwide, placing the London team’s submission as the winner of an international, firm-wide competition held each year.

Located in the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district, the 36-storey Murray Road project for Henderson Land replaces a multi-storey car park to create an urban oasis adjacent to Chater Garden, within a short walking distance to both Central and Admiralty MTR metro stations.

This month’s exclusive Q&A profiles Hong Kong-based Elena Galli Giallini – the Architect responsible for the elegant design of Shanghai’s Grand Gateway 66 north building, which featured in our July issue. Here, we find out more about Elena’s portfolio and architectural ethos.

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