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Friday, 23 July 2010

Passivhaus Development

Another curious feature of the Planning Committee on Tuesday was the appearence of former Camden councillor Alex Rowell, who my Camden colleague Theo Blackwell nicknames "Nut roast". Mr Rowell lost his seat at the last election but turned up as Agent to persuade the committee to approve two house conversions in Mapesbury and North Kilburn Conservation Areas.

The system used for these conversions, called passivhaus, claims to be able to remove ninety per cent of carbon emissions, a hugely impressive figure. Unfortunately, the Conservation Area status meant that the Committee could not approve the applications as they relied on external cladding to reduce emissions. A parallel application on the North Kilburn site, using internal rather than external cladding, was approved.

The direction of travel of building is undoubtedly towards more insulation, but I didn't think the cause was helped by Mr Rowell's advocacy as he answered each question by basically repeating that energy conservation is important rather than dealing with the issue.

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