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I read your article stating that the UK has a deficit in housing architects and that this may scupper the government's housebuilding plans (AJ+ 22.09.05). This surely would be a good thing!

I have seen all manner of individuals jump on the sustainability bandwagon, yet to date the glaringly obvious has not been spelt out: suburban low-density environments are drastically less efficient in terms of energy emissions of buildings - and energy emissions of the population travelling to their local facilities and work - than the European models of four- to six-storey urban-block, mixed-use type environments (of which Berlin is a fine example). The £60K house, essentially a building block of suburbia, propagates car ownership and provides more surface area per dwelling for heat energy to escape.

As a nation we are now wealthier than we have ever been, so why are we pursuing cheap and unsustainable building forms which will have to be regenerated just as the existing housing stock of the 1950s, '60s and '70s is now, at great expense?

Steve Burghes-White, WA Projects

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