Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Making waves: Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Moving-floor technology may seem the stuff of fictional super-villain lairs, but the leading hydrodynamics laboratory at Plymouth University has employed the technology to support one of the largest energy wave test sites in the world



PwC's London office: Highest BREEAM-rated building ever

6 Dec 13

When PwC decided to refurbish its unloved central London office, it thought it would be doing well to achieve a BREEAM “excellent” rating. Then it realised it could do rather better than that …


Building's new home: 240 Blackfriars Road

19 July 2013

Great Portland Estates has gone the extra mile to make sure 240 Blackfriars Road will appeal to its demanding occupiers - such as, well, Building Magazine, for example


Arla's zero-carbon dairy

28 June 2013

Arla’s £150m project will be most environmentally friendly dairy in the world. Thomas Lane reports on progress at this unique industrial building


Car park of the future

22 March 2013

A timber-frame, zero carbon car park. You’ve got to be kidding?

zero carbon

Green for Growth: Zero-carbon homes

7 Feb 13

The industry needs some clarity on carbon reduction targets. Building looks at three examples of low and zero-carbon housing

Wind turbine

Offshore wind farms: Winds of change

04 May 2012

Tidal turbine technology is changing fast and offshore wind turbines are getting bigger, so the government-backed firm Narec is investing £80m into its testing facilities to simulate the harsh conditions at sea. Thomas Lane explains

Marks and Spencer

Sustainable supermarket: M&S's new Cheshire Oaks store

03 February 2012

At this enormous store in Chester, M&S is putting its Plan A sustainability programme to the test. And from the zero-waste policy to the innovative use of natural materials, all the evidence suggests that this is one plan A that is actually working … Building reports


Hydropower: Water works

02 December 2011

With all the controversy over solar, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that hydropower produces a thousand times more electricity. Building investigates a power source that could light up the industry

Montgomery Passivhaus School

Top of the class: Passivhaus school design

12 August 2011

A primary school in Exeter won’t win any architectural awards, but is earning gold stars in zero-carbon and Passivhaus design. Thomas Lane swots up on how to deliver a low-energy building on a budget

Tellytubby land: BedZed revisited

03 July 2009

Peabody’s BedZed was the housing scheme that first got everyone talking about zero-carbon living. But is it all that it was cracked up to be? 

Passivhaus isn’t just for houses – this furniture store in Erolzheim, south Germany was designed by Keck-Architekten to Passivhaus standards

No biomass, no turbines, no solar panels. Is Passivhaus the way to zero carbon?

13 February 2009

The German Passivhaus standard is winning admirers in the UK, many of whom argue that its simple approach to low-energy building is far more practical than the Code for Sustainable Homes

Bishop’s Square development in Spitalfields, east London

Eco-terraces: Urban jungle

Specifier 16 January 2009

Eco-terraces are the next big thing in rooftop developments – but, says Stephen Kennett, it pays to have green fingers. Where’s Alan Titchmarsh when you need him?

Where the school has an atrium, the E-stack units can vent directly into the space, reducing the cost of installing roof terminal units

Natural ventilation: Second wind

Specifier 5 December 2008

A Cambridge university research team decided traditional natural ventilation strategies were just not up to scratch and came up with a new approach. Stephen Kennett reports

The Citi data centre has white oak louvres on the office area to control solar gain

Data centres: pruning energy consumption

24 October 2008

The next time you use Google, think of the vast amounts of power data centres use – 20 times that of a normal office. Stephen Kennett looks at what companies are doing to prune their consumption

Aquifer thermal storage: DIG! A Dutch method of sorting out energy

Specifier 1st August 2008

M&E A Dutch method of storing all the energy required to heat and cool a building deep underground is coming to the UK. Stephen Kennett finds out how it works

University of Cambridge architecture department

Reducing heat loads: Testing the water at the University of Cambridge

Specifier 25 April 2008

Sustainability and innovation - When the architectural department at the University of Cambridge demanded a sustainable, lightweight building for its students, the designers had to overcome the problem of overheating


Nick Cullen

The wrong targets

26 Jun 17

The UK is about to miss a key renewables target but there have been substantial improvements in carbon reduction

Barny Evans

Overheating, the beginning of the end?

22 Jun 17

The days of homes overheating could be drawing to an end as low carbon design starts to become obsolete

Nick Cullen

History in the making

2 Jun 17

Ending Britain’s reliance on coal would be a seismic change, but it might rely on links with the EU electricity network

Martin Townsend

Election manifestos need quality

11 May 17

Quality sustainable design and construction need to be backed in party manifestos if Brexit is going to be a success

Julian Sutherland

Sustainability the right way round

2 May 17

We’ve been setting standards to make buildings more sustainable as if they were ends in themselves

Jonathan Shaw

How to improve a building's EPC rating

18 Apr 17

The industry needs to be prepared for legislative changes under which some buildings would become unlawful

Mike Chaldecott

Stop, collaborate and listen

13 Apr 17

Sharing ideas around sustainability, off-site technology and other innovations could help the industry to thrive after Brexit

Barny Evans

Should energy use be increased if it boosts productivity?

28 Mar 17

When thinking about the function of a particular building it is important to remember sometimes increasing energy use may be beneficial

Philip Watson

How smart buildings will boost our productivity

21 Mar 17

If we give office workers the means to control their environment we will be contributing to a healthier, happier and more productive population