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Righteous Greens need to send in the professionals


Loved the ageist letter last week from The Earnest Sandals, aka Messrs Patience and Murphy. I think they took exception to my poking fun at their risible grasp of English - and to my failure to take Green posturing with the intense seriousness they seem to believe it merits. I happen to believe that Green design and Green specifying do indeed merit intense seriousness. But, read my lips, that does not include rather a lot of Green proselytisers. What I said was: '?despite the self-appointed holiness of some of its hierophants, there are absolutely no good reasons for not going Green.' It turned out that www. greenspec.

co. uk was not quite up to snuff. Not yet.

Saying that is hardly an attack on Green values. It's an evaluation, according to rather boring and standard usability criteria, of the current performance of one would-be Internet information site.

People who work with worthy causes frequently begin to conflate the virtue of the cause with the righteousness of their own actions. Because my cause is sacred, anything you say about me (that I personally do not like) is blasphemy.

We all know where that leads. It does Green no good at all. Neither does a notgreat website whose amateurishness merely reinforces the suspicion that shambling yoghurt-knitting is still a popular activity. A Green specification website has a potentially crucial function for architects and the planet. So it seems to be unexceptional to suggest its promoters get in a professional. That is what we all do (don't we? ) when people ask about how best to get a building designed and built.

At least GreenSpec does not charge people to look at the information it has on its site. Interestingly, the Housing Corporation does - or, at least, one of its cohorts, Building Lifeplans, does. If you have £100 to spare you might hand it over to the BPL Construction Durability Database at www. componentlife. com.

Presumably if you do social housing you more or less have to. Do you feel queasy too? An early item, surely, for Jon Rouse to ponder.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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