It's always a good idea to reduce CO2 emissions where possible, but making choices between materials needs a life-cycle analysis to be sure the reductions are real. We have used concrete structures on many occasions so that their thermal mass can help to stabilise internal temperatures and, in consequence, save energy in the long term. Various studies comparing timber or steel with concrete show a range of results, so it's not as simple as it sounds.
Vonier's list is far too all-embracing and, as such, it risks achieving very little. Architects need to prioritise climate change, which was the main headline at COP24, ie; reduction of greenhouse gases through good design. Architects can only do this if we are central to the design and construction process; maybe the Grenfell Inquiry will help provide a focus on this for different but equally important reasons.
It would be good to see the view down North Bridge on axis with Register House.
Along with numerous other architects like Tim Ronalds, we too have had to re-apply to build out our 'own' projects because of the peculiarly British interpretation of the OJEU regulations. Sometimes we're successful, sometimes not but it is heartbreaking for us and not good for the project when the design continuity is broken. Better procurement guidance is desperately needed to show clients (and lawyers) they don't have to do it this way.
Mike Hussey and Claire Bennie (in a separate article) are saying that architects need to engage with industry more, to ensure that the projects they conceive are buildable. It's depressing that the majority of comments following these articles are on the lines that "we don't have to listen to this stuff; these clients are flawed". Really? Is that what the profession thinks? I had hoped that the disdain for the commercial sector had been left behind in the 1970s but apparently not. However, many architects have shown that it is possible to produce a very high standard of architecture for developers and property owners, when the circumstances are right. Instead of being so cynical about commercial architecture we should be debating how to do it best, how to engage with the contractors and how to interpret the needs of the all-important clients.