THE INDUSTRY'S all a-twitter over the Building Regulations again.
But the Government updates Part L on a regular basis so why were we all taken by surprise when the latest revisions came into force this week?
The answer is that nobody understands Part L, so everybody's scared of it. And let's face it, every time the Government revises Part L, some swotty smart-arse says: 'Did you know this means you'll no longer be allowed to use incandescent light bulbs, traditional gas boilers and those wooden thingies for drying tea-towels that your granny had suspended from the ceiling in her scullery?' Mr Swotty Smart-A rse is always wrong, but that doesn't stop his apocalyptic predictions putting the wind up the industry.
Th is time it's fan-coil air conditioning. I imagine it comes as a shock to absolutely no one that fully air-conditioned glass-clad office blocks are not the most energyefficient buildings on the planet. But if you build clusters of high-rise office blocks next door to one another and don't install air conditioning, somebody's going to suffocate. Fancoils will still be around ? you just won't be allowed to use them much.
One thing that does jump out at you this time round is the new airtightness requirement for all buildings. Commercial buildings (with their nasty, wasteful fan-coil air conditioning) have had to conform to stringent airtightness requirements for a couple of years. But now all new buildings will have to be hermetically sealed to prevent all that expensive heat escaping.
This simply raises once more the problem I have already identified in relation to highrise office blocks: somebody's going to suffocate. Not so, say the building services engineers, who explain that keeping a building airtight simply means you can more easily control the amount of air coming in as well as the air leaving it.
But I don't want to waste time controlling the air f lowing in and out of my house. And I bet nobody has done the complex calculation that factors in the average British family, a smoke detector and a faulty toaster.
OUR MONARCH is a remarkable person, as a visit to the royal website confirms. To mark Her Majesty's 80th birthday, Buckingham Palace has compiled a list of 80 amazing.
For example, did you know she sent her first email in 1976 ? before email was invented? Or that she eats her cornf lakes out of a Tupperware bowl while listening to the bagpipes?
Remarkable but inconsequential.
Far more interesting is that Her Majesty has opened 15 bridges in her 50-year reign.
Bearing in mind that only the biggest, best and most important br idges will be deemed wor thy of a royal opening, 15 is a remarkably large number. Can you identify them all?
I counted the Second Severn Crossing, the Humber Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth II Br idge at Dartford ? bit of a giveaway, that ? and my mind went blank. St ill, with 12 bridges to go I could only wonder how the hell we got about the country before Her Majesty's coronation.
A CAUTIONARY tale about renewing your webpage subscription.
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