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In response to the letters from Hank Dittmar and Robert Adam (AJ 15.02.07), I would be very interested to see Mr Adam's designs being built more widely. My fear is that, for instance, not many could afford chimney stacks that they will rarely use. Will we be shown how the one-time Modernist Palladio would have tackled sustainability issues in house design (not to mention volume house design)? There was no better designer of houses - on my 60th birthday I set out to see his work in the Veneto!

Who knows what a zero-energy estate will look like in 50 years time? Adam mentions tall windows and locally sourced materials - I like the sound of this for the Thames Gateway but I doubt if there will be more than one opportunity for a nice tall window per house, and maybe some of the cement in the foundations could be made within sight of the development. Yes, thermal mass could play a big part, though is it better embedded within the house or as a shell around it? And with energy more scarce in the future will we wear more woollies like our ancestors?

I'll look out for correspondence from your readers. Don't let me wait too long - it's rather uncomfortable on this fence!

Jeffery Smith, Jeffery Smith Associates

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