JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Low Carbon building at Nottingham University destroyed in High Carbon Fire

As the wonderful Delingpole puts it, timber framed buildings have been banned in the UK since the Great Fire of London in 1666. But in 1999 environmental experts decided it was alright again, and the rules were changed. Nottingham University used all their intellectual prowess and rigorous training, and decided to make their new science labs “Carbon Neutral” in the hope that they might be able to change global weather. The labs were designed to meet the most rigorous bureaucratic rules, but burnt down before they were finished.

Late last week the £20 million GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry was razed.

More than 60 firefighters dealt with the fire at its peak, after the first 999 call at 8.36pm on Friday.

Notts Fire and Rescue Service received more than 150 calls from concerned members of the public as flames and plumes of smoke could be seen for miles around. Social media was filled with photos and messages of shock and support.

It must be comforting to know it was built to the most stringent bureaucratic standards and designed by teams of top research academics.

The building was made with carbon-neutral principles including a timber frame. However, the spokeswoman added: “The building was designed to meet stringent fire regulation requirements.

The building was partly funded by a £12 million grant from GlaxoSmithKline in 2012 to establish a sustainable chemistry laboratory and was due to be completed by 2015, according the the University of Nottingham website.

The shell of the building had been finished, but the project had not yet reached the internal fitting-out phase, according to the university.

The labs, described as state-of-the-art by the university, were designed for use by teams of top research academics.

Maybe the experts just got unlucky?

It was a case study for Carbon Neutral success with grand predictions of how well it would work:

GSK estimates it can save £100 million per annum by 2020 through reduced energy, materials and distribution costs.

Delingpole points out that a 1999 report on fire risks was used to overturn the ban on timber buildings. The 1999 report claimed that their experimental 6 story timber building burned in a test, but was contained well. They did not mention that the fire reignited overnight and destroyed the top four floors before the firemen could get it back under control. That news came out in 2003. Was anyone sacked for this?

Thank fully, no one was hurt.

—-

PS: When I started this story I thought that it was a case of being a silly idea to make chemical labs out of wood. It was only after I’d written most of it that I searched for the opening date and found it was 2015. This fire really may have been bad luck. Les Johnson in comments points out that construction fires are not that uncommon — the open unfinished buildings don’t have safety equipment or internal walls to slow things.

“These happen a lot, for these reasons; open interior, without fireproofing in the form of plaster board; temporary wiring (jury rigged), portable heat, open chemicals; construction equip, smoke alarms not in, sprinklers not in, etc.”

So for the record, there are lots of timber buildings in the world. I’m still not convinced a Chemistry Lab should be one.

TdeF sees no big issue: The building was carbon neutral and was simply recycled unexpectedly.

 

 

 

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186 comments to Low Carbon building at Nottingham University destroyed in High Carbon Fire

  • #
    scaper...

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    332

    • #
      Aaron M

      What a cheeky headline!!

      Low Carbon building at Nottingham University destroyed in High Carbon Fire

      Got me laffing!!

      121

    • #
      me@home

      “it was built to the most stringent bureaucratic standards and designed by teams of top research academics.” Just like the ugliest building at The University of Melbourne is (was?) the School of Architecture designed by the then Dean of Architecture.

      40

  • #
    James in Perth

    It is not really a laughing matter. Timber construction is used for home building in the US and Australia apparently with no heightened risk. I’m not sure if it makes sense to put up a much larger building made out of timber though.

    120

    • #

      True James, and since the Labs weren’t even running it’s not even a case of high risk chemistry equipment being the cause. It may have been bad luck.

      There are plenty of timber frame buildings in Australia, though not many in Perth. As far as I can tell, it’s not the heat that stops timber frames in Perth, it’s the termites.

      302

      • #
        scaper...

        Jo, I believe the main problem in Perth is Pine Borer. When I went across last year to oversee a project I stayed in a house in Nedlands. It was a beautiful house that had internal hardwood beams, floorboards and VJ walling.

        It is beyond me why Perth houses are mostly on the ground instead of on stumps like Queenslanders. I’m sitting on the front deck now and can feel the cool air coming between the floorboards.

        102

        • #

          In fast growing Broome, steel is used almost exclusively in preference to termite fodder.

          140

          • #
            Lawrie Ayres

            Mainly because it is easier and cheaper to transport. An entire house fits on one semi trailer. Those who live in Broome are simply pragmatic and not unduly concerned with green madness. Steel frames can also offer better strength to weight ratios and are better suited to cyclone areas.

            130

        • #
          Annie

          That’s good in summer Scaper but I’ve been very cold in Perth in September; I think the Queenslander style suits Queensland but Perth is different.

          41

        • #
          Annie

          That’s good in summer Scaper but I’ve been very cold in Perth in September; I think the Queenslander style suits Queensland but Perth is different.

          00

        • #
          All's right...

          Scaper: I’m by no means an authority on the subject, but here’s my opinion for what it’s worth. Perth doesn’t have the floods that Queenslanders experience. Many builders (particularly in the southern US) have moved to concrete slab foundations when possible because they are economic and relatively easy to plan around with set times for project management. They don’t require intricate geologic or surveyor assessments and are very tolerant of a wide range of different ground conditions. Combined with timber frame construction, they are quick to build and don’t rely on intricate measuring tools, specialised construction tools or a high level of knowledge by construction teams. Construction sub-contractors are easily hired for the task and require minimal supervision. Additionally, concrete slabs retain strength over time and are tolerant of ground movement and resistant to moisture. Nor do they have the same concerns with chemicals used in the construction of the Queenslander home.
          Timber framing has similar advantageous attributes. Notably, timber can be modified easily to account for sloppy slab construction (metal buildings require a higher level of accuracy at all stages), change orders, plan errors, etc. Builders are very conservative when it comes to incorporating new materials especially on the basis that they do not want to come back to a home to make expensive repairs due to product failures.
          As Jo mentions above, there are a multitude of potential fire initiators in a building under construction negated to some extent by the fact that the building is still open and typically under trained eyes familiar with their equipment and practices for most of the day.

          50

      • #
        Bewitch

        There is a big difference between timber framed and timber clad buildings. Timber framing is surprisingly effective in retaining structural integrity during fire exposure especially compared to steel designed to the same structural standards. So why has this building been levelled by fire?
        The main problem is that high span structural elements are composite meaning they are made from thinner pieces and glued together. When the entire large scale building is made of timber composites they are usually then formed into hollow sections especially where rigidity is required. Lastly in a large structure which has no window glass which is the case during construction when combined with vaulted spaces, you have essentially constructed a self fuelling incinerator. What you have here is a bunch of people who have forgotten the first rule of construction.. That is nearly all catastrophic failures occur then. Good luck with the rebuild but next time include fire prevention systems from the outset.

        160

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        Jo, as a Pest Management expert all my working life, I can assure you that termites in Perth are no different or more voracious than they are in Sydney of Brisbane. If you want to see termites that you can actually hear chewing your house down go north of the Tropic and experience Mastotermes darwiniensis!

        80

      • #
        Grant (NZ)

        After the earthquakes in Christchurch, there has been a swing back to wooden buildings – a goof thing in my opinion. Wooden buildings have more “give” in them than concrete and/or steel (at least as long as the nutters don’t get hold of the building code).

        In Christchurch some very old wooden houses moved off their piles but were able to be reinstated relatively easily. Wooden framed buildings, of a more recent vintage, on concrete raft floors were virtually written off. The trend to very rigid “sheet” bracing also lead to quite a lot more damage.

        In the reported fire, it is likely the wooden beams would have not deformed or collapsed as readily as steel frames in a similar fire. Large dimension wooden beams tend to char, but retain their structural integrity, whereas steel can buckle and fail sooner.

        Wood in a fire situation is actually not a dumb idea.

        22

      • #
        Len

        I believe that under AS1684 that timber buildings are limited to two stories.

        20

    • #
      scaper...

      What, no smoke alarms? I live in a timber Queenslander and have no worries concerning fire. My money would be on dodgy wiring.

      80

      • #
        scaper...

        Well if not completed that rules out the wiring because the fit off is in the last stage of construction. Would be interesting to see the plans. Looks like a possible hangar construction from the outside.

        Just completed an ANZAC Memorial Forecourt that will endure for centuries. Used very hard sandstone and concrete. The Memorial Stone is a sandstone boulder sawn in half place in a plinth of steel reinforced concrete of over ten cubic metres.

        That fools shelter reminds me of the Three Little Pigs.

        110

        • #
          Turtle of WA

          Good one scaper, three little pigs. The hippie who owns the property next to me went one better. He built a wall, not with bricks, or sticks (timber) but with straw. Bales of hay, covered in some sort of clay or mud.

          Guess what? It fell over.

          These poor warmists obviously suffered literary neglect when they were small children

          90

          • #
            Annie

            Strawbale houses can be very good but must be constructed properly. BTW…they would be built of well compressed and sealed straw bales, not hay.

            50

        • #
          Annie

          I hope that would last but I can’t help thinking of a friend’s house in Marysville. It was constructed of concrete blocks, most of which actually crumbled in the firestorm of 2009.

          40

          • #
            scaper...

            I had a friend called Annie that loves Marysville. She is a photographer, lost contact over the years.

            I built a house using sandstone blocks many years ago, poured the slab after getting the walls up. It was built to last centuries and I doubt it would be fire effected, structurally.

            The blocks weighed around 40kg…two tennis elbows was the result.

            30

            • #
              Annie

              I hope your tennis elbows are now healed. That sounds like a mammoth job but the result must have been lovely.

              There are lots of new houses in Marysville now…unfortunately there are also hideous oversized public buildings too.

              There seem to be quite a lot of Annes and Annies around this part of Victoria.I can’t think of a photographer though. It is one of my hobbies!

              20

              • #
                Annie

                Photography is one of my hobbies but in abeyance somewhat as we prepare to rebuild. We’ll be using Timbercrete blocks.

                10

    • #
      Streetcred

      I was at the Sun Peaks ski resort, Canada, a few years back where a timber framed hotel under construction had burnt down a few weeks earlier. It makes some sense to build buildings that are prone to short life cycles out of recyclable materials, but chemistry laboratories? Long life span institutional type of buildings … I think not.

      90

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I’m not sure if it makes sense to put up a much larger building made out of timber though.

      Even if all steel and concrete construction was used, how fireproof will all the interior furnishing be?

      As Jo said, this may have caught them at a most vulnerable time with much of the construction detail that could have contained the fire still unfinished.

      The Hotel Del Coronado, affectionatelyknown as The Del, in Coronado, California (an island in San Diego bay), is a huge all wooden hotel begun in 1888. It has survived to this day without a fire. They do have modern fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems but so far have not needed them. It points out that wood frame construction need not be such a bad fire hazard, especially when you consider the hotel’s daily use by the general public for so long.

      If you saw the 1958 movie, Some Like it Hot, one of the all time best comedies by the way, all the Florida resort location scenes were really done at, around and in The Del. Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon were extras compared with the hotel.

      The first link is the hotel web site. But this is a very large 1900 picture of the hotel from the front with the main entrance to the left. The roof color is symbolic of The Del and as far as I know has never been changed. It took my breath away as we drove up the first time we stayed there — unfortunately not in one of their best rooms but an annex of more recent concrete block construction, such is the plight of a mere computer programmer.

      Wiki has this to say about it, including history and more pictures.

      It must be one of the worlds foremost high carbon buildings, so much wood, so long lived and yet statistically much safer than the chem lab. ;-)

      I would not build this way today of course. But it points out that wood construction can be quite durable.

      40

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        What can you say; huge and inspiring.

        KK

        10

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          KK,

          Among other things, somewhere in one of those links I read that The Del is the second largest all wood building in either North America or the world, I can’t remember which (getting old is so much fun ;-) ). That’s quite a distinction.

          The web cam sweeps back and forth giving the best view of the whole thing from the surf to the main building. Unfortunately it’s dark here during most of your daylight in Australia and the view in the dark, while it shows the size of the place quit well, doesn’t really do what the daylight view does.

          It’s truly a grand part of our history and culture. And they keep it very well maintained.

          10

  • #
    john karajas

    It really doesn’t matter if you build them by the coast ’cause soon they’ll be covered by the rising seas, or so they say……….!

    140

  • #

    Timber cannot contain superheated irony.

    350

  • #
    Rolf

    My house is wood in Sweden and there is a huge number of houses like this. Wood is good insulation and we do not have termites and it’s easy to build by yourself. Only one thing to watch out for, electricity. Done the right way, no problem Of course lightening is also electricity :-)

    130

    • #

      Other construction material have a limited opportunity to be used. Cement and concrete don’t work too well at temperatures much below 0⁰C.

      When I was last in Sweden, wandering the back streets of Skellefteå one Sunday afternoon in late September, 1987; I noticed that timber construction was favoured; as was gravel for driveways. Switzerland and Austria, as well as alpine Germany tend to favour a “solid” ground floor (with basement) and timber upper stories with timber-framed roof; often also shingles.

      The USA it seems, appears to favour portable houses. I don’t think that that’s to save on building costs.

      Of course, shipping materials to remote places is another issue; where stone is readily formed into usable size; or is already laying around; then stone is used.

      One of the reasons for using material OTHER than timber for construction is that timer was running out in Europe. Timber was both a construction material as well as a fuel for centuries. As populations grew and demand increased, the non-increasing stock of timber caused people to look for other stuff with which to build and heat. The burning of coal saved the forests of Europe; even before the industrial revolution became substantially coal-fired. (Water and wind drove the fledgling industries until steam engines became available.)

      In Western Australia, timber framed houses were (until the late 1960′s) the norm outside of the cities. Still very common in some suburbs and country towns. They were/are timber-clad and often with fibre-sheet (asbestos in some cases; cement in others). Most lacked insulation besides an air-gap in the frames between the fibre-sheeted walls. Even the timber-clad ones didn’t/don’t insulate well; freezing cold in winter and stifling hot in summer.

      50

      • #

        P.S. The blog server’s clock is rong.

        40

      • #
        All's right...

        It was mentioned to me once that the different building materials favoured in the US and Germany relates back to WW2. I haven’t verified it, so take it with grain of salt. North America was awash (and still is) with oil and timber, so the building industry evolved around the resources available. Germany had its oil industry targeted heavily during WW2 and the concrete plants were relatively untouched, so its construction industry evolved around concrete.

        50

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Interesting.

          Vietnam is the same. No timber and huge amounts of clay and limestone.

          Buildings made from clay brick and cement render or concrete and a tiny bit of reo.

          KK

          10

      • #
        Bryl

        That sounds the typical “Queenslander” on stilts. Freezing in winter and damned hot in summer. And the walls are just one sheet thick (VJs), so no sound proofing either. Noise just carries through the house. When I lived in one (as a single parent) I often wondered how couples got on if they had teenage children and wanted to have sex. No loud groans allowed.

        20

  • #
    warcroft

    OT. . .

    Here we go again!

    Climate Council report predicts rising sea levels will cause $200 billion of damage to coastal infrastructure by 2100

    http://www.news.com.au/national/climate-council-report-predicts-rising-sea-levels-will-cause-200-billion-of-damage-to-coastal-infrastructure-by-2100/story-fncynjr2-1227061439094

    “THE Gold Coast would lose its beaches. Sydney’s Opera House would flood every day instead of every 100 years. And 48,000 Victorian homes would be swallowed. All by the end of the century.”

    *facepalm*

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    • #
      Dave N

      They lost me at “predicts”. I haven’t read the article, and likely won’t need to, to discover it is based on models, and bears no resemblence to reality.

      352

    • #
      Jon Reinertsen

      If Tim and Co predicted tomorrow was Thursday, I would check my calendar. Mind you the idea of 48,000 or more climate refugees fleeing Victoria to Queensland, is a wonderful image.

      191

      • #
        Andrew

        If someone makes this kind of prediction, who has bought a waterfront home, would that lead to any suspicions around their conduct?

        100

    • #
      the Griss

      I repeat from last thread.

      At Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour, the sea level rise is 0.65mm/year.

      Even if it continues at this rapid rate, that is only 55mm by 2010. !

      I think we can cope.

      Steffen is becoming real comedy act !

      203

    • #
      aussiebear

      Climate Council report predicts rising sea levels will cause $200 billion of damage to coastal infrastructure by 2100

      …The more accurate title is:

      Climate Council shows why it needs to be shut down by early 2015

      …Alternative title that offers more truth:

      Oink! Oink! Oink! Climate Activists still have their snouts in taxpayer trough!

      202

      • #
        Lawrie Ayres

        As I’m reading your post channel 10 news has Tim Flannery saying 1 in 100 year floods will occur every month. Two things stand out; one, Tim Flannery is still predicting after being perennially wrong and two, the press is reporting him unchallenged. No wonder we are in such dire trouble.

        262

        • #
          aussiebear

          That’s because Channel 10 are completely on-board with Climate Change. (Have you seen their “The Project” TV show?)

          In fact, the mainstream media supports Climate Change. Its pretty darn obvious when they give people like “Flim-Flam” Flannery a microphone without debate or counterpoint.

          They (media) cannot back away from what they’ve done, because to do so will admit they are wrong. And knowing the narcissistic nature of our politically Left infected culture, you will NEVER get an apology or admission of guilt. They cannot be seen to be wrong.

          …Because being on the Left means you never have to apologise for the mess you’ve created.

          On a side note, I just read through Wayne “The Goose” Swan’s book. He NEVER apologised for economically hurting Australia or its people. Its one big narcissistic waste of cut down trees. This is a common trait of Lefties…Re-write history to paint themselves in better light. When everyone knows they screwed up big time. I believe Gillard is doing the same thing. Don’t be surprised if Channel 7 or 9 will be interviewing her in the near future. (Liz Hayes tried to throw one at the Liberals last week with her 60 minutes story…On the very same week Gillard was going to that anti-corruption inquiry? Its pretty obvious who Hayes sides with!)

          So no, I don’t have much faith in mainstream media. The weather info is iffy at best. (Ch 9 news weather girls always goes on about how “this is the hottest or wettest day in X many years”. The only dependable thing is sports highlights and scores.

          132

        • #
          James Bradley

          Which headline would you buy?

          The End of the World is Nigh!

          or

          Natural climate continues!

          Disaster sells – just saying.

          90

        • #
          Mark D.

          If he’s right what is the point of calling them 100 year floods?

          Obviously wrong.

          80

    • #
      Turtle of WA

      I tried to call the Climate Council today to ask why they contradict the IPCC.

      They don’t list their number. You have to e-mail and request the number. They are obviously sick of answering to the public. This is good news. They are putting up barricades and hunkering down in the trenches because they know they are losing. And of course it’s hard to staff a phone room without access to our taxes, as when they were the commission.

      131

      • #
        Peter C

        We still have the B…Climate Commission ie Bernie Fraser and Co.

        The Government may not be able to disband it at present without the support of the other parties. But I don’t understand why they have not replaced all the members with sensible people, eg like Jo.

        81

    • #
      The Backslider

      Has anybody calculated just what it would take for sea levels to rise at 13mm/year starting now?

      How many cubic meters or gigatons of ice must melt. How much energy would that take?

      50

  • #
    Jon Reinertsen

    Timber framed building may have been banned in the UK since 1662, but there are still awful lot of them. They are generally grade two listed and have an annoying habit of not burning down.
    it’s not the timber, there is something else behind this fire. Deliberate or an accident, I’m sure we won’t be told.

    I am more worried about the three whacking great chimneys on the top of the building. What sort of noxious gases were they designed to spread to the neighbours?

    140

  • #
    Peter Miller

    As with almost everything in ‘climate science’, the solutions to supposed non-problems are plagued by the Laws of Unintended Consequences.

    The reason?

    It is the same as with socialist logic, the zealots and fanatics only consider that if you do A, then that will result in B and that is good.

    The problem is that B will then result in C, D and E, which are not good and make things much worse than if A had never been done.

    ‘Free’, green, renewable energy is a case in point. Sounds good and is obviously a great way of saving the world from the ravages of the evil gas carbon dioxide – well, you might think that if you are a dullard, but the problems are that renewable energy is:

    1. Hideously expensive and thus requires huge capital investment and operating subsidies.

    2. Notoriously unreliable – clouds and night time for solar power – high pressure systems for wind power and of course when you need the energy most, when it is very hot or cold, then high pressure and low winds will be there too.

    3. Hugely inefficient, as it requires the back up of fossil fueled conventional power stations.

    4. Disrupts the flow of energy in national grids causing severe distribution problems.

    5. Classic short termism, as the efficient life times of renewables is generally less than half that of conventional fossil fueled power stations.

    6. Ugly, as well as being dangerous to all flying creatures.

    So, the dullards decide that all this “green crap” is good for us in the name of “saving the planet.”

    Anyhow, the one thing we can all be sure of is this, when it comes to implementing green strategies, the full consequences of implementing them will never have been considered, either because they were inconvenient, or their authors were eco-fanatics and/or dullards.

    212

    • #
      Lawrie Ayres

      Pierre Goselin has a story about a partial solar eclipse on the 23 September which will suddenly black out a lot of solar panels. A grid failure is a likely outcome. It might drive home the message that it was the sun all along.

      70

      • #
        Andrew

        That’s about 400 milliflanneries on the metric BS scale. A partial eclipse is less “sudden” than a cloud, sunset etc.

        70

  • #
    Les Johnson

    Its a construction fire. Not all the safety equipment was in, and the interior was probably still open, which speeds the fire.

    These happen a lot, for these reasons; open interior, without fireproofing in the form of plaster board; temporary wiring (jury rigged), portable heat, open chemicals; construction equip, smoke alrams not in, sprinklers not in, etc.

    80

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      star comment3-4 hours after knock-off Friday evening is classic timing for some construction related source left going. Don’t think it was deliberately lit, although you can’t rule it out.

      The design appears to flaunt common sense in every possible way. Chemical laboratories are notoriously prone to fires, and wood construction is the choice of a moron. I wonder if the individual rooms obeyed the basic rule – always have at least 2 ways out of any part of a laboratory.

      Bewitched 2.1.2 suggests composite wood to blame. This is very much wood by weight with 5-10% cross linked acrylic, which wouldn’t be any more combustible than straight wood. The whole design idea is moronic. Bernd Felsche 5.1 suggests concrete problems but building was going on in summer, and even in England that doesn’t involve freezing temperatures (unless Al Gore dropped in?). In any case preformed concrete e.g. Hebel ‘foamed’ type would be suitable insulating room divider construction.

      Those exhaust chimneys are stupid. Typical greenie idea, get rid of smells, obnoxious material etc. by blowing it high in the air. A powered exhaust feeding an after-burner would eliminate smells, neighbours fainting etc. but I suppose that was rejected as CO2 generation.

      All in all, a fire at this stage possibly saved lives and even more cost. A complete re-think before starting again is highly desirable.

      Gold Star Graeme. … saved lives! :D – Jo

      161

  • #
    Geoff

    Something else is happening with that building,if timber was so bad how come in Aust we build all timber and part timber
    brick veneer homes in bush fire prone areas?

    60

  • #
    TdeF

    The building was carbon neutral and was simply recycled unexpectedly? They need to work on that cycle time as it should have stayed in the biosphere longer so it could actually be used.
    Perhaps spontaneous combustion, an extreme event like the bushfires in NSW last year started in late autumn by the army but claimed by Tim Flannery as proof of Global Warming, Climate Change and extreme events.
    The real joke is that chemistry laboratories are notorious for fires, so of all the buildings? I can just see the Sydney Opera House made from five ply and naturally with no smoking signs everywhere.
    Besides, there is no real loss. They just have to grow a new one.

    160

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    It is too bad. Hope there were no lives lost. Now, will the leftists watermelons admit they were wrong and build it right or just build under the same plans again?

    81

  • #
    DonS

    What is a “sustainable” building anyway? The pyramids of Egypt have been around for a long time, does that mean we should be building our homes from limestone blocks imported Egypt? Wood would seem to be one of the least “sustainable” materials to build with. I think the new plastics and metal fabrication technologies will produce more sustainable buildings in the future.

    Seriously though, the sustainable tag is something used by certain people to parade their superior morality. It should have nothing to do with building codes.

    130

    • #
      Sustainable Lank

      According to Wikipedia…. “In ecology, sustainability refers to how biological systems remain diverse and productive”… but I suspect this is not the case for the buildings.

      Jo’s quotes include …”The building was partly funded by a £12 million grant from GlaxoSmithKline in 2012 to establish a sustainable chemistry laboratory” and I’m not sure how anyone would know what this means.
      May be it refers to the courses offered by the university in sustainable chemistry?
      Could it be the study of sustained chemicals?
      Maybe it is a little known term for a pile of smoking ash?

      60

    • #

      Sustainable isn’t the same as durable. Or useful.

      140

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Sustainable equals combustible, there’s been a shift to use sustainable facades on buildings in recent years in Australia, problem is when using softwoods over a large area means extra maintenance intervals due to exposure to the elements.
      There’s newer buildings locally that due to no painting or staining look like a big grey packing crate sitting on the block, often the second storey as it’s more expensive to get done due to height.

      40

    • #
      Safetyguy66

      “What is a “sustainable” building anyway?”

      The first requirement for a good game of w4nkword bingo.

      30

  • #
    the Griss

    “The labs were designed to meet the most rigorous bureaucratic rules”

    Y’see, there’s the problem right from the start !!!

    But seriously? A chemistry lab made out of timber.. yeah.. that’s going to work !!

    And seriously… A building made out of nearly 100% timber can NEVER be called a “low carbon” building !

    171

  • #
    Jon Reinertsen

    Don, so how do you grow more limestone? Timber is a sustainable product, you just need to be able to cut it down and replant. Something which tends to upset certain people. There is a wonderful story about one of the Oxford colleges which needed a new roof. After much discussion about the dreadful cost of replacing the decaying timbers with steel. It was discovered the college owned an Oak forest which had been planted when it was first built. Their answer was to chop the trees down replace the roof, and replant so in three or four hundred years the college could replace the roof again. That is sustainable building.

    61

    • #
      john karajas

      How do you grow more limestone? Seriously, do you know how much limestone there is out there waiting to be quarried. Better to use the limestone, I think, and leave the beautiful oak trees where they are.

      80

      • #
        Jon Reinertsen

        John, You missed the point, how do your grow more? Remove the limestone and eventually you have non left. Trees on the other hand will grow as long as they have soil to grow in. Besides do you really think the Greenies are going to let you keep quarrying?

        40

        • #
          ROM

          Lime stone makes up about 10% of all the Earth’s sedimentary rocks.

          So running out of Limestone is going to leave some VERY BIG holes in the Earth’s surface countered by some VERY BIG concrete constructions that would create quite a few new VERY BIG concrete and limestone mountain ranges in places where them hills just don’t exist as yet.

          Limestone is found in abundance across the globe. Estimates suggest that close to 100 million tonnes of limestone are mined globally each year, most of which are consumed domestically. In 2008 China was the worlds’ biggest producer, accounting for over 60% of the estimated total global production. India, the USA and Europe are also considered major limestone producers.

          40

          • #
            TdeF

            The abundance of limestone is amazing. The Romans loved it. Whole cities like Odessa in the Ukraine are built from it and many of the great buildings of Europe. The French brought their own limestone after 1066 and so Limestone from the Loire was used in Westminster abbey.

            However limestone and marble are not rock, not granite for example. Limestone and marble are both the natural products of animal carbon capture activity by carbon lifeforms, the shells of old sea life.

            So technically they are as much recylcable carbon as wood but as CaCO3, not CH2 chains. It is just a much slower process of recycling, as opposed to our timber chemistry laboratory, presumably with timber fume chambers and chimneys and wooden chairs and wooden lap top computers and hydraulic power from a waterwheel? (Why couldn’t they build a timber ballet centre?)

            The laboratories could have built from marble or limestone too, but do not expect Greenies to know any chemistry or even the history of life on earth. They are all about stopping everything, science anarchists.
            The fact is that humans, all life on earth is made from CO2. All plants are made from CO2 and even limestone is made from CO2. The white cliffs of Dover included. And the even the great pyramids were quarried from the limestone of the Giza plateau and so recyclable.

            Too bad CO2 is a declared industrial pollutant and carbon is dirty. Even diamonds. You might have expected Chemists to know better. I thought CO2 was invisible.

            You have to marvel though at how lush the world must have been to lay down all that coal and oil and mollusc life. Presumably it was a hotter, wetter world with much more CO2 and life on earth boomed over a hundred million years. As the world warmed slightly in the 1990s, we started to see where we had lived before, from the Orkneys to Greenland and Siberia. Perhaps we should build another henge? Or windmills?

            In summary, a chemistry laboratory built from limestone, or its metamorphised form marble, would have been built from perfectly natural carbon capture material. It might have lasted as long as Westminster Abbey.

            40

            • #
              Graeme No.3

              TdeF

              “You might have expected Chemists to know better”
              I think that Chemists weren’t involved, just architects and “sustainability advisors”.

              As a side note (to show off what I learned recently) not only the White Cliffs but the bordering South Down are both mostly chalk laid down by marine organisms in the Cretaceous. In fact, they are the remains of the deposits after weathering.

              40

        • #
          the Griss

          Umm.. How did the Limestone “grow” in the first place. !!

          Do you really think that limestone is not being continually formed ? !

          70

        • #
          The Backslider

          John, You missed the point, how do your grow more?

          I think you need to learn how limestone is formed. Trust me, it grows.

          50

        • #
          Andrew Griffiths

          Reef corals are hard at work right now making new limestone, some mild warming in the atmosphere and a little bit extra HCO3 and those little polyps are saying yum yum.

          30

      • #
        Annie

        I believe the oaks were deliberately planted precisely to replace the roof when needed.

        40

        • #
          the Griss

          That being the case, You can bet the greenie government will NOT ALLOW them to chop any down for new roofing material.

          Chopping down trees is only allowed for making space for wind turbines or to feed once coal-fired power stations on the other side of the world.

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    • #
      Belfast

      A “wonderful story” indeed.
      Which? When?

      10

  • #
    handjive

    It’s a sign the climate apocalypse has begun.

    A tipping point.

    World to end by 2030

    “We may not get to 2030. We need to address the problem of climate change urgently.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/bob-geldof-the-world-could-end-by-2030-8864186.html

    50

  • #

    Looks like plain rotten luck, although that word “sustainable” so often indicates bungling, expense and waste.

    The Great Fire of London was enabled by lots of timber, tallow, straw, tar paper etc…but also by climate! Very cold and frosty winter, frozen Thames, typically anticyclonic, with drought prevailing till just after the fire. According to CET: “Every month from November 1665 to September 1666 was dry. By August, 1666, the River Thames at Oxford was reduced to a ‘trickle’.” After a baking summer (top ten in the CET series), came the awful day in September.

    Seems there was an even worse drought in 1681. Maybe if they pelletise enough American forests to burn in England the climate will be fixed at last so these nasty things stop happening. There are climate experts on the job as I write.

    90

  • #
    pat

    i like the connection between CAGW and Big Pharma, GSK, not one of my favourite companies. the idea they were funding this place to save the planet from CAGW is hilarious:

    16 Sept: NYT: Justin Gillis: Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says
    A global commission will announce its finding on Tuesday that an ambitious series of measures to limit emissions would cost $4 trillion or so over the next 15 years, an increase of roughly 5 percent over the amount that would likely be spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and other infrastructure.
    When the secondary benefits of greener policies — like lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution and reduced medical bills — are taken into account, the changes might wind up saving money, according to the findings of the group, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate…
    The findings come one week before world leaders, including President Obama, gather in New York to discuss climate change. Most experts do not expect any big breakthroughs, but tens of thousands of people are expected to march in the streets of New York and other cities on Sunday to demand stronger action…
    Countries that try to eliminate such subsidies too quickly can run into political problems. This summer, a sudden doubling of fuel prices in Yemen set off riots. But gradual price increases can work, and some experts have called for a much greater focus by institutions like the World Bank on helping countries eliminate subsidies
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/16/science/earth/fixing-climate-change-may-add-no-costs-report-says.html?_r=0

    15 Sept: World Bank: Pioneering a New Financial Instrument to Help Combat Climate Change
    To help keep finance flowing to projects that combat climate change, the World Bank and partners are developing an innovative pilot program that allows project developers and financiers to compete in an online auction to deliver the largest number of emissions reductions at the lowest cost.
    The Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation (PAF) will auction price guarantees for CO2 emission reductions from projects…
    The PAF’s price guarantees will take the form of put options that permit their holders to sell future emission reduction credits to the facility at a known minimum price. This price is determined by the auction.
    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/09/15/pioneering-new-financial-instrument

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  • #
    Sustainable Lank

    Any estimates of the amounts of CO2 released into the atmosphere?

    I suspect the demise of the building could be measures in parts of a degree of warming and readers may be able to offer a scale for this.

    For example if warming alarmists can predict the amounts of added atmospheric CO2 that will heat the world by 2 degrees centigrade then we can use their figure as a ‘base standard temperature raising factor’ to report events like these. E.g. “the Nottingham University fire caused the earth to warm by a 0.1 trillionth of a degree centigrade, according to the alarmist warming scare scale”.

    82

  • #
    handjive

    Ebola- time for action.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/09/time-to-talk-ebola/#more-38226

    Here is an interesting update:

    The most arresting is a piece published last week in the journal Eurosurveillance, which is the peer-reviewed publication of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

    The piece is an attempt to assess mathematically how the epidemic is growing, by using case reports to determine the “reproductive number.”
    (Note for non-epidemiology geeks: The basic reproductive number — usually shorted to R0 or “R-nought” — expresses how many cases of disease are likely to be caused by any one infected person. An R0 of less than 1 means an outbreak will die out; an R0 of more than 1 means an outbreak can be expected to increase.

    The calculation is for the effective reproductive number, pegged to a point in time, hence actually Rt.) They come up with an R of at least 1, and in some cases 2; that is, at certain points, sick persons have caused disease in two others.

    You can see how that could quickly get out of hand, and in fact, that is what the researchers predict. Here is their stop-you-in-your-tracks assessment:

    The Mathematics of Ebola Trigger Stark Warnings: Act Now or Regret It
    http://www.wired.com/2014/09/r0-ebola/

    Should we really be concerned about the global effect of this Ebola epidemic?

    Dr. Michael T. Osterholm of the University of Minnesota* — an epidemiologist and federal advisor famous for inadvertently predicting the 2001 anthrax attacks — says yes, we should. In “What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola,” he warns: “The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.”

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  • #
    Angry

    I LOVE IT !

    I HOPE THEY ARE CHARGED A HUGE PENALTY FOR RELEASING ALL THAT EVIL CARBON DIOXIDE (PLANT FOOD) INTO THE ATMOSPHERE !!

    103

  • #
    pat

    there is NO disagreement whatsoever. Suzanne hits all the right CAGW buttons – Koch, Heartland, Texas, Tea Party – and the readership is outraged, see the comments:

    16 Sept: Guardian: Suzanne Goldenberg: Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny manmade climate change
    Analysis of proposed 6th grade texts show they falsely claim scientific disagreement about global warming
    The proposed text books – which come up for public hearing at the Texas state board of education on Tuesday – were already attracting criticism when it emerged that the science section had been altered to reflect the doctrine of the Heartland Institute, which has been funded by the Koch oil billionaires.
    A report from the Texas Freedom Network and the National Centre for Science Education on Monday found a number of instances where the proposed texts rejected recognised science.
    In the proposed 6th grade texts, students were introduced to global warming amid false claims that there was scientific disagreement about its causes…
    The NCSE reviewers also found disinformation on climate change in the proposed 5th grade text books. The passage reads: “Some scientists say it is natural for Earth’s temperature to be higher for a few years. They predict we’ll have some cooler years and things will even out.”
    But the centre said that was incorrect. “We are not aware of any currently publishing climatologists who are predicting a cooling trend where ‘things will even out.’”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/16/texas-proposes-rewriting-school-text-books-to-deny-manmade-climate-change

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  • #
    Mark Pawelek

    I didn’t realize it was so big. Utterly dumb to use a wooden frame, especially for a chemistry building. Eco-nuts putting dogma before engineering.

    72

  • #
    pat

    as Suzanne Goldenberg managed to leave out Murdoch media in the Texas “text book” Guardian hit piece, let me bring them in here, as they are seemingly the only media reporting this!

    17 Sept: Fox News: Perry Chiaramonte: Curtain, reviews come down on taxpayer-funded climate change musical
    The curtain has come down on Climate Change: The Musical and reviews of the taxpayer-funded play about global warming are downright icy.
    The play, which is actually entitled “The Great Immensity,” and was produced by Brooklyn-based theater company The Civilians, Inc. with a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, ended its run early amid a storm of criticism from reviewers and lawmakers alike. It opened a year late, reached just five percent of its anticipated audience and likely fell short of its ambitious goal of informing a new generation about the perceived dangers of man-caused climate change.
    Plus, it apparently wasn’t very good…
    Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, said the dramatic debacle was a waste of public money.
    “There is no doubt that the Great Immensity was a great mistake,” Smith told FoxNews.com. “The NSF used taxpayer dollars to underwrite political advocacy dressed up as a musical. And the project clearly failed to achieve any of its objectives.”
    In a statement to FoxNews.com, the NSF said it is too soon to tell if the grant funds were wasted…
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/17/curtain-reviews-come-down-on-taxpayer-funded-climate-change-musical/

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  • #
    Peter C

    I had a good laugh over this, like everyone else.

    However I actually think that Wood is a very good structural material. It is very strong, quite light and combined with modern adhesives can be easily formed into complicated shapes.

    It is also a nice material to look at and feel (natural). It is renewable. It can last a long time in appropriate conditions. The timbers in some cathedrals have been there for nearly a thousand years with no deterioration.

    WOOD IS GOOD!

    It is bad luck that the building burnt down, not a predictable outcome of bureaucracy

    50

    • #

      Not predictable? Not quite so.

      It is next to impossible for a bureaucracy to do ANYTHING sufficiently right to be fully successful. After all, if it succeeds, its reason for existence is eliminate. Failure assures continued existence with ever larger staffs and wildly larger budgets. This permits them to execute failures on an ever larger scale. Hence, failure is a fully intended consequence and accurately predictable.

      Unfortunately, their failures are sustained at the cost of the lives, dreams, and futures of We the People. Which is, in a very real way, a primary reason why socialism is successful until it runs out of other people’s money. Socialism is the bureaucracy of everything.

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  • #
    gnome

    Building materials are a ripe field for exploitation by both the green and anti-green lobby.

    Who could describe what Australia would look like now, and what the housing and economic situation would be like if we didn’t have a half-century plus of asbestos cement sheeting?

    My heart sins when the warmists are embarrassed, but I mourn for the building destroyed by the fire.

    20

    • #
      gnome

      Sings, sings, my heart sings- there is no sin in my heart, least of all when warmists suffer! Humblest apologies all!

      71

  • #
    RogueElement451

    Paper spontaneously combusts at F.451 according to the book and since August/September was the most hottest months in the history of most hottest months (Rubbish!) I reckon someone left their glasses on some paper plans and created the perfect scenario for a burn out ,first the paper singes , starts to brown around the edge ,there is a puff of smoke , and we have ignition!(its the sun what did it)
    All staff were in a meeting deciding how they could minimise emissions and it was way too late by the time the first shouts of “Fire!” were heard.

    What is that German word and what does it mean?
    British Dictionary definitions for schadenfreude
    Schadenfreude
    /ˈʃaːdənfrɔydə/
    noun
    1.
    delight in another’s misfortune
    Word Origin
    German: from Schaden harm + Freude joy

    62

  • #
    Sean

    By today’s green standard, burning wood is sustainable (hence the conversion of Drax power plant in the UK from coal to wood from North Carolina) but logging to harvest lumber is not (spotted owl stopped timber production on Federal lands in Oregon even though invasive species is the real problem). Perhaps wood construction should bill itself as carbon sequestration and sell carbon offsets for the CO2 tied up in building materials. Of coarse if the building goes up in smoke, those would have to be paid back.

    40

  • #
    Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

    Oh noes – it’s just like the Reichstag Fire!!!

    40

  • #
  • #
    Mark D.

    I wonder if anyone was fiddling……

    100

  • #
    Keith L

    Where were all the recycled de-sal water fire engines when they were needed??
    Oh yeah. It was at night and their solar cells were not working…

    61

  • #
    ROM

    Don’t get too cocky over the Poms problems with building fires.

    Here in Australia over the last few years of green driven idiocy and stupidity and thats being polite, we have been installing as a matter of government policy, a policy driven by the rabid green watermelon NGO’s , one of the fortunately still only potentially most dangerous bits of fire lighting equipment in what is possibly one of the most fire prone inhabited areas on the planet, the south eastern states of SA. VIC, Tassie and NSW .

    And those potentially catastrophic fire lighters are Wind Turbines.

    I have been aware of the extreme fire hazards of wind turbines for some time and it beggars my soul why I have never seen this extreme hazard of wind turbine fires in the fire prone SE Australian context ever publicly brought to the attention of state, local and federal governments before.

    Wind turbine fires are the second most reported accident next to blade throw, the most reported accident, thats when they are reported and the belief is that only about 10% of wind turbine fires and accidents are ever publicly reported.

    Wind turbines are rural located right where some of SE’s Australia’s worst and most devastating and life destroying fires have begun and burnt through.

    Turbine nacelles at hundred or more metres up are full of plastic covered electrical wiring, oils for gearboxes, composite reinforced fibre in which the resins burn very quickly and ferociously, various electrical equipment, any and all of which once li burns with great heat. Most such turbine nacelle fires most commonly begin with a lightning strike, something that is quite common in rolling, hilly country particularly along the ridges, the prime location for wind turbines, and on very hot days which once said turbine becomes alight,becomes an un-fightable, unreachable inferno some 100 to 150 metres up and which might take hours to burn out.

    Meanwhile if one of those very bad northerly wind days with 50 km hour winds and 40 plus degrees and a few percent humidity are the weather conditions and an unreachable, unfightable turbine fire gets under way then the embers from that fire a hundred or more metres up are going to travel for kilometres down wind.
    Place such wind turbines in close proximity to forests or grasslands and you have all the recipe for a total catastrophic, life destroying disaster that will not just ignite once like a lightning strike but will continue to burn ferociously for hours until the nacelle those hundred or so metres up is completely burnt out, all the time continuing to spread immense amounts of burning debris for kilometres down wind.

    For wind turbine supporters, are you prepared to have to both fight raging fires in bush and grasslands caused by your turbines?
    Are you prepared to have to constantly cover tens of kilometres of burning and re-light country for many hours right through a day and possibly most of the night in those stinking extreme, very nasty 44 degree days fighting the re-lights from a turbine fire as those country folk who get no benefit of any sort from turbines are basically forced to have to try and fight to try and save something of theirs and their friends and neighbors land, livestock and living.

    One thing is sure, if the past Black Saturday bush fires [ 7th Feb 2009 ] are any indication where a power company has had to pay out around $500 millions, half a billion dollars in compensation to victims and families of the victims of the Black Saturday bush fires in Victoria in which 173 people died then any fires that are started by wind turbines let alone if there is loss of life, will be cause to seek the maximum of damages from the wind turbine owners and operators, including quite possibly those who are collecting income from having wind turbines on their land.
    ___________________

    Overview of Problems and Solutions in Fire Protection
    Engineering of Wind Turbines

    SOLOMON UADIALE1, ÉVI URBÁN1, RICKY CARVEL1, DAVID LANGE2, and
    GUILLERMO REIN3

    School of Engineering
    University of Edinburgh, UK

    SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Sweden

    Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Imperial College London, UK

    ABSTRACT;
    The wind energy industry is one of today’s leading industries in the renewable energy sector, providing an affordable and sustainable energy solution. However, the wind industry faces a number of challenges, one of which is fire and that can cast a shadow on its green credentials.
    The three elements of the fire triangle, fuel (oil and polymers), oxygen (wind) and ignition (electric, mechanical and lighting) are represent and confined to the small and closed compartment of the turbine nacelle.
    Moreover, once ignition occurs in a turbine, the chances of externally fighting the fire are very slim due to the height of the nacelle and the often remote location of the wind farm.
    Instances of reports about fires in wind farms are increasing, yet the true extent of the impact of fires on the energy industry on a global scale is impossible to assess. Sources of information are incomplete, biased, or contain non-publically available data.
    The poor statistical records of wind turbine fires are a main cause of concern and hinder any research effort in this field.

    This paper aims to summarise the current state of knowledge in this area by presenting a review of the few sources which are available, in order to quantify and understand the fire problem in wind energy.

    . We have found that fire is the second leading cause of catastrophic accidents in wind turbines (after blade failure) and accounts for 10 to 30% of the reported turbine accidents of any year since 1980’s.
    In 90% of the cases, the fire leads to a total loss of the wind turbine, or at least a downtime that results in the accumulation of economic losses.
    The main causes of fire ignition in wind turbines are (in decreasing order of importance): lighting strike, electrical malfunction, mechanical malfunction, and maintenance.

    Due to the many flammable materials used in a wind turbine (eg. fiberglass reinforced polymers, foam insulation, cables) and the large oil storage used for lubrication of mechanical components, the fuel load in a turbine nacelle is commonly very large.

    The paper finishes with an overview of the passive and active protection options and the economics (costs, revenue and insurance) of wind turbines to put in context the value of a loss turbine compared to the cost and options of fire protection.

    We hope that this paper will encourage the scientific community to pursue a proper understanding of the problem and its scale, allowing the development of the most appropriate fire protection engineering solutions.

    [ / ]

    Also “Caithness Wind Farm Information Forum” statistics

    Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 30 June 2014

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      There was a turbine fire in S.E. South Australia a few years ago that burnt out 8,000 hectares.

      Since then wind turbines are supposed to stop working above 38 C in SA.

      The main cause of spreading is the large amounts of lubricant in the nacelle. This gets hot when the turbine is working and may breakdown to more flammable decomposition products. The fibreglass shell isn’t highly flammable, it will burn but won’t run; fire brigades like fibreglass roofing better than polycarbonate or acrylic as the last two melt and rain flaming droplets.

      Still it is a good point you raise. I only hope that these stupid things don’t cause a catastrophic fire one day, even though that would get them banned at last.

      40

      • #
        ROM

        Graeme No.3 @ # 33.1

        There was a turbine fire in S.E. South Australia a few years ago that burnt out 8,000 hectares.

        Since then wind turbines are supposed to stop working above 38 C in SA.

        The pure utter idiocy of wind turbines really comes out in Graeme No.3′s above comment.

        Wind turbines, the vastly over hyped saviours of the planet with their supposed zero “carbon” emmissions and their utilisation of that vast source of so called “Free” energy, the Wind, have to be shut down due to fire risk right when the temperatures are going through the roof and everybody is switching on their A/C’s or swampies to try and stay cool in the heat.
        It is during those extreme summer heat days that the peaks of total power consumption now often exceed the winter time power consumption peaks when heating systems are being used to the maximum.

        But hey, according to the completely warped and irrational mentality of the green eco-loons and the messianic mentalities of the Planet Savers along with the loud mouth barracking from the scammer run wind power industry, wind can be used to power our 24 hours a a day, five days a week, fifty two weeks of the year industrial civlisation and provide life sustaining energy to the Earth’s seven and quarter billions human inhabitants with minimal input from those horrible planet destroying fossil fuel power plants [ / sarc ]

        Just don’t expect the lights to come on or anything much else to run when the temperatures pass the 38C mark!

        40

        • #

          The pure utter idiocy of wind turbines…..

          Never a phrase more true than this one.

          The U.S. currently has around 62,000MW of Nameplate for Wind Power. There’s a lot more than this, but take the average of around 2MW per tower, and that comes in at 31,000 of those tall towers with their three blades whizzing around ….. sporadically.

          In all, across a whole year, all of those towers deliver 165TWH of power to the U.S. grids.

          Just one Hydro Plant, China’s Three Gorges delivers just over half that total all by itself, around 85TWH of power, and they wind back a little on their power generation for a few Months after the snow melt period.

          Conservative cost for the construction of U.S. Wind, in today’s dollars – $250 Billion. Life span – 20 years at best.

          Cost for construction of Three Gorges Hydro – $26 Billion. Life span – 40 years minimum, and here, keep in mind that the Hoover Dam Hydro in Arizona/Nevada has been in constant operation since 1936, almost 80 years.

          Both Green Power.

          Tony.

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  • #
    DouptingDave

    I live 15 miles north of that nottingham fire in sherwood forest area {or whats left of the forest since they used most of the tree’s in the ancient oak woods to build with].you could see the glow from the blaze in the night sky from my garden. I think it was set on purpose in order to show how good the nearby Drax power station will be when it switches to burning wood instead of coal [sarc]

    80

  • #
    Bengt Abelsson

    The Swedish Navy, year 1830, was concerned about oaks, for future ship building, and planted 360 hectares (one hectare is 100×100 m square). The oaks was ready for harvest 1975 but then, the Navy had lost interest, so there are some 17.000 tall, straight oaks in the largest oak wood in Europe in surplus.
    In Sweden, a timber framed building have lower fire insurance costs than a similar steel framed structure.
    Just some facts from up there.

    80

  • #
    Kon Dealer

    Wood burns very well, as do wooden buildings.

    My brother-in-law’s timber house in New Hampshire burnt to the ground 2 years ago.
    All that was left was the stone hearth.

    I have worked in a chemistry lab- lot’s of open flames and combustible chemicals.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    60

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    This could not have been a better laugh if the whole thing had been intended to be a joke.

    I’m beginning to like ROFLAMAO. :-)

    40

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Late last week the £20 million GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry was razed.

    Does anyone know what Sustainable Chemistry might be? I didn’t know the future of chemistry was even in doubt.

    50

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      And it occurs to me to ask, does anyone know who’s paying for this little misadventure of GlaxoSmithKline?

      Why, golly darn. It’s us, the consumer of their products. :-(

      In words made immortal by Peter, Paul and Mary, “When will they ever learn?”

      And when will we ever learn?

      Pete Seeger actually wrote the first verses of it but PP&M made it popular.

      30

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        One of my favourite songs Roy.

        It was a change from the 10 green bottles I had learnt several years earlier.

        KK

        00

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Would 10 green bottles be anything like the 99 bottles of beer on the wall that I learned?

          10

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            –and if (Voice rising) one green bottle should accidentally fall

            There’d be seven green Greenies stuck upon a wall.

            Sorry about the change.

            KK

            11

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              We used to sing 99 bottles in the car on the way to or from a weekend Boy Scout campout. It helped relieve the monotony when the drive might be several hours.

              I had forgotten all about it until you mentioned 10 (8?) green bottles.

              99 bottles of beer on the wall;
              99 bottles of beer;
              You take one down and pass it around;
              There’s 98 bottles of beer on the wall.

              It repeats down to no bottles of beer. It takes quite a while to get all the way to zero.

              10

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Reminds me of another song story.

        A year ago when my grandson was a bit lighter, I used to bounce him up and down as he rode my foot to the tune of the Arkansas traveler.

        There was an old man —–

        Reminded me sometimes of Bill Clinton but I tried to avoid that.

        KK

        10

        • #
          Peter C

          He played Nick Nack?

          10

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          A year ago when my grandson was a bit lighter, I used to bounce him up and down as he rode my foot to the tune of the Arkansas traveler.

          That brings back the memory of riding my grandfather’s foot that same way when I was still pretty young. I also remember that I had this “horse” on a big leaf spring bent just about double from the base to the seat, and I bounced up and down on that a lot. Then one day I got a little carried away with it and the spring broke, dumping me on my butt on the floor. I must have screamed like a banshee because it brought my parents running in a panic until they saw I was OK.

          Where are the consumer product safety people when you need them? ;-)

          No one had ever heard of Bill Clinton back then — but of course he eventually became a legend in his own time mind.

          20

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Hi Roy

            Lucky you didn’t fall on the stub of that spring – could have been a world changer.

            Bill’s back; squiring Hillary around in her possible run for the next one.

            Holding your grandsons hands (reins) while he rides the horse is OK until he gets too heavy and the knee can’t do it anymore.

            KK
            :)

            10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Yeah, Bill’s back. I think he never really left.

              There are 4 people in this world I absolutely find despicable. Their names are Obama and Clinton, excluding terrorists of course.

              You’d think anyone paying attention would recognize that all 4 were a bad mistake. But no, they’re as popular as ever. Obama remains a likable figure even as his approval is about to sink beneath the waves. They used to complain about Reagan that he was teflon and nothing ever stuck to him. But these guys beat Reagan for a slippery nonstick exterior.

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              Roy Hogue

              Fortunately that spring broke where it bent most sharply which put the broken edge as far away from me as it could be. I suspect that’s where there was the most stress on the metal.

              Anyway, no harm done except one of my favorite toys was gone.

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              Roy Hogue

              At this point I don’t think my arthritis will permit me to be the horse, not even with medication that controls most of it pretty well.

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      • #
        Peter C

        What goes around comes around.

        “Where have all the graveyards gone?
        Gone to flowers every one.
        When will they ever learn?
        When will they eveeeer learn?

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    GerardB

    Jo,

    This appears to have been a fire during construction for which the cause is unknown. As a consulting structural engineer of about 40 years experience, a fire during construction is unusual and I would advise waiting for fire investigators to report on the possible cause before linking to slavish devotion to climate change things.

    Natural seasoned timber has an intrinsic fire rating and can remain stable when, in the event of a fire, the outer edges become fully “charred”. Once the outer edges of the timber are fully charred, the remaining interior of the timber section is sealed off from oxygen and, depending on fire intensity, will remain stable.

    Further fire rating is achieved by lining walls and ceilings, as required, with fire rated plasterboard. All commercial and community building have to be fire rated to prescribed level, usually to between 60 to 240 minutes depending on usage. The purpose of fire rating is to allow people to safety exit a building during a fire event without it collapsing around them.

    I have documented many timber framed buildings for prescribed fire ratings. And, indeed I perfer timber to steel and concrete framed buildings any day of the week and in the event of a fire.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Well known that in Britain timber beams were made extra large to counter fire.

      The added cross section of members meant that a building structure could undergo fire and still retain enough strength, after fire was extinguished, to remain in the refurbished building.

      KK

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    Neville

    The Bolter provides the facts and nails down their ABC and some of their extremist supporters. Amazing that this taxpayer funded left wing think tank doesn’t provide a balanced debate on Q&A to debate their so called CAGW.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/warmist-scare-is-simply-academic/story-fni0ffxg-1227061967513

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      Peter C

      Neville,

      It is a total scandal.
      I don’t even watch or listen to the ABC anymore, because I just can’t stand their bias.

      I never thought I could listen to the adverts on commercial media, but it is the lesser of two evils. Paying Tony Jones and Jon Faine with my taxes is definitely much worse.

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    Bob in Castlemaine

    It’s amazing that each new generation seems to have to relearn the hard lessons of their forefathers. Whether it’s the relaxing of building fire safety standards, or making building ventilation optional to reduce energy requirements.
    Never mind the great timber fuelled conflagrations of the past or the mould growth, stuffy air and sleepy, sick occupants now living and working in “eco-friendly”, hermetically sealed “modern” schools and houses.
    One could cite many other instances of unlearning, probably no instance is quite as mind boggling though than the resurrection of windmills. Our forebears worked out long ago that windmills were next to useless for all but a few simple applications where intermittent operation is unimportant.

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    Neville

    The Hockey Schtick tries to school a fool about the science of co2 and temp and other bogus nonsense about warming/hiatus etc since the LIA. One of their best posts for months IMHO. Many links provided.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/debunking-essentially-truthy-climate.html#comment-form

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  • #
    TdeF

    For those who missed the comments above about limestone, why not rebuild the Chemistry Laboratory from Limestone and even its metamorphic form Marble?
    Not only would it look less like a Nordic Church, but the laboratory might last as long as Westminster Abbey.
    For the chemically challenged greenists, Limestone and marble are animal byproducts and carbon sink material. Just a longer cycle time than Oak Trees.

    In fact I think I will apply for government funding for an oyster or pearl farm as a carbon capture facility.
    The oysters are also recyclable.

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  • #
    Neville

    The number one daily newspaper in Germany has had a gutful of the extremists and their delusional CAGW scare. Just more proof that sceptics are winning and observations are conquering pseudo science.

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/09/17/self-inflicted-apocalypse-fascination-germanys-leading-daily-fed-up-with-end-of-world-scenarios-climate-catastrophe/#comments

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  • #
    Mike Smith

    I chop down trees, I wear high heels,
    I believe the earth is warmin’.
    I’m green in every little way.
    But now my house is burnin’.
    Oh, I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay.

    With apologies to Monty Python.

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    • #
      Mark D.

      No apologies should be required! Monty (well the full Monty) couldn’t be other than understanding.

      The Black Knight however, won’t be.

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  • #
    Sparks

    I think all building material is so called “carbon neutral” within the context of our planet, how is it possible to add more “carbon” or remove more “carbon dioxide” than already exists?

    This is a farce, They have sourced their building material (wood/timber) from forests that have been payed and bought-for and planted by gullible volunteers as a carbon offset of some sort and call it “carbon neural”. A sick twisted joke as I see it. The end game of these forests is to be prematurely cut down and used as building material or biofuel.
    This nonsense goes against every ounce of knowledge we have on ecology, Long-term forestry is beneficial, not this fake get rich quick Bio-Fuel bull, areas of forest should not be planted for fuel, there are ecosystems and wild life that grow and relocate around these temporary forests, it’s not just the forests that get cut down To be burnt or made into a fancy new eco-lab, school etc.. millions of animals and insects of all kinds get wiped out and displaced.. Use coal or other sources for fuel, it is unethical to create a habitat for animals just to destroy it. We might as well farm cute bunny rabbits and use them for fuel. The whole idea disgusts me. Then we have butterfly counts and bee scares, “bee’s are going to die out”, where do you think they live grow their nests and hibernate? That’s right somewhere safe.
    Are these temporary forests somewhere safe? No.

    If you don’t understand forestry you wont understand what I’m saying above. wood from trees can be selective, growing older forestry habitats is the key. planting large areas to be wiped out in a 15 to 25 year cycle is not beneficial to anyone man or beast.

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    Neville

    Ken Stewart is still finding problems with the BOM ACORN data. Almost too bad to be true?

    http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/a-check-on-acorn-sat-adjustments-part-1/

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    pat

    EU continues on a path to economic self-destruction! if this is successful, that is. read it all:

    16 Sept: Reuters: Ben Garside: Lawmakers to test EU’s five billion euro carbon permit giveaway
    European lawmakers will vote next week on whether to force Brussels officials to rethink giving billions of euros worth of carbon allowances away for free to heavy industries, after a senior Green member lodged an objection.
    The European Commission, the EU’s executive, in May proposed that the vast majority of industry sectors should keep getting most of their allowances for free over 2015-2019 to help meet their obligations under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS)…
    The so-called carbon leakage list of companies entitled to free permits covers sectors including steel and chemicals producers and was formed to guard against the relocation of EU industries to regions such as the Middle East with less stringent emission limits.
    The industries have fiercely lobbied for an extension of the terms of the list amid concerns that high energy bills and environmental red tape were harming their global competitiveness. Member states officials unanimously approved the plan in July.
    But Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout has lodged an objection to the proposal, triggering a parliamentary committee vote on Sept. 24…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/16/us-eu-carbon-industry-idUSKBN0HB27L20140916

    5.20 euros discounted!

    17 Sept: Rueters: Michael Szabo: Britain sells 2.7 million aviation CO2 allowances for 5.20 euros each
    The auction, hosted by ICE, attracted 13 participants who bid for 11 million units, and raised 14 million euros in revenues.
    EUAAs were valued at a 50-cent discount to the equivalent EU Allowance (EUA) contract as of Tuesday’s close.
    With spot EUAs valued 5.72 euros/tonne at 0900 GMT (10 a.m. BST), the time the auction’s bidding window closed, the EUAA sale cleared 2 cents below the market price…
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/17/uk-eu-aviation-carbon-auction-idUKKBN0HC0Q720140917

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    pat

    yesterday (US time) – the most audacious of the headlines on this subject:

    16 Sept: Bloomberg: Stefan Nicola: Fight Against Climate Change ***SEEN*** Driving Economic Growth
    Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is seeking to replace nuclear reactors with renewables…
    The research was carried out by economic and policy groups including the World Resources Institute and the London School of Economics and Political Science, with contributions from the OECD, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-16/fight-against-climate-change-seen-driving-economic-growth.html

    today, a reality check!

    17 Sept: Bloomberg: Joe Carroll: Chevron’s Search for Alternative Fuels Stumps Best Minds
    Chevron Corp’s attempts to turn plants into alternative fuels for profitable, large-scale production have failed.
    The second-largest U.S. oil company by market value spent “significant sums” and assigned some of its best scientists to evaluate more than 100 kinds of feedstock and 50 techniques for converting them into fuels without success, Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Watson said during an address to the Economic Club of Minnesota in Minneapolis today…
    Major crude producers from Chevron to BP Plc have been scaling back investment in renewables to focus on higher-profit ventures such as deep-water oil wells.
    Chevron’s setbacks echo those of Exxon Mobil Corp., which last year said its $600 million foray into algae-based fuel may not succeed for another 25 years. BP put $3.1 billion of wind assets for sale last year after withdrawing from solar in 2011…
    Watson, a University of California at Davis-trained agricultural economist, also said the U.S. government should reconsider the mandate requiring domestic refiners to add corn-based ethanol to gasoline.
    “Is it really good energy or land-use policy to have 40 percent of our corn crop effectively mandated for fuel use?” Watson asked …
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-16/chevron-s-search-for-alternative-fuels-stumps-best-minds.html

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  • #
    James Bradley

    OT.

    Subsequent to the upgraded ebola risk and following police and security raids across Sydney and Brisbane this morning:

    Let’s see how long it takes now for the money for Green Schemes to dry up and be diverted to more immediate and real issues of world threat and personal safety.

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    • #
      James Bradley

      And an update:

      Just how many police and security operations were run this morning?

      I mean MSM reported the operation against Islamic terrorists planning an attack in Martin Place Sydney – the ABC obviously missed that one because there was no mention of Islamic terrorists – but they got another one – apparently a group of Afghan males were also planning some sort of attack in Martin Place.

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    pat

    James Bradley -

    i’ve been saving up this absurd piece by Heath Aston/Age for 2 days. trying to bring in Clive as being anti-coal, when his Galilee coal wouldn’t even be affected, is so typical of the dishonesty of the MSM:

    16 Sept: Age: Heath Aston: China’s decision to ban ‘dirty’ coal imports wins rare praise from Clive Palmer
    The type of black coal in the Galilee would not be affected by the Chinese government’s decision …
    On Tuesday, the Minerals Council of Australia sought to hose down fears that the dirty coal ban could derail Australia’s massive coal export industry…
    Greens Senator Larissa Waters said: “The Minerals Council is fooling themselves and Australians. The writing has been on the wall for a long time. New clean energy investment in China is outstripping fossil fuel investment. China is serious about cleaning up their air pollution. Coal imports are flat, they are bringing forward an emissions trading scheme in 2016 and Beijing has placed a cap on coal.
    “We have the potential to transition to a clean energy future by becoming a world leader in renewable energy, instead of exporting coal that the world doesn’t want, but the Abbott government is holding us back.
    “The reason the Abbott government wants to scrap ARENA [Australian Renewable Energy Agency] is because Australia is creating cutting edge clean energy technologies that we can export to the world and further hasten the demise of coal fired power.”…
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/chinas-decision-to-ban-dirty-coal-imports-wins-rare-praise-from-clive-palmer-20140916-10ht6p.html

    a response to the deluded Heath & Larissa. note it’s 40% PER YEAR, which is not exactly what Bloomberg implied in the headline:

    17 Sept: Bloomberg: Sinopec, PetroChina Plan 40% Growth in Shale Output to Meet Goal
    China’s largest oil and gas producers plan to increase shale-gas output by 40 percent a year to meet the nation’s production target…
    China wants to replicate the shale boom that has cut gas-production costs in the U.S. With almost twice as many deposits as in the U.S., China’s 2015 target depends on the nation’s second-largest producer, known as Sinopec, to produce shale gas at the Fuling project in the country’s southwest…
    After drilling 400 shale gas wells as of July, China aims to produce 1.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas this year and about 6.5 billion cubic meters in 2015, according to today’s transcript. Output for 2017 is estimated at 15 billion cubic meters.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-17/sinopec-petrochina-plan-40-growth-in-shale-output-to-meet-goal.html

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    pat

    for the record:

    17 Sept: Australian: AAP: Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal rail challenge dismissed
    Mr Palmer’s Waratah Coal applied in the Supreme Court of Queensland for a review of an October 2013 decision to reject its bid to build a rail line from the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen.
    The project was awarded to a partnership between Indian mining giant GVK and Ms Rinehart’s Hancock Coal…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/clive-palmers-waratah-coal-rail-challenge-dismissed/story-e6frg9df-1227061305325

    17 Sept: Bloomberg: Daniel Magnowski: Nigeria to Triple Natural-Gas Output for Power Supply
    Africa’s biggest oil producer wants to increase capacity to 11 billion cubic feet per day, from about 4 billion cubic feet now, Alison-Madueke said in an interview yesterday in Abuja, the capital.
    “We are moving very aggressively into gas for industrialization purposes,” she said. “At the same time we have to work very, very critically on our gas-to-power needs.”
    Nigeria generates less electricity than is needed by its population of about 170 million, the continent’s largest, and has regular blackouts that the government says are a bottleneck for economic growth…
    South Africa, which has a third of the population of Nigeria, generates more than 10 times as much as power.
    Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Nigeria LNG Ltd. are among companies with interests in gas production in Nigeria…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-15/nigeria-must-boost-gas-output-for-power-supply-minister.html

    for the Naomi Kleins, Greens, ABC/Fairfax/Guardian CAGW crowd. you will not stop the undeveloped world from industrialising. take your blinkers off about your beloved Shell’s CAGW credentials as well:

    17 Sept: Bloomberg: Daniel Magnowski: Nigeria to Triple Natural-Gas Output for Power Supply
    Africa’s biggest oil producer wants to increase capacity to 11 billion cubic feet per day, from about 4 billion cubic feet now, Alison-Madueke said in an interview yesterday in Abuja, the capital.
    “We are moving very aggressively into gas for industrialization purposes,” she said. “At the same time we have to work very, very critically on our gas-to-power needs.”
    Nigeria generates less electricity than is needed by its population of about 170 million, the continent’s largest, and has regular blackouts that the government says are a bottleneck for economic growth…
    South Africa, which has a third of the population of Nigeria, generates more than 10 times as much as power.
    Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Nigeria LNG Ltd. are among companies with interests in gas production in Nigeria…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-15/nigeria-must-boost-gas-output-for-power-supply-minister.html

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  • #
    handjive

    The Greens want to plant trees?

    Maybe they will do it in between the windmills?

    Milne offers to deal on direct action if RET protected
    https://theconversation.com/milne-offers-to-deal-on-direct-action-if-ret-protected-31838

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    • #
      Bob in Castlemaine

      No Hand, Windmills don’t like trees. They’re bad for air flow – just have a look at the Bald Hills wind farm incident in Victoiria where Mitsui removed 600 trees and some (3) koalas apparently became road kill (maybe that should be tree kill) as a result?

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      the Griss

      ummm.. I thought the whole idea of the Direct Action scheme was that it REPLACED the RET !!

      Why should society bear both cost impositions !!!

      10

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        The Greens think that there is no limit to the costs that society bears, so long as the projects are approved by the Greens!

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  • #
    old44

    How many tonnes of CO2 and what noxious chemicals were generated in this fire?

    10

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    Carbon500

    The building which burnt down on the University of Nottingham campus is not far from where I live. I walked past it into town today. Looking at the proximity of other buildings, credit is due to the firemen involved in preventing damage to the adjacent University buildings and neighbouring private businesses. A few lightly scorched leaves on nearby trees are the only signs of spread. Proverbial hats off to the fire brigade!

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    Stacey

    Jo

    Please note that timber framed buildings are not banned in the uk. All they have to do generally is have one hour fire rating. (Larger buildings have higher fore ratings)

    00