Obstacles to building low-energy homes, a rant at economists, and how Rogers' Chelsea Barracks design reinforces class divisions

Bill Dunster completes first code level six homes

Which definition of net zero carbon are we using here? The one that is impossible for any normal family? Or the new one that allows you to fudge the figures through retrofitting existing buildings and assigning the carbon saving to the new build?
D Jenkins

The Passivhaus diaries: Week one

I will watch with interest. We have a new build (1 yr old) and had GSHP installed and the insulation is good - but it is a BIG house (6/7 bed) and costs are fairly high to heat it and the water. Would have loved to go down the route you guys are going, but it seemed all but impossible to find a builder/contractors who did this sort of build. We are happy with our house, but eagerly await your updates.
Mrs T

Passivhaus diaries: why we chose cavity walls

I am an architect keen to know more about the PassivHaus standard but I have seen too many simplified diagrams with pretty curved blue and red arrows to take anything at face value. Therefore I applaud this initiative and congratulate all involved in making it come about.

I look forward to getting down to the knitty gritty to see how it really works or doesn't for ultimately that to my mind is the value of it - convincing people like me and others to see PH as anything other than the latest craze. I am certainly encouraged by the detail Bill is going into and look forward to seeing how it all pans out. Good luck.
Brian Quinn

Chelsea Barracks: which design do you prefer?

Well, the Rogers design would exemplify a more monarchic mode of existence (ironically!!), the layering would be a reinforcement of a stratified society. Those on the bottom are condemned to darkness and wind tunnelling; those on the top, well just look at the views and all that light! Terry's design though architecturally reactionary is more human and democratic.

HRH take note, you're allowing the seeds of a more equal, less privileged architectural approach to challenge the London presumption of competition in all its forms. Which means, is there any future abdication taking place in that regal cerebellum? As for me, Terry's is the more attractive and yes I am inclined to a republic rather than a monarchical state.
Bryan Geake

End of recession in sight, say economists

How is it these clever economists can foresee an end to the recession, when they could not predict that we would be entering the worst downturn in living history?

We are the nation's largest employment industry with the exception of public workers and yet we get no support from a government that is managed by un-elected persons.

Time for change & now.
I. Nichol