Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


widget @ surfing-waves.com




Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2014
     
    What is under your kitchen sink unit?

    This is unbelievable, client complaining of cold feet in the kitchen :cry:
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2014
     
    and another
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2014
     
    Mine is tiled to the walls and all pipes are sealed, so no cold feet, oh and ufh to keep bare feet warm
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014
     
    Yep, looks like the standard practice of much of the UK building sector:angry:

    Still, should not be too difficult to improve the situation with that as a starting point.

    I did my best to seal everything before fitting the kitchen though the plumber I started with cut through the airtight membrane twice before I finally got rid of him. The second time when my wife told him he should not have cut through it he told her women don't understand about proper work and she should get out of his working place.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014 edited
     
    Yep, looks like the standard practice of much of the UK building sectorJonti
    Yes very common. But then most people I know don't care about energy efficiency, environmental protection issues etc. strangely they do moan about high bills though :)
    It's the classic minimum effort for maximum profit. Apparently that's considered good business practice.
    such mantra as "work smarter not harder" etc. are put forward by the wealthy successful types.
    Unfortunately joined up, quality workmanship and finding to solution to problem outside the price remit aren't going to make you much money to buy some more conspicuous trinkets.
    I deserve a Porsche God damn it! :bigsmile:

    So all that being said. How do you get trades on site to see the bigger picture ? What needs to change?
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014 edited
     
    We might start with a guarantee period on such works but at the end of the day it is down to education and high profile examples.

    Jonti

    edit. and by education I mean of the trades not the customer. I also think that with house builders there should be a check of building quality after 5 and 10 years so that people can see how well this expensive purchase will hold up.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014
     
    james, Attitudes across the board to profit vs effort...?
    What is wrong with working hard for a reasonable return, and doing a good job into the bargain....? (serious question!)
    Having been on building sites since the 1980s, I am no longer surprised by the 'we can get away with that....' attitude, trades seem to think that tidying up after themselves is indicative of a weakness, of failing of somekind? :cry:
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014
     
    DarylP,

    because we live in an age where if your business is not expanding fast enough and cutting costs quick enough it is looked at as a failing business. For a country that relies so heavily on the SMEs it is odd that the only business model pushed is that for big business.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014
     
    jonti,

    Yes, 'short-termism' is a chronic failing these days I reckon....
    I wish I had the wherewithall to push the solutions: education, change in the accountancy rules, improved Building Regs., revised Planning Rules and more education!:cool:
  1.  
    Posted By: Jontiand by education I mean of the trades not the customer
    I disagree, but then I am at home all the time so I can supervise the trades and over here the customer is astonishingly uneducated about such things so when I demonstrate some knowledge I get respect. My wife was giving an English lesson to a mid - 30s chap who sells industrial glazing system, he nearly fell off his chair when she knew all about U values...shock!

    I most firmly believe in the 'Educated Customer', get that sorted and the free market will sort out the rest - even if the trades did know about such things they could still take the short cuts as above, only the customer is in a position to check all work carried out (at least in terms of the basics)
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2014
     
    Isn't it really a problem with general science/technology/numeracy that is the root of the problem.
  2.  
    Posted By: SteamyTeaIsn't it really a problem with general science/technology/numeracy that is the root of the problem.


    Even simple logic too, in many cases.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    And Or Not :wink:
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: Gotanewlife
    Posted By: Jontiand by education I mean of the trades not the customer
    I disagree, but then I am at home all the time so I can supervise the trades and over here the customer is astonishingly uneducated about such things so when I demonstrate some knowledge I get respect. My wife was giving an English lesson to a mid - 30s chap who sells industrial glazing system, he nearly fell off his chair when she knew all about U values...shock!

    I most firmly believe in the 'Educated Customer', get that sorted and the free market will sort out the rest - even if the trades did know about such things they could still take the short cuts as above, only the customer is in a position to check all work carried out (at least in terms of the basics)


    No, I disagree:bigsmile: I have met very few tradesmen who view green technology and modern, high quality construction as anything else other than 'hocus pocus'.

    It is difficult to build what you do not know about, understand or even believe in. I do not think it is realistic to expect 'Joe Public' to understand all the details of all the trades and be there through the construction of the house all the time. I do expect tradespeople to understand their trade but very few seem to.

    If the motor mechanic trade were as poor as the building trade in quality of workmanship then there would be an outcry due to the high level of deaths. This is something that needs the industry to fix. First quality which leads then secondly to profit.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Agree that ‘Joe Public’, as Jonti puts it, shouldn't need to be involved in the details. But there is a general problem of expectation - not realizing that a house that needs a huge boiler running nearly continuously from the middle of October to some time in May is broken.

    E.g., the “Other Half - Needs to brought up to date” thread:

    http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/forum114/comments.php?DiscussionID=11720

    To extend the motor mechanic analogy: it's as if people still had the same expectations of comfort, reliability and safety of cars as was appropriate in the 1950s. If that was people's expectation the motor trade would drop to that level.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesIf that was people's expectation the motor trade would drop to that level.
    Except the manufactures insist that their franchised dealers have a minimum standard of trainings and equipment. The franchisee cannot negotiate on this if the wish to stay a dealer.
    Maybe the building trade should adopt a similar model.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesAgree that ‘Joe Public’, as Jonti puts it, shouldn't need to be involved in the details. But there is a general problem of expectation - not realizing that a house that needs a huge boiler running nearly continuously from the middle of October to some time in May is broken.



    Ed,

    You are quite right. If you were to make people understand that they should expect housing built to a standard that means they would cut the heating bill to almost £0 and this at no increase in housing costs then there might be a customer driven change.

    However, nobody seems interested in promoting this fact. The media love a bad story because it sells well but are not interested in promoting solutions and best practice. Building industry is happy to make its profits with substandard buildings. The individual trades hold each other in such contempt that there is no chance of anysort of collaboration there.

    Only government is in a position to force the changes necessary but it is more interested in ticking boxes and getting the money in.

    Jonti
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: JontiOnly government is in a position to force the changes necessary but it is more interested in ticking boxes and getting the money in.
    But it is the public that vote the government in (and out). So we get the government we deserve.

    Looked under my kitchen sink and found some old energy saving lightbulbs, and some Ecover.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    ST, unfortunately you are right. The problem is most people do not realise what they should be demanding on the one side but on the other side the government is there to look after the best interests of the public not to do the publics bidding.

    The public does not understand what is in its best interests and the government doesn't really care:cry:

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Jonti,

    The Govn't only care about themselves, and the house-builder model still serves the big companies well, profits up.....

    Nothing is going to change until fuel bills rise (a lot!) and wallet-driven changes are required/expected?

    Look at the London Congestion Charge exemption, and what it has done for Prius & Leaf sales....
    :cry:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: DarylPLook at the London Congestion Charge exemption, and what it has done for Prius & Leaf sales....
    That is an interesting question. Is it the government cash back, the congestion charge or the desire by some individuals to 'save the planet' that have boosted sales, or is it the price of fuel, cheap financing, driving experience that has done it.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Probably a little bit of them all ST. Things rarely have one single cause just an accumulation.
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Perhaps help could be a bit more obvious - we could all be encouraged to be part of Building Control whilst the building is constructed or changed. Local government could produce checklists for certain types of work and ask you check things as the work progresses, at least this would help educate both sides.

    If we wanted I guess it could go a step further and where there is an issue this is required to be raised with BC to get to the bottom of, or the client has to sign a disclaimer accepting the associated risks and knock-on effect to sales?
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Diverting some of the green funds to improve Building control and kit them out with Thermal Imaging cameras, training and with enough staff to police energy saving might be quite effective...
  3.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Ed Davies</cite>Agree that ‘Joe Public’, as Jonti puts it, shouldn't need to be involved in the details. But there is a general problem of expectation - not realizing that a house that needs a huge boiler running nearly continuously from the middle of October to some time in May is broken.

    E.g., the “Other Half - Needs to brought up to date” thread:

    <a href="http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/forum114/comments.php?DiscussionID=11720" rel="nofollow">http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/forum114/comments.php?DiscussionID=11720</a>

    To extend the motor mechanic analogy: it's as if people still had the same expectations of comfort, reliability and safety of cars as was appropriate in the 1950s. If that was people's expectation the motor trade would drop to that level.</blockquote>

    That's an excellent analogy I think.

    To make real progress I believe that the public's expectations need to be lifted by public information (unfashionable as that may be, bring up images of Mr Cholmondley-Warner etc) so that it has enough understanding to insist on what is in its interests.

    Ed
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    If the car analogy holds water, what has driven the increase in car performance, both in MPG & MPH do you think?

    House-wise, builders and still building (and we are still buying) 1970s Morris Marinas and Hillman Hunters......:shamed:
  4.  
    -Fuel duty
    -Short lifecycles
    -Performance based marketing (in addition to looks based marketing)

    Appliances are a more relevant example - efficiency gains there were driven by a stricter regulatory regime.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014 edited
     
    Posted By: DarylPHillman Hunters
    We had a Roots Franchise in 1964, the sporty version was the Singer Gazelle, which was better know as the Guzzler.
    I think you have to look to the competition in the automotive industry to see what happened. In 1972 my parents bought two new cars and my Father had a company one.
    One was a Renault 12 (good ground clearance), another was a Toyota Corolla (FM/AM radio as standard and light to drive). The company car was a DAF66 (went as fast backwards as forwards). Where we lived there was no UK built car dealership.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    But when people buy a house they only look at the visual. No one ever buys because it has a better energy report.

    Trying to improve the quality of buildings through B. Regs is not going to work as most houses built by the big builders may get passed by B. Regs but certainly do not meet the standards.

    It needs the tradesmen to be properly educated. To take the car analogy, trying to get the building industry to build with modern methods to achieve modern standards is like getting a village mechanic from the 1940,s to do repairs and servicing on your new hybrid.

    Maybe if some company starts offering kit houses to German standards and at realistic prices then maybe this will begin to change things as you can get a smaller local firm to do the ground work and each build will be individually looked at.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: JontiBut when people buy a house they only look at the visual. No one ever buys because it has a better energy report.

    True; and TV progs. like "Homes under the Hammer" and other make over programmes don't help either with their almost exclusive emphasis on cosmetic "tarting up", and no consideration on insulation improvement to the building fabric. Then we do generally buy houses as investment, and not forever homes. So the maxim is make it look good, sell, and move. Think about energy saving bit when you get to one you intend to keep.
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press