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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.

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      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2021
     
    Posted By: JontiIf you local elections are on a town borough, village level where the electorate is up to maybe 10'000 people who elect the local committee then you get local people who are interested in local issues being elected.
    The people tend to be local, although not all are. But the ones that get elected also are elected as members of a party by and large. There are very few independents and some of those are disguised party members. So even though they're interested in local issues to some extent they also have their eye on national policies to a great extent too.

    The problem with proportional representation is you can only vote for a party which locks in that which you claim FPTP does, where as it is better at a local level to be able to vote for someone you know and trust
    There are many types of voting system (see https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/ for examples) and some allow you to vote for individuals as well as parties. But in the UK we get to vote for named individuals who we know we do not trust :cry:
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: djh
    Posted By: JontiIf you local elections are on a town borough, village level where the electorate is up to maybe 10'000 people who elect the local committee then you get local people who are interested in local issues being elected.
    The people tend to be local, although not all are. But the ones that get elected also are elected as members of a party by and large. There are very few independents and some of those are disguised party members. So even though they're interested in local issues to some extent they also have their eye on national policies to a great extent too.

    The problem with proportional representation is you can only vote for a party which locks in that which you claim FPTP does, where as it is better at a local level to be able to vote for someone you know and trust
    There are many types of voting system (see https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/ for examples) and some allow you to vote for individuals as well as parties. But in the UK we get to vote for named individuals who we know we do not trusthttp:///newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/cry.gif" alt=":cry:" title=":cry:" >


    My MP lives over an hour away and there are lots of those who have no connection to the constituency they stand in. And yes there are lots of systems but in the end you vote for either a person which is a variation of first past the post or a party which is on a proportional system.
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      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: Jontiin the end you vote for either a person which is a variation of first past the post or a party which is on a proportional system

    Only in systems that have a single vote. I'd prefer a system where I was able to both vote for somebody who I supposedly trusted to look after local interests, and somebody who I trusted to understand difficult issues and tended to vote in a way I agreed with. Hopefully the latter could persuade some of the former to vote sensibly as well.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2021
     
    To get back to the fire ... The summary of this week's evidence is very scary, I thought. It also happens to mention the involvement of some companies we've been discussing.

    https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/insight/grenfell-tower-inquiry-diary-week-60-you-could-have-an-exact-repeat-of-the-dubai-fire-in-any-number-of-buildings-in-london-73724
    • CommentAuthorShevek
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2021
     
    Every time I check in on this enquiry I think to myself, jesus nothing will top this. Only to be proven incorrect when I check in again.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2021 edited
     
    About a year ago, I wrote elsewhere:
    "While the Inquiry is currently naming and shaming the ‘professionals’ in the Grenfell ‘refurbishment’ who did their masters’ bidding to circumvent well established systems to contain and escape from any Fire, it must move on up to spotlight the political Leaders, the corporates and their shareholders in whose ‘interest’ such cheating is routinely part of the big-building industry. And beyond, to the mean politicians of the 1980s who set the whole enduring ethos, and the grim theorists who gave them voice – now thankfully dead."

    As shevek says, the enquiry ploughs on, ever closer to the real crux, which I consider to be my last sentence above - all else was sanctioned by and follows from that. So far the govt has, astonishingly, given abject apology for its failure (under various parties in power) in supervising the Building Regulations 'system' - as if the govt didn't deliberately and knowingly dismantle all meaningful supervision. Way to go - there's a lot more to own up to still.

    On the 'grim theorists', for whom Pinochet's Chilean government and 1980 constitutional lock-in (only just finally re-unlocked)
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/22/chileans-pinochet-constitution-referendum
    was their greatest success, see
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Democracy-Chains-history-radical-stealth/dp/1911344684/ref=sr_1_1?crid=374HBBK8VEO45&keywords=democracy+in+chains&qid=1640091196&sprefix=democracy+in+chasins%2Caps%2C1704&sr=8-1
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      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2022
     
    At last we get to it
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jan/04/grenfell-inquiry-ex-ministers-and-serving-secretary-of-state-to-be-cross-examined
    but "the inquiry will look at the actions of governments going back to the 1990s", while the whole catastrophoic 'red tape' thing originated with Margaret Thatcher's anti-society ideology of the 1980s. Grenfell is the emblem of what that led to.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2022
     
    But the Tower was built in the early 1970’s, it never had a wet riser from the day it was built, a key piece of the fire fighting systems in tower blocks, this was noted in Dr. Lane’s report. So it would seem the adherence to good practice and regulations considerably predates “margaret thatchers anti-society ideology of the 80’s”.

    I’d be much more interested in having the fire service explain why they’d never flagged such a major failing over the years since the tower was built and if in fact they had why it was never acted upon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2022
     
    Can't quote, but lots of parties gave warnings - not incl the Fire Brigade?

    "Lord Barwell, Theresa May’s former chief of staff who held the office of housing minister in the year before the disaster, is likely to face questioning over how he handled direct fire safety warnings from the London fire commissioner, Dany Cotton.

    On 3 April 2017 Cotton told Barwell and Lewis, by that time policing and fire minister, of “mounting evidence of issues of concern within residential buildings and, in particular, blocks of flats” about compartmentation and the impact on the policy of telling people to stay put in the event of a blaze."
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2022
     
    The 2005 fire safety order act replaced the 1971 act (under which the fire brigade issued “fire certificates after inspection, again it’d be interesting to see those inspections by the fire brigade and the recomendations therein, especially in respect of the wet riser( on the night of the fire the crews had to run hoses up stair wells ( compromising fire doors) to fight the blaze , had there been a wet riser they’d have just gone to the hose reel on the floor and fought the blaze with the buildings own initial supply vastly speeding up the initial response)

    After 2005 there would have been a responsible person designated to oversee the compilation of a fire risk assessment for the building, again shortcomings should have been noted and addressed.

    The whole thing is a dogs dinner going back to the day the tower was built. Lots of cosy relationships between public bodies ensuring no waves were made.

    The question of compartmentation issues should have been especially of interest to any inspector after the Lakanal House fire in 2009, where the removal of asbestos products used to ensure compartmentation but alledgedly no replacements being fitted led to the spread of the fire , which incidentally started with a failing tenants electrical device.
    Compartmentation and stay put in the opinion of a fire officer i spoke with have been used as a convenient method of satisfying fire safety, apparently in the true sense, a dedicated and otherwise unused area would be created at strategic points in a building that acted as safe refuge and gave rescue crews a first port of call when evacuating people , the theory being this specially created area would be custom built and be untouched by tenants unless there was a fire , could easily be inspected and maintained. Once this was evacuated then the crews would go flat to flat checking for anyone to make it to the “safe haven”. The use of blanket stay put policies saves having to build such refuges ( in a tower block it would mean losing a flat on each floor) and relies on the compartmentation of each flat, which is difficult to control given tenant behaviours and lifestyles.
    To effectively prove a flat is fully comparmented is nigh on impossible without extensive and often destructive inspection and remediation, which in older blocks is even harder to the extent that in reality you’d need to move out occupiers to do the works which may be prohibitively expensive.

    What’s at risk of being lost in the Grenfell inquiry is that UK fire safety is really very good, Grenfell was the result of endless failures and poor management, the focus should be on what went wrong for that one event , then look at the reasons behind each failure point.

    Fire exited the flat it started in through a non fire retardent infill panel fitted to a window for a fan.
    Windows weren’t fire stopped
    Cladding has been deemed to have the wrong insulation, but it’s also been noted that many of the intumescent fire stops in the cladding were fitted poorly into gaps larger than they were designed for.
    The fire service didn’t have the facilities it should have done to fight the fire , wet riser, defective lift.

    The list is almost endless.

    It really does seem as though there is plenty of effort going into protecting the reputation of social housing and those that work within it and even more effort going into placing the blame on the private sector. Where was the oversight from the buildings managers?
  1.  
    Listen to the 2 or 3 relatively recently Grenfell enquiry podcasts that cover the fire service.

    There *was* knowledge within the fire service about the various dangers of cladding fires, but it failed to get translated adequately into training and on-the-ground procedures.
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