This page is for resources relating to the forthcoming publication by the Campaign against Climate Change.

Spreadsheet showing how training and workforce can be ramped up, with retrofitted home numbers alongside:

Background information to this:


Passivhaus Exercise

Part of my homework on the AECB’s Passivhaus “Bitesize” course was to take a brief look at a project I had worked on and assess it in terms of PH criteria. The exercise can be downloaded here:

Heroic “watercolour” image of the block’s extensive south-west facing glazing

The assessment appears to show that the basic form of the block could allow a Passivhaus approach. However the south-west facing glazing which isn’t shaded by balconies would benefit from solar shading, and the arrangement of glazing in the block as a whole could be improved.

In terms of building fabric the overall insulation amounts are good, and there is triple glazing, but the nature of the construction (light gauge steel framing on a concrete base) and the known quality (sadly very poor) mean that airtightness in the finished building is likely to be low, ie it will be leaky.

At the same time, even though the building has Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), the actual performance of this will be constrained by the thin section ductwork and long and sometimes complex duct routes. This usually means the system is both less effective and noisier – and if it’s too noisy people may try to switch it off. Then they will either suffer poor air quality or by using the windows in cold weather, excess heat losses.

The design performance if it was all built well gives an energy use of 56.5 kWh per m2 of floor space per annum. This compares with the Passivhaus standard of 15kWh per m2.

Reducing the number of flats on the site to allow better disposition of glazing, more dual aspect flats, and simpler built form, together with a more generous floor-to-floor height with more space for high quality, quieter ductwork, would have allowed a massively better energy performance (using about a quarter of the energy required now), and improved wellbeing.

That would be seven times more than the photovoltaic panels (PV) currently contribute. Or put another way, if PV panels were extended slightly they could contribute more than half the total energy use of a Passivhaus block.

These are all my estimations based on a limited training in Passivhaus, so not to be taken as evidence, but rather food for thought.

Passivhaus Exercise

Little Paradise Plot 4 revised proposals

Comments for the Bedminster Green Campaign and Windmill Hill & Malago Planning Action Group (WHAM)


Note there is an error in the appendix it says “Bedminster Green” for the location of the pollution “canyon” measured by the consultants, when it should say Bedminster Parade. Will update the pdf soon.

Little Paradise Plot 4 revised proposals


(from letter to local press June 2018)

As an architect working in the residential sector over the last 30 years I have seen the argument for “high density” used to justify some very destructive redevelopments. At first the justifications seem compelling – we need homes, more people could support more shops and (in theory) other facilities, we use less green land, and “we can provide more affordable housing” (as Urbis are arguing in Bristol).

But in practice these arguments have been used falsely, to justify greed. High rise developments where common areas are mean, amenity space is minimal, and connection to the ground or neighbours limited, have become the new norm. Either expensive, aimed at childless people working long hours or out a lot, or if “affordable”, very unsuited to people with children and ordinary jobs and family networks. Not a “forever home”, for sure. And the biggest con is using the need for affordable housing as an excuse to cram.

The cost of land is linked to what you think you will be able to squeeze on to it.

If we had properly enforced standards about the quality of new homes and the impact on the neighbourhood then densities would generally be limited, and if the amount of affordable housing was also enforced then landowners would have to sell at a price that works for such developments. Better still would be democratic or community ownership of land.

But right now it’s the wild west – if I own a plot I wait till someone gets planning permission for the tallest, meanest scheme they can market, and sell the land to them.

We should not be conned into allowing unaffordable anti-social housing to use up valuable land in our community, which could provide better.








End Right To Buy, buy back stock

Let councils borrow against HRA

Stop councils from selling off their own land – it is a public resource and should be used for council housing, community facilities or recreation

Use planning system to restrict over-development which inflates land values

CPO land on the back of the above

Consider tax on land value gains

Be more critical of viability reports – employ our own experts (not BNP as currently in Bristol), challenge figures

Central government needs to back councils in refusing schemes which don’t provide social housing

Social rent housing is the only really affordable tenure in terms of normal wages

Put extra money into housing by increasing taxes on all above-average earners – make an offer to the electorate – pay more and get a better society

Show how good most  council housing is and be prepared to criticise private developments. Make council housing the exemplar for best green practice –


Excess rooms – encourage people to let them out, backed-up schemes and propaganda



Increase standards for insulation

Promote local generation of renewable energy – house by house, estate by estate, street by street

Restore viable feed-in tarrifs so people can get paid for surplus electricity and thus incentivised to produce it

Restore subsidised scheme for insulating lofts and walls of old properties, and double or triple glazing

“1 Million Climate Jobs”  – https://www.campaigncc.org/sites/data/files/Docs/one_million_climate_jobs_2014.pdf

Stop “greenwash” used to justify high density (and usually unaffordable) housing with little amenity and relationship to community, where flats change hands and people can’t settle

Every home a wanted home. Build less but better – and affordable. Provide space to enjoy nature, grow food, mingle and play. Provide storage space, workrooms, guest rooms, laundry rooms – either within dwellings or shared

Impose construction apprenticeships on all building contracts over a certain size. With part of the apprenticeship in college learning and discussing green construction. Young builders as the advocates of improvement.

Restore “Lifetime Homes” concept to planning requirements – so homes are adaptable for things like changed family units, disability

Learn from the continued appeal of Victorian and Georgian houses which despite poor insulation (which can be improved) have proved themselves very sustainable in other ways

Have government-funded research into green building and infrastructure, and climate change. Why are we still building in flood planes in the old way? Why don’t we put shutters on the outside of our windows to control heat? Why don’t all new offices and schools have cooling labyrinths as part of Building Regs?




Craig White – White Design & UWE. Practising architect with track record in green and self-build and co housing projects. Involved currently with Bristol City Council in Ashton Vale (I think)



Jackson Moulding – Ecomotive, SNUG house. Founder-builder at St Werburgh’s, promoting green construction and renewable energy, and manageable self-build


Rachel Butler – Tiny House – co-housing project (incl some self-build)


Jasper Thompson – Help Bristol Homeless – innovative short term help for homeless people who help to build their own container homes










LANDAID – property industry charity to help homeless. Dubious in many respects but worth knowing about –




WK is a practising architect in housing, with over 30 years’ experience of delivering social and affordable homes including for the GLC, London Boroughs of Haringey & Islington, and many RSLs. His scheme at Pankhurst Avenue Brighton won the Evening Standard Housing Award for “Best Affordable Development” in the South East in 2013, and had received the personal endorsement and support of Labour & Green councillors in Brighton including the leader of the council.

He was an early member and campaigner in Defend Council Housing which has helped to restore local authorities’ right to build.  As a council tenant he served as been secretary of the Ossulston Street Tenants & Residents’ Association in Camden for many years, and went on to found the Fields Estate TRA in Hackney which he was secretary of between 1999 and 2005. As well as seeking estate improvements and organising community events he was involved in campaigning against the privatisation of council housing in both Camden and Hackney.

He is currently a supporter of ACORN and has personally campaigned for Labour and Green votes over the last decade depending on the manifesto offerings. He supports Jeremy Corbyn’s social policies though would be keen to see them strengthened.



In memory of Alan Walter – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2009/mar/16/alan-walter-obituary

and with thanks to Shona Jemphrey for inspiring & encouraging these notes