Before we get to the excitement of Kylie and cavity wall insulation, I was really pleased having read the relevant chapters of the Callcutt report on house building delivery published last week that there are strong recommendations for the Government to continue to give a sustained message that it is committed to enforcing building regulations in order to achieve zero carbon homes by 2016. The report also recognises that this task won’t be easy and that Ministers are likely to be lobbied by a whole range of vested interests encouraging them to deliver a more conservative or less radical approach. It’s my view that anything which undermines the confidence of industry would in its turn undermine the confidence of investors, so it was good to see Callcutt recommending that everybody hold fast.
I was obviously also delighted to see the view expressed that the primary approach will require the highest practical standards of energy efficiency first – and not as a retrofitted option. We’re seeing too many projects dashing after the sexy end of remote generation, only to find that basic thermal energy efficiency hasn’t been delivered in new build. It may do the headlines, it doesn’t do the carbon!
I was also pleased to see that there is now recognition that the building control inspectorate are and will continue to face difficulties in terms of enforcing the regulation of the zero carbon agenda.. Failure to do so is starkly observed in the case study of the British Columbia condominium crisis, where failure to enforce proper standards cost somewhere in the region of three billion Canadian dollars. Yes three billion!
And finally, to Kylie Minogue. For those of you who aren’t Guardian aficionados, I was intrigued by an article in last Friday’s Guardian, on Kylie Minogue’s comeback and new album. Despite the fact it says it is a bit disappointing to find Kylie nearly 40 and sounding more emotionally disconnected than ever, I was drawn to the following quote regarding her new album:
"A handful of great tracks, surrounded by stuff that’s so obviously filler you could inject it into cavity walls and save up to 33 per cent off of your energy bills"!
I never thought Kylie and cavity wall insulation would appear in the same sentence. This must be progress!