6 January 2012
January must be a good time for reflections on 2011- skating speedily over those endless discussions about the Green Deal mechanisms and possible effectiveness - high points were enormous jumps in interest and actual delivery of Passivhaus buildings, and consolidation of Passivhaus Trust as a great UK enabling organisation, and the conference was great.
For ATA a wonderful celebration of 20 years since founding in 1991, twenty years of hard but absorbing work on community and green projects - gave the team some overwhelmingly fantastic feedback, everyone felt sky high - then a move to Industry - from gently decaying mews in Bethnal Green (pictured) to zippy regenerated new offices in Haggerston - where we are well settled in and warm at last.
December saw a Good Homes Alliance festive celebration, deep green retrofit was the topic to which we contributed our experience of the 'Retrofit for the Future' projects. Detailed talks by both designers and developers gave us all something substantial to think about - I found Rowntree's setting out of past and future work admirable, and a model for a consistent long term approach.
PROBE, the University of Westminster joint Built Environment and Business School research group, who are particularly interested in the delivery of low energy buildings, and what it means for the industry, hosted an ideas meeting, and lots of ideas discussed. I hope some more will come of this in 2012 - I think we really need good quality research to base change on.
A difficult year financially for so many, and it's not looking as if it will get easier quickly. On our projects we hear of many people in hardship, and get really angry with the lack of awareness in government of day to day difficulties, grateful to all those who are convincing MPs that the cap on benefits will hit some Londoners - where house prices are so high - really hard, and hope that's one thing that will be amended.
Looking forward to our community straw-build on the Environment Centre in Lordship park, it will be starting in March and we're all hoping to get to do a bit of it ourselves.
Best wishes for 2012.