In an attempt to meet the targets set by our government for a CO2 reduction of 20% by 2010 and a 60% reduction by 2050, we should embrace pressure testing as a way of demonstrating that the performance and construction of our dwellings is improving (3 June, page 64).

Rather than harping on about its inability to cope, the industry should get with the programme and make a better product that will stand testing and be sufficiently robust to satisfy the modest targets set by the Building Regulations.

In January 2006, the government will have to start the implementation of the European Union’s Energy Performance Buildings Directive, and it is likely that this will require the issue of an energy performance certificate giving details of the running costs, thermal efficiency and so on of new dwellings. The certificate may be the first indication given to the purchaser of just how well their property performs, but in order to be meaningful it will need to be based on test results rather than design intent.

In the anticipation that the industry will be slow to react, I suggest we all invest in some mastic shares!

Chris Shaw, projects director, Assael Architecture