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


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.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

powered by Surfing Waves

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.

    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016
    C'mon lads and lasses, vent your spleen. It's the biggest decision of your lifetime, so they say. Maybe we can cut through some of the crap.
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016
    I'll bite; maybe somebody can persuade me to change my mind ...

    I think all the arguments about economics are pointless. It's impossible to know what will happen to even state whether we'll be better off or worse off. If it's going to cause ructions elsewhere in the world, then the rest of the world needs to plan for it, I don't think it should be a concern of ours.

    Security I don't know enough to say. I have heard that our intelligence deals are bilateral and the European level is not that important, but I don't know whether that is true.

    Immigration feels like there should be more control out of the EU with a system that lets us choose the most useful applicants.

    I'm strongly against TTIP so getting out of the EU should reduce the risk of being part of that. As I understand it the default position is WTO rules which I think means an average (extra?) rate of duty of 3% which doesn't sound so bad.

    You'll be guessing which way I'm inclined by now, but to me the killer is the euro. I believe that sooner or later it will blow up, or much less likely there will be full political union of the euro nations. And I tend to think that a blow up sooner rather than later is most likely. I don't want to be part of a club going through a storm like that.

    So I'll be voting leave unless somebody produces some more convincing arguments to remain.

    Who's next ... ?
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016
    Europe has been having wars at regular intervals for millennia. For the last 70 years we've managed to do with out (apart from some unpleasantness in the Balkans which, for a change, remained in the Balkans). This is not all down to the EU by any means but the EU is a big part of the general trend of integration which keeps things in proportion. As @pavilionopinion put it on Twitter [¹]:

    History of Europe:
    Arguments about bananas.

    To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments. #remain
    We're living in a world with some very large economic blocs (the US and China). If Europe doesn't hang together then having the likes of TTIP pushed on us will just be the beginnings of our problems (even if the current UK government would want to resist).

    Personally, I think there's an awful lot wrong with the way the EU is run but the problem is not, as many would have it, that it's too powerful but, quite the opposite, that the individual governments are too powerful and the European Parliament, etc, doesn't get enough say. The result is that democracy is too indirect to be effective.

    I'd very much like the UK to remain in the EU but failing that I think Scotland would be better off in the EU than in an “independent” UK.

    [¹] https://twitter.com/pavilionopinion/status/726172850005118976
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016
    Posted By: djhI think all the arguments about economics are pointless. It's impossible to know what will happen to even state whether we'll be better off or worse off.
    Yep - nobody knows enough to really tell - arguments based on short-term economics are just a proxy for more emotional considerations which are harder to articulate.
    • CommentAuthorSilky
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016 edited
    well I live in Germany, and the missus is one of them... so I should probably be more concerned than most.. undoubtedly the EU pushes some rules which should be appreciated on this forum.. whether they work in practice is another thing, but I was interested to hear of the all new buildings in Europe must be 'Carbon neutral' after 2020.. ( I'm paraphrasing now .. but there is some rule like that )...

    but on to graver matters.. they did the Euro, which was utterly idiotic and against the advice of the economic experts, it's been a disaster for many countries creating crippling youth unemployment in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. They fail to admit their mistakes. It's not democratic in a way that I find acceptable. The way the Lisbon treaty was brought in was contemptible.. and so on and so on.. I could go on for pages but the prior points are enough justification. So I have to vote unselfishly with my conscious.. out! I'm all for pan-European cooperation but not like this. Maybe Brexit could trigger some wholesale reform.
    • CommentAuthoralexphd1
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016
    Out. At least then when our politicians make another cock up we know who to blame.... As for the coment regarding Scotland better part of the eu...if that happens I shall be moving south of the boarder, hollyrood is as big fruit up as Brussels .... Anybody want to buy a passiv spec house with no passive badge!!!
    Posted By: Ed Davies
    Personally, I think there's an awful lot wrong with the way the EU is run but the problem is not, as many would have it, that it's too powerful but, quite the opposite, that the individual governments are too powerful and the European Parliament, etc, doesn't get enough say. The result is that democracy is too indirect to be effective.

    That's about as far on the opposite end of the spectrum as you get from most folk I know! Democracy is best when local folk are held accountable for their work, giving endless amounts of power to folk that aren't accountable to anyone normally ends badly. More power at a local level allows for better accountability and less buck passing.

    As for Scotland better off in the EU instead of the UK, not sure about that as we could realistically achieve next to nothing in negotiations, even as part of the UK see that disaster made with regards to our fishing and farming industries. I think we as a nation are clever enough to come up sensible, appropriate rules and regulations ourselves and don't need people a million miles away to tell us how to run things.
    • CommentAuthorGotanewlife
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2016 edited
    I'm for staying in and it's mostly about those 'short term' economic arguments either dismissed or considered impossible to call above. 'Short term' is in the order of my useful economic life because the EU is fragile economically and to say the UK will be screened from an EU melt down or return to recession is rather naive in my view - and if there is a next time, or continuation of this time depending on your view, the return to prosperity could easily take over 10 years. Whilst no-one can predict the future with any convincing certainty I find it hard to believe anyone can argue that there is no significant risk from the UK leaving the EU of a calamitous economic outcome. Judging this risk is not so easy I agree but it would appear that the entire 'city', the vast majority of medium and large businesses and every think tank/advisory group/quasi independent expert is clear that it is genuine risk of the low to medium likelihood, high impact variety.

    Then there's the turbulence that will hit the UK whilst the mess of leaving is sorted out (ie as separate from any problems the EU may face) and for sure that will take 10 years and hold the UK back to a degree that in my view will not provide a justifiable ROI; the advantages of large economic blocs; and the integration that stabilises. (6 years ago I knew people who had friends who lost children to the bayonet, to others who seem to be cauldrons covered in a thin veneer of civilisation brought about by being in the EU, and these are military officers).

    Lastly, that hornets nest of immigration - well I am an emigrant and I wouldn't have been able to go to a non-EU country, so it would be mightily 2-faced of me to vote against something that gave me my GBF log-in name wouldn't it! Putting that aside, the UK has been forever changed by integration and immigrants - forever changed as in can't be turned back, my gut tells me for the better but I can't argue against those whose gut tells them for the worse - what I do say is that horse has fled and closing the stable door will do no good now - we (the UK) have moved too far in this direction. More obliquely, perhaps the UK is actually doing what it has always done, and done well, over the last couple of hundred years - it is just that the velocity is far greater than ever before.

    In for me.
    Posted By: Gotanewlife
    Lastly, that hornets nest of immigration - well I am an emigrant and I wouldn't have been able to go to a non-EU country, so it would be mightily 2-faced of me to vote against something that gave me my GBF log-in name wouldn't it!

    Immigration - gets on my goat. Any EU national can come live here, get a part time job, claim benefits, housing etc. However, like in the case of my brother where has has a non EU national spouse and a child, they couldn't move back and settle as a family in the UK unless they moved back into a pre-arranged job with decent (for rural Scotland) pay (over £22k). Even then they would have to pay extra for NHS care for spouse and child, no benefits etc. UK nationals and their families are being punished by the home office in an effort to reduce immigration figures - the real immigration problem is EU nationals, not UK nationals coming home with families. It wouldn't be so bad if the UK government applied the same rigorous immigration standard to all - that at least would be fairer, but a barrier that high would never be allowed by the EU.
    • CommentAuthorGotanewlife
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016 edited
    Posted By: willie.macleodthe real immigration problem is EU nationals, not UK nationals coming home with families
    Hmm - at the risk of going down a rabbit hole rather than keeping it general - Wille clearly you are exercised by this but I am not sure you were your normal coherent self in that post!

    You're right, its late and I need bed. TBH I haven't met a EU immigrant locally I haven't got on with, the ones that come over here are generally good workers. Level playing field though with regards to immigration would be good, if it wasn't for the family connections then I wouldn't really be bothered I suppose.
    out out out.
    based on my experience of working within local government at a relatively low level(parks and cemeteries) from watching the horrendous waste and inefficiency and nonproductive Empire building within our own larger organasation, also knowing of some of the shennanigans of our own "folks on the hill" = Stormont + plus keeping another lot of even harder to keep snouts in Gold-Plated troughs in Westminister.
    The absolute last thing we need, is to be keeping an even larger lot of greedy vain misguided egotistical counter-productive feckers in Brussels.
    Simple logic.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    OK, ....The EPBD is the main driver of energy efficiency improvements in the UK:
    Anyone who thinks that if we weren't in the EU, that house energy efficiency standards would have improved since 2006 is deluded.
    The big cardboard box builders have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century, and almost the 21st....
    For this reason alone, it's a Yes from me:cry:
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Too many chiefs and not enough indians, out.
    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    I think the European Union is flawed and imperfect, even deeply flawed, but when you look at the driving forces for Brexit it's clear that the alternative is much worse.

    They are very right wing and seem to see any form of environmental, employment, consumer protection etc as red tape to be done away with. There is a big overlap it seems between Euro scepticism and climate change denial. For example Ukip has Lord Monckton who goes around the world telling people it's not real, nothing to worry about etc despite not having any scientific qualifications. Nigel Lawson promotes similar nonsense.

    When politicians deny well established science for some political or ideological reason, I think it should disqualify them for being taken seriously.

    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    I have always been confused about the 'red tape' debate.
    We interpret directives and then implement and enforce them. Are people that say 'there is too much red tape' saying:
    They don't like the subject
    They don't like the way it is implemented
    They don't like the way it is enforced

    Do people think that it would be acceptable to employ people by the hour and get rid of them with no reason or notice, of maybe fine employees for very minor infringements, say dropping a washer on the floor.
    Britain has in the past be a very bureaucratic country with very poorly written legislation (actually we still are, look at the legal highs legislation, we will all be on decaf tea soon). What makes people think that we can do better on our own?
    • CommentAuthortorrent99
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    I hate the bureaucracy, and the glacial way everything happens in the EU. The unelected quangos by the thousand, and the way we seem to obey every EU directive whilst other countries ignore them. And I despair of getting any change, witness Cameron's recent efforts to get even minor change resulting in basically none (well the only concessions were wrapped up in so much red tape and unlikely scenarios that they basically amounted to nothing).

    However, as was pointed out earlier in the thread, the whole world is organising into trade blocks, Russia and China are together. The dollar is slowly dying probably to be replaced by the yuan. We are faced with HUGE new competitor countries. And Europe and the "Old" World as a whole (not just the EU) is on the wane. In that context going it alone is a crazy option.

    On top of that the western world with it's huge huge huge debts is in ever increasing economic crisis, which may come to a violent head anytime in the next few years. Wider economic union is the probably the only thing which might prevent the war....

    I'm for IN.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Posted By: willie.macleodDemocracy is best when local folk are held accountable for their work, …
    England hasn't had that for a while - well before the Roman invasion.

    …giving endless amounts of power to folk that aren't accountable to anyone normally ends badly.
    Yep, though it's not obvious why MEPs should be any less accountable than Westminster MPs.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Posted By: torrent99…and the way we seem to obey every EU directive whilst other countries ignore them.
    Indeed, Britain is a very bureaucratic and over-governed country. I don't see how getting out of the EU will fix that rather than make it worse.
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Posted By: torrent99and the way we seem to obey every EU directive whilst other countries ignore them.
    So if we pull out, with the other other nations say 'Great, the British have gone, we can play by the rules now'.
    I can see that happening.

    It is really all about trade. And being a participant in a large trading block is the better way.
    I work in catering, for a very small company, we have never felt that the EU is holding us back. We keep an eye to the news to make sure that there is nothing that affects us i.e. change of formulas in case they contain different nuts (it was a staff information issue, rather than any rule bending that got the prosecution recently).
    Thinking 'your town' can compete in the UK market on its own, is the same as thinking that the UK can compete with the EU.
    One of the reasons that we are the 5th largest economy is because we are in the EU. All the economic evidence and opinions are for us to remain, all the reasons to leave are based on speculation and prejudice as far as I can see.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    We shouldn't have joined in the first place.
    Many of the founding nations, and even newer ones today, when joining, see the European dream as sort of bastion against various forms of suppression, dictatorship, totalitarianism. I can understand that from their point of view, but we didn't have that history, at least not since the 1600s.

    Our, often imperfect, democracy, was ill suited to being dictated to by Brussels. We already had an established and evolving form of democratic government, not perfect, but better than what much of mainland Europe had endured over the years.

    The dreamers of UK politics saw/see the UK as exerting influence over the unelected bureaucrats that run the show. The bigger the EU the less likely that becomes. We have to keep trying I hear them saying, but the Franco German carve up set the rules and we were not part of that process. Perhaps De Gaulle was right after all, in not wanting us in.

    Through the EU, I see the Europe sliding into a new sort of bureaucratic dictatorship, unrepresentative, interfering, disliked my many of the citizens, wasteful of taxpayers money, inward looking, protectionist, looking to gain popularity by handing out selective alms, unwilling to change.

    I distrust the motives of many of the younger political generation of EU devotees, who I fear see the EU as a gravy train onto which they can hop if their UK political dreams falter.
    • CommentAuthordickster
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    So I' can't be doing with a non-elected bunch of European Seb Blatters telling me what I can or cannot do, I'd much rather it was a bunch of corrupt British politicians and fat cats doing it, 'cause then everything will be all right, won't it?. I would be able to enjoy true democratic freedoms whilst the rest of Europe turns into a disaster.

    But then I was forgetting that if we vote to leave, the spite of the spurned rest of Europe will be turned against us and we will sink slowly in our ship of freedom.

    I think we're stuffed either way, but I sort of prefer to be in a gang of bullies than to be the one being bullied, so I've slowly changed my mind and think I will vote to stay in. The world has changed, the world is joined up by big business interests and multi national companies, we can't turn the clock back, individual countries will cease to exist as time goes on.

    Could blah on forever etc etc.
    When Europe is criticised as being 'undemocratic' I think of our unelected monarch, an unelected upper chamber (hereditary members, religious members and power bought through political donations), and our lack of a written constitution.

    On the left of politics the supporters of 'out' have a valid criticism of the EU in terms of it's enforcement of free market policies and economic austerity.

    However, the other side of that is that Europe has enforced many employment rights that I think are a good thing and that our own Government has usually resisted (http://www.theguardian.com/money/work-blog/2013/jan/24/europe-legacy-uk-workplaces). Additionally Europe's regulations of air and water pollution have pushed our own Government into action where they wouldn't have done otherwise.

    Many of those (including the current Government) look to leave Europe as a way to diminish those rights and create a less equal society.

    We are a declining nation in an increasingly global world. Being part of a larger trading block seems to have many advantages (America is in some ways similar to a European state).

    What finally setttles it for me is those on the leave side. If there's an argument that has Michael Gove, Ian Duncan Smith, Nigel Farage, and Kate Hoey on one side my instinct is that I should be on the other. I leave Boris Johnson out of that list as I don't think he believes in anything except furthering his own career - he'd have been IN if he thought it would be better for him.

    I'm in.
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Many people are describing things as they would like them to be, as opposed to what will actually change to.

    Of course I want to pay less for government
    Of course I want better security
    Of course I want to control immigration
    Of course I want free movement around Europe
    Of course I don't want a war
    Of course I want democracy

    I'm finding it hard to really understand what will actually change either way for example in order to maintain access to the single market:
    - will we have to keep our borders open,
    - will we have to pay lots to the EU
    - will we have to accept certain types of rulings from the EU and implement them

    I fear the answer is the only real difference is that I have representation through an MEP.

    Am I wrong, if so on what level?
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Posted By: Simon StillBeing part of a larger trading block seems to have many advantages (America is in some ways similar to a European state).

    I couldn't understand why that wasn't brought up when the leave campaign were going on about "the US wouldn't put up with it" a few weeks ago.
    They seemed to be missing the point that the US is a federal state, so it was a chalk & cheese comparison.
    Are there any US states thinking of leaving their union?

    FWIW my current inclination is towards remain, on a similar basis to ideas already expressed by Ed Davies, SteamyTea & dickster among others.

    Along with Ed I also feel that, if the UK decides to leave the EU then Scotland (which if seen as a separate unit seems likely to vote remain) will be better off in the EU & out of the UK (even though I was a firm 'No', i.e. remain in the UK, voter in the last referendum). I just wish the Nats would get over the idea of reliance on the 'Oil Fairy'[1], since it is very unlikely to be still capable of leaving presents under pillows in the future...

    [1] Not sure if the 'Oil Fairy' concept is something I made that up or if it's something that's been used before & I've forgotten, but allowing that analogies are never perfect it seems to encapsulate how they see oil revenue?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Hi Jonathan,
    We currently have a trade deficit with the rest of the EU. Any talk of Brussels getting tough with the UK in the event of BREXIT is IMO not going to happen, why would it. They wouldn't want to start a tit for tat trade war. Strangely, deficit means a fortuitous twist that gives the UK the whip hand in any re-negotiation, and that re-negotiation could include all of your concerns. We pick and choose which bits we like and ditch the rest.
    As for you "Of Course" list the EU has failed on almost all of them, and the ones it hasn't failed on, e.g. "free movement" are a disaster.
    As for MEPs they are often toothless when it comes to reform, the faceless backroom crowd hold sway.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Hi David,
    I don't have much regard for the SNP stance on the debate. They are all in favour of leaving the UK. Don't want to be ruled by Westminster etc. etc.. Yet they would happily sign up to be ruled by Brussels. What a load of hypocrites, they are just haters of the English. Does that constitute racism? :angry:
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016 edited
    Posted By: Simon StillI leave Boris Johnson out of that list
    I am starting to think that he a plant by the Remain campaign.
    He is their secret weapon, 'Hey lads, we seem to be behind in the polls. Get Boris to say something'. Works every time.
    I like Boris.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
    Name someone that has done more for public transport over the last few years then Boris.....
    Posted By: SteamyTea
    Thinking 'your town' can compete in the UK market on its own, is the same as thinking that the UK can compete with the EU.

    Our "town" can. We have the quality products and folk want to buy them because they are the best, not because they are cheap and convenient, they are neither. Our whisky, tweeds etc go to folk with money rather than EU countries, price isn't generally a huge factor to them. Our black puddings are legendary and our seafood is as well. Other stuff we deal with like fish oil, seaweed etc will still be sold - people still need it globally. And our tourism is very hard for anyone to take away. Old stuff and pretty scenery doesn't ship easily.

    If the French and Spanish don't want to buy our seafoods then they can eat something else. We could still sell the same volumes closer to home, fewer food miles isn't a bad thing and getting our quotas back would be a massive windfall, allowing us to manage our own shores sustainably. Fishing discards...... that's how the EU listens to our repeated requests for sustainability, look at Norway - it was way back in the 90s that they came out with their ban on discards and active management of fishing areas. Decades of inaction by the EU on a serious environmental matter, only to be spurred into action by a media campaign, not the people at the sharp end complaining. The EU isn't the be all and end all when it comes to green practices, we all should be able to do the right thing and manage our own local areas for ourselves and for our future generations.

    Owlman, I know what you mean and agree, don't think the EU wanted us at all though as they made it clear we wouldn't be granted entry till we did penance for a few years then agreed to everything they asked us, not all members of the SNP are taking the official stay in line - Jim Sillars of the old school part of the SNP for one is part of the exit campaign.
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   

© Green Building Press