Plum Picks from around the green websites that matter and the Eco-blogosphere

Just say POE

If there's anything we can learn from the "Princess Diana is Still Dead" court case (I presume it's a court case although it could quite easily be a funny dream someone's having after eating too many Cheezy Wotsits) it is surely that hopes and reality are often sharply at variance.

This gap between fact and fantasy must explain the popularity of Post-Occupancy Evaluations (POEs) in this week's Green Gauge. No? Well, suit yourself. Anyway, POEs have been popular and on our own Zerochampion blog, Iain Fraser laid into a senior civil servant for suggesting that they shouldn't be. POEs are the best way from designers to learn from their mistakes or congratulate themselves on their successes, he says. The facilities management blog, blog4fm, offers the chapter of an Elke Gossauer and Andreas Wagner-penned book touting the latest advances in POEs and thermal comfort. And Building's Thomas Lane carries out a fascinating POE on a smallish company trying to make their HQ as sustainable as possible on a budget. Once problems with the measuring devices were overcome, the results were fascinating. You couldn't have predicted them. Rather like marrying the next-in-line, basically.

Ideals Aloft!

That's more like it! What with planes overshooting the Heathrow runway yesterday, it's good to see that the UK air industry as a whole is hoping to overreach expectations as it attempts to ward off the Green Ire. The National Aircraft Traffic Controller, NATs, has pledged to cut emissions in British skies by 10% in the next ten years. I am impressed (perhaps that makes me grotesquely naive) by the fact that they 'don't know how' they will go about this but are still signing up to it. They think smoother, continuous landings might help to reduce the CO2 emissions, 5.5% of which are caused by our whizzing about all over the shop.

Better bent by Barratt?

Casey Cole sounds a practical call to alarm on his CarbonLimited blog. He says that, if we don't take action now, zero-carbon homes by 2016 is as delusional as Lady Di's future fantasies. A set of interim requirements under the Code for Sustainable Homes is needed, he says, and reserves particular ire for the big housebuilder, Barratt who, he says, are spinning and greenwashing through number manipulation. Gift wrapping a turd, he dubs it - an unforgettable image. Perhaps he had a disappointing Christmas.

Search me

Having indexed the world, Google is now trying to save it as well. it's announced a three-year, £89m investment into five philanthropic projects. Its RE<C project is particularly interesting, aiming to invest in renewable energy until it becomes cheaper than coal while RechargeIT looks at proliferating plug in vehicles.

Remake, Remodel

Also upbeat - not to say downright optimistic - is Rob Annable's no2self blog entry marking the beginning of his plans to refurbish six terraced houses in Newcastle-under-Lyme for Staffordshire Housing Association.

Not content with actually improving the quality of the stock - adding natural light inlets, solar water heaters and incresing the size of the attic, the abnegatory one, is going to be keeping, a 'written diary, a phonecam RSS feed, flickr images, and links.' Frankly such technical profiency (and multitasking!) makes me feel like nothing more nor less than an ink stained, snout-nosed hack. Bring my typewriter, a large bourbon and a pretty princess to chase!