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Behind the Scenes at V&A Dundee

29 Oct 2018

For a design museum, it is ironic that so much of the groundbreaking design of Kengo Kuma’s V&A Dundee – from the formwork to the reinforcement – will never be seen. Tony Whitehead finds out what lies behind this extraordinary structure.

Designers Have to Minimise the Risk of Overheating

17 Oct 2018

Why is overheating a problem, and why now?

We are in a warming climate (see full article). We’re also getting higher densities and new typologies such as single-aspect apartments. Because there is more focus on energy efficiency, we’re getting more airtight buildings but ventilation systems aren’t always performing as they should.

Keeping Your Cool with Concrete

16 Oct 2018

As a society, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the importance of safeguarding and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.  Acknowledging that our built environment can play a part in this important undertaking, both at home and in the workplace, is changing the way we think about design.

Thermal Mass Can Address Offsite Overheating Concerns

12 Oct 2018

A report by the Commons’ Environment Audit Committee earlier this month, which claimed that “modular homes are not resilient to heatwaves”, has stirred up considerable debate during one of the hottest summers that Europe has experienced for decades.

The Welcome Rise of Whole-life Sustainability

10 Oct 2018

It’s not surprising that sustainability was a key topic during UK Construction Week, but ‘green construction’ remains far from a black and white issue. Whereas embodied carbon was once king, with the sustainability debate focusing on how to lower carbon measurements at the construction stage, we’re now seeing an encouraging shift towards whole-life analysis.

Ronan Point Remembered

21 Jun 2018

Fifty years ago, at about 5.45am on the morning of Thursday 16 May 1968, Miss Ivy Hodge went into the kitchen of her new 18th storey flat to make herself a cup of tea. She lit a match to light the gas stove, the gas leak exploded, and the side wall of the flat was blown out.

Post-Modern Buildings in Britain

21 Apr 2018

Postmodernism, it is generally assumed, is not a movement for concrete lovers. Indeed, the accepted narrative – that this was the wheeler-dealer Thatcher era’s backlash against worthy, boring postwar modernism – almost defines it as everything that concrete is not. Where concrete is solid, muscular and permanent, pomo is lightweight – flimsy even – a style that merrily conceals its (usually steel) structure behind cut-out shapes and clip-on cladding. Where concrete is grey and monolithic, pomo is glossy, colourful and flamboyant.