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Climate emergency prompts a reappraisal of Finnieston flats

February 2 2023

Climate emergency prompts a reappraisal of Finnieston flats

Redevco is soliciting views on its aspirations to deliver a build-to-rent apartment scheme in Finnieston, Glasgow, after throwing out approved plans which relied on a gas-powered combined heat and power plant.

The real estate investment group has invited Cooper Cromar to draft alternative plans for 11 Minerva Street, which already has planning consent for 195 flats, after finding that whole-life carbon emissions exceeded its targets.

Explaining the need to go back to the drawing board Redevco wrote: "This approved scheme on the site was designed in 2019; however, in the intervening period of time there have been updates to Building Regulations, particularly in relation to energy. This means that the approved design must change to accommodate those new requirements.

"Redevco are revisiting the existing planning permission for the site to remove elements of the scheme which are not sustainable and inconsistent with their Mission 2040 policy, which requires that all of their property and developments achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2040."

The new consultant team emphasise sustainability in their approach, which will instead rely on a heat recovery system to warm homes. This in turn necessitates a full review of all flats, communal and amenity areas to maximise performance.

A public exhibition of the new plans is to be held in The Moxy Hotel, 140 Finnieston Street, between 14:00 and 19:00 on 28 February.   


#1 Posted by Designer on 2 Feb 2023 at 16:07 PM
This article, like other UR articles leads with a title claiming that there is a climate emergency. Anyone open minded enough to do their own research knows that man made climate change is a stunt devised at a club of Rome meeting in the 1960s. Ice core records show beyond any doubt that the Earth's warming precedes CO2 production by several hundred years and in fact the globe has got greener as a result of an increase of this gas (plant food). My question is why aren't you architects content to just accept this fairy story as fact?
John Glenday
#2 Posted by John Glenday on 2 Feb 2023 at 20:46 PM
@1 The climate crisis is a priority for the construction industry and our headlines reflect that. Irrespective of your beliefs it is the consensus view and thus needs to be taken seriously, individually and as a society.
Gandalf the Pink
#3 Posted by Gandalf the Pink on 2 Feb 2023 at 22:14 PM
1. The moon landing wasn't faked.
2. Elvis is dead.
3. Chemtrails aren't a thing.
4. ET isn't a true story.
5. Sitting in your pants reading Twitter posts from @FlatWorld69 doesn't count as research.

#4 Posted by Roddy_ on 3 Feb 2023 at 00:06 AM
I think many folk rejoiced when they saw the quality of the previous Carson+Partners proposals and something of a reposte to the drivel adjacent on Minerva Street - a proper urban proposal with a proper perimeter block and well modulated facades .
Many folk including myself were incredulous that such a thoughtful looking scheme might actually see the light of day - and so it seems our scepticism has been borne out.
Cooper Cromer have a high bar to clear if it is to be anything like as good though the wording, 'remove elements of the scheme which are not sustainable and inconsistent' does sound ominous.
#5 Posted by Designer on 3 Feb 2023 at 07:48 AM
#3 What is the best evidence you can provide to prove that we are in a 'climate crisis', which criteria are you using to make this basis? The IPCC's own research shows no significant warming over the last 15 years and was swept under the carpet. Consensus by those applying for funding grants to governments (who support this political vehicle) is not a way to settle science. Those who use insults to prevent open debate are dangerous. Climate lockdowns, 15 min zones (like Oxford), bugs for dinner, no aviation (except for the rich and powerful), central bank digital currencies, and the distruction of the developing world are all in the pipeline thanks to closing down of this debate.
#6 Posted by Lovely on 3 Feb 2023 at 18:13 PM
Interesting discussion.

How urgently serious climate change actually is or isn't becomes academic when you consider that the planet will quickly die anyway from resource depletion, pollution, land destruction and species die offs etc in any case if we stick to the current models of living.

If you are serious about doing something about these issues then you need to study the money system properly.

After over 40 years of doing nothing or less than nothing then all this sudden panicking, ruminating, pointless virtue signalling (or denying things for that matter) and expending ever more resources to add extra complex machines everywhere to try compensate for this profligacy is madness.
You’re trying to preserve a model that is already more dead than Elvis by adding bells and whistles everywhere. That is not real change.

Planet destruction is a built in feature of the debt based money system we operate under. There is no off switch so we need a new system really quite soon or at least to stop moaning all the time and accept what you’re part of.

Everything else is just a very complicated, public funded icing sugar to soften the bitter hard pill that we've only got one planet and we are going down a very dark road with it.

Deck chairs/Titanic etc and so on ad infinitum....
#7 Posted by Matt on 5 Feb 2023 at 14:12 PM
Whilst I normally avoid trolled comments, I think it is important to note that scientist do agree (97%) on climate change being man made (in fact Exxon funded scientists also agree / predicted the current climate scenario in 1960's). The IPCC report in April 2022 demanded rapid, deep and immediate cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to protect culture, property and lives around the globe. Its modelling does show consistent global temperature rises, in tandem with associated increases in atmospheric CO2.

Globally construction influence 40% of CO2 emissions (29% in building use and 11% in constructing buildings). The debate has long moved on from if we need to change, to how we achieve decarbonisation.
#8 Posted by Lovely on 5 Feb 2023 at 22:56 PM
Yes all very good but what to actually really do about it in real terms and actions rather than double speak and more consumption of resources to supposedly solve the self created problem?

Massive change of thinking needed.

No wonder there are trolls and deniers at this level of debate, although personally I don't think the guy peaceably questioning the current narrative constitutes trolling.

Science must have debate after all or it is just dogma...
Sue Pearman
#9 Posted by Sue Pearman on 6 Feb 2023 at 09:58 AM
The reality of developing designs for better carbon efficiency, for commercial housing, is that communal gas heating is directly swapped for communal air source heating. This is unlikely to have much impact on a design for a site like this. The reality of what the developers are looking to do is increase the number of flats on the site, make them smaller and increase the number of single aspect ones. This is a for reasons of financial viability, to offset the site acquisition costs + profit. The heating systems nonsense is mostly waffle to allow them to justify changes to the design and increase numbers. It's really as simple as that.
#10 Posted by Lovely on 7 Feb 2023 at 00:24 AM
Looks like the very astute commenter above has completely nailed it.

We can debate climate (well some can at least) but this design change is just making an excuse for a negative redesign that has nothing to do with the environment and a lot to do with extra profits.

#11 Posted by modernish on 7 Feb 2023 at 11:29 AM
@#10 - is the developer looking to maximise/protect their return a problem?
Development costs be that material inflation, increased borrowing rates alongside a cooling housing market make achieving the margin envisaged when the scheme was designed in 2019.
Alongside a clear and rationale discussion/debate on climate we also need to be able to discuss the economics of private development that accepts those taking financial risks are entitled to make financial gain without being demonised for doing so.
Neil C
#12 Posted by Neil C on 7 Feb 2023 at 12:13 PM
Yes that's true but it's the cloaking it with environmental and sustainability benefits that's the issue. No one should have a problem with private developers making profits, which is completely different with a social landlord developing to increase rent and profit as in Wyndford.
#13 Posted by Lovely on 17 Feb 2023 at 12:27 PM
Obviously no problem with honest profits being made #11.

However, we are talking about environmental issues being used as a smokescreen here to make a case for a worse design.

This is not a good way to increase people's faith in the genuine need behind the issue. See comment #1.

The dishonesty may be extra profitable but very unhelpful and somewhat immoral in this debate.

PS- If these guys can't make it stack up in an honest manner then let someone else have a go and simply sell the site, that's how healthy versions of capitalism work after all....

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