New carbon-negative cement wins Competition

London Development Agency reports

The London Development Agency (LDA) has congratulated a London company that has been recognised for its innovative and environmentally-friendly approach to construction.

The company was recognised for its potential contribution to the engineering and construction industries at the London Technology Fund (LTF) Competition awards ceremony held on Wednesday night at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s head office. Sarah Ebanja, Deputy Chief Executive at the LDA presented the Environment Award to Novacem, a start-up company developing carbon-negative cement.

Novacem, a spin-out from Imperial College London, has developed a groundbreaking type of cement, which has the potential to transform the cement industry from being a significant emitter of CO2 to being an absorber of CO2. Novacem estimates that for every tonne of ordinary Portland cement replaced by Novacem cement, around 0.75 tonne of CO2 could be captured and stored indefinitely in construction products.

[SOURCE: London Development Agency – New carbon-negative cement wins LDA-supported London Technology Fund Competition]

Burning issue of Spain’s wetlands

Tablas de Daimiel (España) {{es|Tablas de Daim...

Image via Wikipedia

Aljazeera.net reports

The European Union is asking Spain why one of its precious wetland reserves has been allowed to dry up so much that the peat which lies beneath the surface is on fire.

Ecologists blame the mismanagement of water resources and over-irrigation for the environmental tragedy in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park, which is part of a UNESCO biosphere and has EU protection.

Read more at the [SOURCE: Aljazeera.net – Burning issue of Spain’s wetlands]

Related article Spanish wetland facing destruction – [guardian.co.uk]

Atkins set to poach talent from design-led practices

A view over Glasgow from Queen's Park in the c...Glasgow – Image via Wikipedia

Building Design reports

The country’s biggest employer of architects has set its sights on wresting design-led work away from “complacent” signature practices by recruiting more creative designers……..
A team led by Atkins recently beat five others, including Frank Gehry, to land a £300 million new college campus in Glasgow……

Boom in design review prompts new guidance

The number of design review panels has more than doubled in the last five years, so that now almost every local authority has access to high quality independent design advice. Over 80 panels are up and running across England.

New guidance has been launched, Design review: principles and practice, to promote consistently high standards for all panels.

The guidance has been developed by CABE, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Landscape Institute.

[SOURCE: CABE]

Need for green farming schemes in England

Natural England has published a report titled “Agri-environment schemes in England 2009: A review of results and effectiveness”, the report draws on research from the entire 22-year history of the schemes and analyses the impact they have made on England’s farmed environment.

Poul Christensen, Acting Chairman of Natural England, said: “This report provides conclusive proof that agri-environment schemes have again and again demonstrated their value as a fundamental part of the farmed landscape. They have successfully combined the twin goals of caring for the environment and maintaining food production. As well as sustaining our wildlife and heritage, they help combat climate change, educate our children, and deliver local investment and jobs.

To view the full report and summary please visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/aesiereport.aspx

SOURCE: Natural England

Aecom’s Derbyshire urban village submitted for planning

Building Design reports

The application for the £300 million scheme on the outskirts of Chesterfield has gone in to Chesterfield Borough Council and is the largest ever submitted in the town.

Proposals include 1,550 house and apartments along with 2,200 sq m of retail and leisure space along with 30,350 sq m of office accommodation.

Read more at the SOURCE: Building Design – Edaw & Aecom’s Derbyshire urban village
IMAGE SOURCE: Building Design

New Oxford Circus opens in London

Europe’s busiest diagonal crossing was unveiled today by London Mayor Boris Johnson following a £5million makeover which has seen Oxford Circus get the X factor.

For the first time ever shoppers will be able to cross the busy intersection diagonally in an ‘X’ as well as straight ahead – meaning the junction will be able to handle double the number of pedestrians and ease overcrowding.

Taking a lead from Tokyo’s famous Shibuya crossing, renowned for allowing large numbers to cross with ease, Oxford Circus, the gateway to London’s premier shopping destination, has had its barriers and street clutter ripped out and remodelled, giving the 200million shoppers and workers that visit annually around 70 per cent more freedom to move around.

SOURCE: Youtube – Tgear2009 (footage from BBC)

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