I read that a Stirling prize winner is to “reinvent the terrace” for the legacy of the 2012 Olympics

Existing terraced dwellings have proved themselves fit for the purpose of housing large sections of the urban population of this country over many decades, and even centuries. A well-kept Victorian terraced house will never find itself languishing on the market for long, even in today’s economic climate.

To build brand new terraces that not only comply with current and future sustainability standards, but are also modelled on the 1875 Public Health Act standards, is a prospect that allows one to be genuinely optimistic that British housing may be finally turning a corner to a brighter future, rooted in the wisdom of our forebears, not the arrogant attitude that modern homo sapiens always knows better.

One lesson from the past that would be essential for the true sustainability of such projects would, in my opinion, be the use of lime-based mortars instead of cement-based ones, together with “breathable” insulation and fabric lining materials.

Peter Webley