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Concerns over designs for modern buildings

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Two things concern me about many of the buildings you have featured over the past year or so.

First, exposed steel is much more widely used than it used to be. Presumably it is now relatively cheap.Much of this is wide flat steel channels and angles used horizontally. Your details do not state if this steelwork is galvanised, which must surely be essential in these situations, but even if it is, maintenance is still necessary.

Those of us working decades ago in public sector housing, schools and hospitals could perhaps be forgiven for expecting that our buildings would receive an occasional lick of paint, but no one today should have any such illusions.

My second concern is the fashion for untreated external boarding in oak or cedar. It is suggested that use of these materials should be applauded because they are 'sustainable'. I always thought that oak and cedar trees were very slow growing - can regeneration really keep up with demand? These timbers are almost always used in small panels without joints, which must increase wastage enormously.

Peter Randall, East Molesey, Surrey

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