It would appear a rather normal day, however when you look at it at the end of it, you discover that actually a lot happened and all for a better. As such I decided to once write a real blog – just something about me and myself.

Greenfell towers brought me back into reality as to what we as architects are supposed to be doing: Designing buildings for people to safely life and work in them. So I made a conscious decision to delete all plywood and combustible materials in the cladding system of my high-rise reclad project. Weathertightness is one thing, fire safety another. Before doing so I checked out the various fires that happened over the last year and a half or so in Dubai and only realised that we seem not to hear from them a lot – but they happened and still continue to happen – complete buildings with 80 odd floors light up – one was titled “the torch”. Scary.

Many fires break out of windows and go up the facade, burst windows above and enter the next storey that way. Fireproof glass and windows might be one option (with one not being able to open a window) or simply installing sprinklers.

After the series of fires in Dubai in the last 1.5 years, the West has been pretty loud about the deficiencies, forgotten that those towers were predominantly designed by western engineers and after London we should probably rather shut up and get our own legacy sorted.

Try google images for some thought provoking pictures.

Image credit Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Secondly I got my confirmation that I have successfully re-registered as GreenStar accredited professional (GSNZAP) with 97.5%. Not too bad and okay at the end to have a refresher, although I went through the whole thing already 6 years ago. But somehow my registration expired, nobody told me or send me an invoice or similar. Well, at least now I know.

And last but not least Babbage got their 5 year of carboNZero certification results confirmed. Good results and although we could be tracking better, in relative terms we doing well, compared to our KPI’s.

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Pieces of salada crisp bread, broken up and stacked up

SALADA

I have been a scout leader for more than a decade now and one of the things we learnt and what we try and teach the kids is SALADA. This is an acronym for “Stop Assess Listen Allocate Do Assess again”. It is also symbolised by a piece of the brand salada crisp bread that you try and stuff into your mouth in one big piece – which does hardly work – without pain that is. So the lesson from this is also that you need to break it down into chunks to eat it. Just like you have to break down your task into manageable chunks to do them. This aligns with the “Allocate” in SALADA, ie break it up and give your team members jobs.

COP26 – Just another talk? Up to you!

It’s that time of the year again – ground hog day – another global leader meeting to tackle climate change. Or to talk about tackling climate change.
Do whatever you can – at home or work, in your job, in your projects.
It’s up to you, not anyone else.

Horrible Hybrids – A reminder

Michael Braungart and William McDonough called them “horrible hybrids” in their 2002 book “Crade to Cradle”. Things that are fused together from different materials that cannot be separated and thus not recycled.

Soybeans in a supermarket in China

What to eat those days?

Being married to a vegetarian and not cooking extra at home, the family tend to eat vegetarian – with lots of soy products. So this post is more of a collection of thoughts around soy products. And yet again there’s confusing information out there. The general perception is that soy is good for you: Non-animal, vegan, high in protein, etc.

But then you do a bit of research and googling and find quite contradicting information as well.

Kiwibuilds 100,000 homes progress

The average build numbers according to my article published in 2018 would have been ~30,000 homes by now. The actual stats are somewhat lower than that: 934 – yes: 934. Even if we would say that starting up is hard and the initial output would have been lower, would we maybe not have expected 20,000 homes? But we got 934.

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