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. . . when it should be taught from the start


In the editorial of January's Architectural Review, Peter Davey stresses that: 'All students should be taught about the importance of the ecological imperative from the first hour of their first year.' He later adds to firmitas, utilitas and venustas 'a fourth criterion for judgement of architecture: restitutas, restitution, in which the act of building enhances the environment in an ecologically responsible manner.'

Professor Michael Wigginton's glazed extension (AJ 18.1.01) undoubtedly scores highly on the first three criteria but surely, on Davey's fourth criterion, it is lamentably lacking. It does not need 'TA S computer modelling' to know that an allglass, heated living space is, in energy terms, profligate. If solar gain can reach 'between 20 and 30kW/h per day in December, ' what happens on cloudy days in December or at nights in subzero temperatures? Who needs to worry about cold bridges when the whole outer wall is single glazed?

If there is a secret to this building, please tell us, as I hope Professor Wigginton will tell his students 'from the first hour of their first year'.

Mike Baldwin, Thoverton, Devon

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