I fear I may have underestimated the influence that Radio 4 soap The Archers has on the construction industry. First a Building exclusive revealed that structural engineer Mark Whitby is trying to persuade the programme's writers to include a storyline wherein oilseed rape is used as a green fuel. Now I hear that the UK Timber Frame Association is crowing that Neil and Susan Carter have chosen to build their dream home using timber frame. How long, I wonder, before Sir John Egan makes a guest appearance?
A bone, picked
Still with the meeja, this time we journey north to Edinburgh where Heery has been courting the limelight. The construction manager took part in an April fool stunt for STV, in which it was claimed a giant bone, which could have belonged to a cousin of the Loch Ness monster, had been found on the firm's Playfair Project, causing lengthy delays. I'm surprised the crew working on the Scottish parliament haven't used that one yet.
Architect caught out
And still (sort of) with the media, it's nice to know that the art of hiding the "bodge" isn't confined to my DIY efforts chez Hansom Towers. According to one specialist who worked on the NatWest Media Centre at Lord's Cricket Ground, there were a few "gaps" in the interior finishes. Given that the building features the world's first aluminum semi-monocoque structure, you might have thought that the architect would have come up with something suitably high-tech to disguise these blemishes. Well, not according to my source: apparently the gaps had to be filled by that most traditional of methods – a few smears of good old Polyfilla. Henry Blofeld would be aghast.
The developer of the Armada luxury housing in Dutch city 's-Hertogenbosch (see pages 38-43), Credo Integrale, has been understandably keen to attract well-heeled purchasers. And what better way to do that than to build a wine cellar next to the basement car parking? The developer even laid down a supply of Credo's own-label red wine in the compartment belonging to each flat. However, they reckoned without the insatiable thirst of the good citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch. The scheme had barely been handed over before one purchaser complained that the compartment couldn't fit the promised 500 bottles.