More on Chelsea Barracks as well as discussion about biomass boilers and house prices

Halcrow to take shine off Brum station

Is it 1st April? Trains approach New St Station at a crawling speed, through a tunnel, at a level well below the proposed new glazing. Even if the approach view were clear, any glare would be removed by the design angle of the glass (as seems to have been designed). So how much is this “essential check” costing?
Austen Evans

Rogers designs for Chelsea Barracks 'dead in the water'

This is wonderful news. The thing that most infuriates me about modernist architects is that they don't want any traditional designs to be built ever. Not a single one. They want a complete monopoly. They are hysterically vitriolic and intolerant towards any alternative ideas. If their own styles were so much better, a few traditional designs would be no threat.
Oliver Chettle

Biomass CHP five times cheaper than using boiler

Although I agree with Max Fordham that PV is the most expensive of the commonly available renewable energy systems, it is also one of the easiest to integrate into housing or other buildings and requires little maintenance in service.

Max makes a very telling point about the way our society has a very skewed way of looking at costs - how many solar panels could we have put on existing houses for the cost of invading Iraq I wonder?

I am currently trying to find the remaining match funding to allow my children's primary school to install a large PV array.

The government should be funding renewable energy installations for community buildings 100% when the technical viability criteria are met instead of drip-feeding half the money through low carbon buildings programme phase 2.

Now we are being promised feed in tariffs in April next year but the government won't tell us what level these will be set at so we are unable to judge if we can take the risk of borrowing the money we need against income from our renewable energy.

I agree about biomass if by this we are talking about growing wood to burn since the land will be better used to grow food.

My experience of biomass boilers is that they are relatively high in maintenance and low (in this country) on after sales service and know how when commissioning problems arise.
Richard Harris

Hopes of house price recovery dashed

There weren't any recent signs of an upturn, there was just RICS and other biased folk desperately trying to talk the market up.

It's falling, it'll fall even more until 2010, any developer with a brain wouldn't be building anything for the next 18 months, any architects working in this sphere would get out of the housing market and/or downsize. The answer is not for the government to build either: we have enough social housing that's sold off to the council tenants and removed from stock as it is. House prices will continue to fall, and so will house building, and quite frankly that's exactly the way it should be. Understand this and adapt your business and stop bleating.
Laura Roberts

Biomass CHP five times cheaper than using boiler

As well as the initial additional cost of biomass (incidentally - additional to what?) there's the additional operating cost - this looks like the headline has been seriously skewed even on the cost argument - generally passive scores very well operationally. And PV's have got a lot more durable of recent years...and will natural gas be available for the lifetime of a house (assuming its the baseline)
Kathryn Bourke