Publications and other research coverage in the press:
The huge carbon cost of new brick means it’s time to turn to alternatives, such as stone, timber – or even recycled and reclaimed brick, says Anna Beckett.
A simpler approach to construction, using fewer materials and layers that work together, would create buildings that are less complex, says Steve Webb.
There are good reasons why we choose the tried and tested, but too often that stifles innovative thinking and the potential for progress, says Anna Beckett.
Anna Beckett and Tom Webster talk about key construction materials, where they explain the potential to reuse or recycle materials such as concrete and steel.
In the second article of her new series, engineer Anna Beckett asks why an embodied carbon assessment isn’t done as standard on every project.
In the first of a new series, engineer Anna Beckett shows how some fresh thinking could solve apparently intractable issues.
Surface water flooding not only affects infrastructure and property, it can also cause loss of life. As we focus on refurbishing and refitting existing buildings, we should take the problem more seriously, Tom Webster writes.
Cutting out the layers can make buildings more sustainable, argues Steve Webb.
If the economics of your project make concrete irresistible, there are still ways to minimise its carbon impact. Steve Webb and Liam Bryant explains how.
Enlightened designers and local authorities often consider timber construction, but the same objections seem to crop up. So what’s stopping everyone? Asks Steve Webb
The economy needs some big infrastructure projects. How about burying a few roads, asks Steve Webb.
Despite its embodied carbon, masonry is still the default construction method. What are the alternatives?
Fire and loadings limit structural timber in towers but concrete is carbon heavy. How about using the strengths of each?
The use of rammed earth in UK and European architecture is on the rise. Scott Boote, associate at Webb Yates Engineers, makes the case for using this ancient method in contemporary construction.
Home extension projects can be very heavy on embodied carbon, but there are greener ways to manage the load – and they’re cheaper too.
Housebuilding is central to plans to kickstart the economy, but we need to start rethinking the way we build if ‘build back better’ is to avoid severe environmental damage, says Steve Webb, Director, Webb Yates.
Not all contemporary innovation is about exploiting digital fabrication or creating wild new forms. By applying a new way of thinking to traditional materials and craft, geometrically simple and innovative structures can be realised that are both elegant and environmentally ethical.
To utilise stone’s high ratio of compressive to tensile strength to maximum effect, stone structures can be compressed using tensioned cables or bars. Post-tensioned stone increases the failure load of stone in bending, but also the stiffness of a structure by reducing joint cracking.
Since the construction of the first British example of a cantilever stone staircase (Inigo Jones’ ‘tulip’ staircase in Queen’s House in Greenwich, 1629–35), this technique has served as both grand statement and modest utility. The structural principles are now widely understood, but by adopting a creative approach to structural analysis, design and detailing, they can be combined and extrapolated to design and construct more refined structures in myriad applications.
Dimension stone has been employed as a structural material for thousands of years, but its use has declined in recent times.
If you’re looking for a low carbon, reusable material that is strong, robust and beautiful, stone is ready for a revival.
Design decisions on materials are disproportionately damning the world to further climate change. Some stark numbers put it in context.