Green Building Code Dumped

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16 Jan 2014 10:40 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

So another building code has proved to be a totally unworkable set of rules and is to be scrapped. The UK  Code for Sustainable  Homes has bitten the dust despite 100’s of millions of pounds being spent on producing an ignorant set of complicated unworkable rules in 2006 to reduce carbon emission from new homes to 0% by 2016 in steps of ‘improvements’. The effect of the code has been to drive the cost of new homes up to an expected 40% by 2016, while the government has bleated on about delivering affordable housing – Err, shouldn’t they be lowering the cost of housing, or have I missed something?

Those in the industry have always known that this ill-thought out code was doomed for the scrap heap; it was just a question of when. The government tell us the reason is that the process takes too long. What a load of cattle pooh – they wouldn’t admit that it was a complete concept cock-up from day one would  they?

While US and China refuse to reduce colossal levels of carbon emissions created by manufacturing aluminium and cement , (the highest known pollutants) with huge increase due as a result of supplying third world countries  with these products, UK is forced to pay huge premiums, by a deluded government for houses that will save less than a drop in a very deep ocean.

The authors of GWP (Global Warming Potential) tell us that: CO2 Emission is  96.775% Natural and only 3.225% is Man Made. Of course there are other major contributions to GREENHOUSE GAS EFFECT and the main contributor is natural water vapour.

Greenhouse Gas Effect Contributions:

 WATER VAPOUR                              95%

 CO2                                                  0.117%

Methane                                             0.066%

N20                                                   0.047%

Other gases                                       0.047%

*The above figures are TOTAL. - From all known sources.

If these figures are correct – do we have any control over the natural effects of the planet or is this just another cynical conspiracy from various governments to extract green taxes for a non-existent problem?

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16 Jan 2014 11:48 by Jimbofinn Star rating in Chiclana De La Front.... 203 posts Send private message

Jimbofinn´s avatar

Sorry, but have I missed the point.  What has this to do with a Spanish forum?


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16 Jan 2014 12:48 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

I do apologise for annoying you but there are many Brits on this forum who may be interested in the content and please don't forget that Spain also has a responsibility to the rest of Europe to reduce CO2 emissions so please try to be a bit more tolerant of others.



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16 Jan 2014 13:25 by baz1946 Star rating. 2190 posts Send private message

Even though it's a Spanish forum different points of view and slightly going of track a bit makes for a better forum, broadens the outlook on many things, after all many Brits in Spain are wanting to come back to the UK, could help them decide if in fact the UK is still like the place they left.


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16 Jan 2014 20:31 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

Very interesting numers woodbug.  Can you give us some idea of the source?

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17 Jan 2014 10:34 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

Very interesting numers woodbug.  Can you give us some idea of the source?


The information posted was taken from:

Geocraft USA


The  National Centre for Policy Analysis

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17 Jan 2014 12:01 by ads Star rating. 4019 posts Send private message

I understand your concern re our own Government’s actions (in isolation from the whole) and the immediate impacts, but who is looking to the overall situation and the need to work in tandem across the globe?

Here’s an interesting slant on this, Woodbug, according to,

The Short time horizon of policies and politicians often means that climate change policies are not implemented in favour of socially favoured societal issues. Statements are often posed to keep the illusion of political action to prevent or postpone decisions being made. Missing motives and willingness to start adapting is a large barrier as it prevents any implementation.[194]

Martin Wolfe argued in the Financial Times in 2013 that, in order for effective climate change mitigation to take place, substantial resources needed to be invested in technologies that would deliver a prosperous low-carbon economy. Neither the technology nor the institutions required to deliver it existed in 2013, and hence there was no political will to make effective action.[196]

Which begs the question why did our Government decide to proceed unilaterally at that point in time? Did they do so because they had not sufficiently studied the effects of this strategy on the subsequent costs of homes, or did they proceed with this tack in the hope that the UK would gain a foothold with eco technologies relating to sustainable housing, whilst also appearing willing to make a start on addressing this problem?

Anyway for those interested, according to this wikipedia website, here’s some options to consider re mitigating climate change……

According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases.[116]

Studies indicate that the exploitation of natural gas (as opposed to coal) as a "cleaner" fuel is questionable, as evidence has been emerging that this benefit could be completely negated by methane leakage at gas drilling fields and other earlier points in the production lifecycle.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a method to mitigate climate change by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources such as power plants and subsequently storing it away safely instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says CCS could contribute between 10% and 55% of the cumulative worldwide carbon-mitigation effort over the next 90 years. The International Energy Agency says CCS is "the most important single new technology for CO2 savings" in power generation and industry.

Reducing energy use is seen as a key solution to the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases.

In addition to designing buildings which are more energy-efficient to heat, it is possible to design buildings that are more energy-efficient to cool by using lighter-coloured, more reflective materials in the development of urban areas (e.g. by painting roofs white) and planting trees.[125][126] This saves energy because it cools buildings and reduces the urban heat island effect thus reducing the use of air conditioning.

A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that accumulates and stores some carbon-containing chemical compound for an indefinite period, such as a growing forest. A negative carbon dioxide emission on the other hand is a permanent removal of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, such as directly capturing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and storing it in geologic formations underground.

Pristine temperate forest has been shown to store three times more carbon than IPCC estimates took into account, and 60% more carbon than plantation forest.[133]

Restoring grasslands store CO2 from the air into plant material. It is estimated that increasing the carbon content of the soils in the world’s 3.5 billion hectares of agricultural grassland by 1% would offset nearly 12 years of CO2 emissions.[135


One other aspect to consider relates to rising sea levels.

Here’s the details of a film that focuses on the breathtaking rate at which glaciers are disappearing.

James Balog, an acclaimed photographer and once a sceptic about climate change, has discovered through his videos (that have compressed years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion), that the rate at which they are disappearing is far in excess of anything previously anticipated, and he has presented this evidence to the scientific fraternity.

The film is called “Chasing Ice”.




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19 Jan 2014 15:55 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

Some very interesting points Ads and your contribution is a fair example of how well shrouded and fused the whole issue of ‘Global Warming’ has become.  We are led to believe that Global warming is caused by the emission of ‘greenhouse gasses’ although the overall emission of the three greenhouse gasses (CO2 – CH4 & N20) are natural and only a very small amount is attributable to human activity. The fourth offender is supposedly CFC which is a wholly anthropogenic contribution. Chlorine levels in the atmosphere are falling rapidly as a result of bans imposed (1996) in the EU and USA and are predicted to return to natural levels within the next 40 years.

Water vapor accounts for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect and is 99.9% of natural origin. Many reports use figures that completely ignore the major effects of water vapor in the greenhouse accounting system which will distort human contributions hugely. Another misleading factor is that the percentage figures given are often confused between total emission and man-made emission, therefore figures become distorted.

The main focus by governments is on man-made carbon emissions, which are around 3.25% of the total emitted globally from all sources, natural and anthropogenic.  Rogue industries such as alumuinium and cement manufacture account for a huge slice of carbon emissions during manufacture and then if you factor in the whole of life embodied energy required from cradle to grave this increases the count quite significantly.

New buildings do not need bureaucratic unworkable and expensive sustainable codes (UK or EU) working toward a zero emission that will contribute an insignificant reduction in emissions at a huge cost to the project.  All buildings using Modern Methods of Construction can achieve a low U value target very simply and inexpensively, to reach an almost zero emission. Buildings today can easily achieve a value of 0.08W/m²K (zero being 0.01W/m²K) without any special or expensive additions by simply using modern materials on stock in the builders merchants.

Ecology, Green Building or Sustainable Construction - call it what you will, has to have a cross-roads where common sense meets the economics relative to its results.

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26 Jan 2014 10:24 by windtalker Star rating. 1679 posts Send private message

Was there any such thing as a green building code in Spain  every house or flat I have ever seen is built out of substandard concrete with no cavity walls and not even a hint of insulation all Spanish properties fail the energy efficiency test  and can only manage a F or G scoring the current requirement is a U value of no more than 4.5  that equates to B and C rating that is why your heating and air conditioning cost so much to run you sweat like a pig in the summer and freeze like you're sitting in a fridge in the winter.


This message was last edited by windtalker on 26/01/2014.

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26 Jan 2014 11:39 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

I know little of Spanish building codes as they are difficult to access, but we have an apartment built in 2006, apparently to improved building codes which is reasonable during the summer, but like a tomb during the winter months.

The construction is mainly of concrete with no edge insulation for the floors, so they represent a huge thermal flywheel and the external walls are of a double-width terracotta block with polystyrene injected into the gaps.  The block is some 200mm thick and retains all of it's traditional heat bridges making it about as good as a chocalate tea pot in resisteing energy transfer.

I have found this thread interesting and informative, so I have done a little more investigation into the reason why the figures do not include atmospheric water.  It seems from a fairly cursory review that environmentalists see see water as a constant, therefore not influencing unduly the increase, or decrease in global warming and that water forms clouds which reflect heat away from the earth.

To me both claims seem nonsense.  Although it is suggested that other gasses, such as CO2 have a gearing up effect on the amount of water in the atmosphere, it is still insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  White clouds will only reflect radiation at the wavelengths of light and not stop the wavelenths that create heat once they strike the earth, the atmospheric moisture will then trap this heat and create global warming, otherwise we would all freeze to death.  In any case clouds only exist over a percentage of the earths surface and it is the invisible, entrained moisure which creates the blanket around the earth forming the vast majority of suspended atmospheric moisture.

I have always doubted the environmentalists claims of man made global warming and this thread has confirmed my suspicion.  One word of caution Woodbug.  The sources you quote are US based and there is no national interest there to recognise that GW exists.  Some of their figures must therefore be reviewed very carefully.


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26 Jan 2014 13:53 by windtalker Star rating. 1679 posts Send private message

It has been Ileagal all over the E.U since 2006 and that includes Spain to build a property that does not have a U value of a minimum value of 4.5 % how are the Spanish getting round the E.U directive and still building shody substandard constructions .

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27 Jan 2014 14:32 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

The poor quality of Spanish construction is a result of Spain refusing to embrace change and problems created by the introduction of the Eurocodes.  In 1976 work began on the Eurocodes which were part introduced in 2010 (only 34 years in the making). The objective of the programme was the elimination of technical obstacles to trade and the harmonisation of technical specifications by means of technical rules which, in the first stage, would serve as an alternative to the national rules in force in the Member States and, ultimately, would replace them.

As usual the powers that be got it wrong and the whole system is a complicated set of rules that some countries adhere to and others don’t. Spain does have its own building code called the Codigo Tecnico de la Edificacion which is supposed to work in a similar way to the UK building regulations. Spain’s building code is way below the UK and most other EU countries own rules and the standards are so poor that a UK building inspector would not allow any works to be carried out if applied there. A reasonable and affordable minimum U value for walls should be around 0.26W/m²K and Spain’s minimum level for a rendered masonry building is 0.33W/m²K. Most countries require 3rd party proof that the building meets the demanded level by way of tests on the completed envelope and failure to comply results in the withholding of building regulation compliance certification.

As most Spanish buildings rely on heavy-side quarry products – there is no thought for sustainable construction and as air-tightness isn’t considered the completed buildings generate high carbon emissions (and high energy bills).

Damp and condensation is always a problem as no DPC is installed and clear air cavities, vapour barriers, trickle vents etc are unheard of. The levels of  insulation installed, if any, serves no purpose hence high heat loss in winter and the re-radiator effect in summer as the building becomes a huge heat storage unit. Resistance to passage of sound plays no part in Spanish building so airborne and impact noise is high and can be detrimental to health.

I have never understood why houses that cost so little to build, cost so much to buy and take so long to complete.

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27 Jan 2014 19:53 by ads Star rating. 4019 posts Send private message

Thanks for the educative postings

In an article in the Sunday Times (28th Jan) by Dominic Lawson

it was stated….

we are now being told by experts on solar physics  that we are heading into a period of exceptional inactivity on the surface of our local star – and therefore one of exceptionally cold temperatures. “I’ve never seen anything quite like this”, Richard Harrison, the head of space physics at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC. And Yuro Navogitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory is quoted along similar lines by Voice of Russia: “ We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.“ In other words, we need extra greenhouse effect if we are not to suffer countless more fatalities from hypothermia and permafrosted farms.”

Here’s another article that explains further about the sun “falling silent”

What is concerning is the suggested timeframe of impact ….. possibly 40years.

What is your take on this Woodbug?

But more’s the point…. how does this science relate to rising sea levels from increasing and speedy glacial melt in the interim (evidenced by the film “Chasing Ice”) that has the potential to influence mass migration (next generation)? Can European Governments afford to be complacent and not take action to prepare for these “events”? At what point do you start to take notice of these scientific analyses and physical evidence?

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29 Jan 2014 11:51 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

All very interesting posts on this subject and it is clear that most of us don’t trust the information that we are being fed. My earlier post had information taken from US and Canadian sources because they have no reason to be biased. The US did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol and Canada resigned from its membership in 2012.

My own view is that the figures for anthropogenic contribution to CO2 emission, allegedly the main cause of global warming, are tiny in the big picture and our efforts to reduce our contribution would make not a scrap of difference.

A simple question is: If the planet is warming at such an alarming rate – how could the following weather pattern occur?

  1. Snow in Florida this week
  2. December 2013 was the coldest month in Pakistan for more than 30 years
  3. 2102 Snow in Vietnam and Indonesia
  4. Cairo had the first snow in 100 years
  5. Columbia had snow for only the second time in 124 years

Sound more like global cooling to me! Would it be cynical to suggest that the massive industry created and huge government revenues that are generated on the back of ‘global warming’ have all taken advantage of a non-existent situation?

Perhaps this is why the UK government has dumped the silly Sustainable Code – before being exposed for the scam it is.

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