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Signoff: David Taylor

PANIC over. There is no need to worry about the onerous requirements of the revised Part L of the Building Regulations. It's not that the requirements have turned out not to be as onerous as people thought.

It's better than that: it's quite safe to ignore them completely.

Fashionable design house Foreign Office Architects (it's not foreign ? they're being ironic) has just stunned the world of sustainable construction by unveiling a fully air-conditioned glass-clad office development for developer, the Beetham Organisation.

Beetham wants to throw the 900,000 sq m building up next to Aldgate Station in the City of London and apparently there's no shortage of tenants queuing up to rent space.

So all this stuff about client-led sustainability issues is just a load of hot air. Or hot CO2 in this case.

It was the architect's idea to glaze the whole building, not the client's.

The idea is to create a 'cluster of crystals' ? just what you need bang in the middle of the City.

Despite the received wisdom, which is that a fully-glazed building emits 10 per cent more CO2 than one that's just 75 per cent glazed, the architect reckons modern technology can enable the building to comply with the new Part L. Yeah, right.

Actually it's all about getting the punters in. The letting agent, BH 2, has gone on record to say he's not in the least interested in Part L. If FOA gets away with it, they'll be the toast of the commercial property market.

WHAT'S this about contractors having to introduce fitness tests in order to get round the new rules about age discrimination?

I've never heard anything more r idiculous in my life.

The theory is that contractors ? who, come October, will no longer able to reject job applicants on the basis of age ? will impose fitness tests in order to weed out the decrepit old codgers.

So, no longer will prospective employers say to themselves: 'That deaf old bum with the nine fingers isn't going to cut the mustard ? we'll give him a miss.' Instead , they will invite him along to a preliminary interview where they'll ask him a few routine questions before putting him through a series of gruelling physical trials.

When he's stretchered off with a heart attack, the employer will have the satisfaction of knowing its hunch was right.

It'll be a shame because these old chaps have a wealth of experience to pass down ? though admittedly, there aren't that many youngsters around to receive it.

Also, with so much automation and pre-fabrication in the industry these days, pretty soon you'll be able to do most construction jobs from a seated position using a remote control.

Why send granddad home to watch Neighbours when he could be using the same skills to erect a steel frame?

IF PR ISON is supposed to be about rehabilitation rather than punishment then Martin Dunne's plan to set up a course for prison inmates to qualify as rail track maintenance workers is spot on.

The remarkable thing about Mr Dunne is not so much his idea but the fact that he is himself a prison inmate.

Mr Dunne is serving three years at Wayland Prison in Norfolk.

It looks like Mr Dunne is already well on the road to rehabilitation. I reckon if his idea takes off, he'll have paid of his debt to society with interest. But heartwarming through his story is, I urge caution.

There are some fiendishly clever brains lurking behind the bars of our prisons and it won't be long before somebody copies Mr Dunne's idea and uses it for the wrong purposes.

Beware of prison inmates setting up courses in demolition and tunnelling.