Features

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.

The Government’s Green Homes Grant, introduced on 30th September 2020, was meant to encourage homeowners to make their properties more energy efficient. Instead, the scheme has been beset by criticism from consumers and installers alike. Here, Ian Rippin, CEO at MCS – the national standards organisation for renewables – discusses what he views as flaws in the scheme, and what can be done to ensure low-carbon technologies become a staple solution for new-build properties of the future.

With social distancing still vitally important in the fight against COVID-19, open-plan offices have never been a scarier place to work but return we must – for our mental health as much as our livelihoods, but could this be actually adding to our stress? Soundtect investigates.

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.

Here, Jackie Biswell, Managing Director of Apex Roofing, explores the role these vocational qualifications will play in construction recovery post-COVID and plugging the skills gap that has plagued the industry for years.

Architects and interior designers are always looking for novel approaches to create inviting spaces. Amongst these approaches, we are seeing an increase in the use of metal meshes both from the point of view that they are generally made from recycled material in the case of aluminium and steel – but also the style and look of them has that upcycled feel that we are all trying to be more conscious of, writes Anthony Millington, Business Development Manager at Amron Architectural.

Prior to a revision of Building Regulations in 2010, ventilation was not high on the list of priorities in the housebuilding sector. A fan in the bathroom and cooker hood in the kitchen, plus ventilation blocks in the walls, were the default setting. Then, gradually, ventilation began to make it on to the agenda, largely driven by the now-defunct Code for Sustainable Homes, writes Paul Williams, Domus Ventilation’s Product Manager.

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.

What was clear to see following the global implementation of lockdown measures across the world was that the property sector was neither prepared nor equipped to manage a situation of this nature. In this context, the framework behind the IMMUNE Building Standard (IMMUNE) was initiated, with a strategy to engineer safer built environments for people and organisations returning to their offices, says Liviu Tudor, Founder and President at Genesis Property.

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