Internet review

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 4 April 2008



Todd, S. (2008), "Internet review", Structural Survey, Vol. 26 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Internet review

Article Type: Internet review From: Structural Survey, Volume 26, Issue 1.

The web site information included below includes two key and other informative sites. If there are any other interesting sites or sources of information that you have found useful, please e-mail me at

The Building Research Establishment(

The latest news from BRE includes information on:

  1. 1.

    Micro-wind turbines and their role in combating global warming. A report into domestic micro-wind turbines, published by the BRE Trust shows that in many urban areas they are unlikely to pay back either their carbon emissions or the home owner’s costs for installation and maintenance. The report looks at both the carbon and financial payback times that can be expected from typical domestic micro-wind turbine installations in a range of representative locations in Manchester, Portsmouth and Wick. It describes the financial and carbon costs of manufacture, installation and maintenance and compares them with the likely carbon and cost savings made by the electricity generated during their useful life. The results show that, in windy locations such as the outskirts of Wick and parts of Portsmouth, domestic micro-wind turbines can generate sufficient energy to pay back their carbon costs within a few months to a few years and then go on to make a positive contribution to combating global warming, but in large, less windy urban areas such as Manchester they are very unlikely to ever pay back their carbon costs. Even when optimally sited outside of major conurbations financial payback is unlikely for all but the most efficient, low maintenance, low price turbines. The performance is highly sensitive to relatively small changes in local wind conditions (standard performance calculations are usually based on wind speed databases, which do not account for surface roughness and local effects), installation and maintenance regimes (including associated transport costs) and expected service life. The report also highlights the need for manufacturers to develop more efficient turbines with low maintenance and a long reliable life and for those planning to install them to first take account of local wind conditions. The BRE Trust is funding further research into this area in order to better advise and inform stakeholders about design, installation, performance and efficiency.

  2. 2.

    BRE Scotland launches its Schemes for Approved Certifiers of Design. BRE Scotland has launched its Training and Certification Schemes for Approved Certifiers of Design (Section 6 Energy): Domestic and Non-Domestic. The two schemes are approved by the Scottish Buildings Standards Agency, and qualify individuals and organisations to certify building designs as having met the requirements of the Building Regulations (Section 6 Energy) and the Mandatory Functional Standards. The Approved Certification of Design Schemes (ACD), were announced in August 2007 by the Scottish Executive Minister Stewart Stevenson. It is intended to create a fast track mechanism (in the form of a single certificate) for providing information to the Verifier (Local Authority Building Standards Department). BRE Global Limited (the certification and testing arm of the BRE Group) is providing the training, assessment of competence, and certification necessary for construction professionals to become Approved Certifiers.

  3. 3.

    New certification mark from BRE. BRE Global Limited (part of the BRE Group) has launched a new certification mark, which will be used primarily for sustainability, energy and construction related certification and will help specifiers and designers confirm the environmental performance of some products and services. The promotion of BREs existing brands, marks and listings will continue. These include:

    • LPCB (independent third party approvals body offering certification of fire and security products and services);

    • the BREEAM family (environmental assessment methods and tools for construction professionals); and

    • the Red and Green Books (listing certified Fire and Security Products and sustainability related products and services respectively).

  4. 4.

    BRE develops air purifier that kills MRSA. BRE and its partners, Promanade and Inventa, have developed and tested a novel air cleaning device that could be used in hospitals to kill the MRSA “super-bug” and other bacteria and viruses within minutes. They state that the process is 100 times more effective than current methods of decontamination. An independent scientific report from UK HPA Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response confirms that the decontamination unit is 99.999 per cent effective in killing an airborne test staphylococcus of the same genus as MRSA in less than two minutes and significantly reduced airborne spores similar to C. difficile in one hour.

The sub-menu on BRE’s homepage includes the following menu:

  • consultancy services;

  • certification;

  • commissioned research;

  • publications, training and education;

  • presentations from BRE Interbuild seminars; and

  • book a tour of the BRE Innovation park.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors(

This web site has been restructured and the main menu includes:

  1. 1.

    About us:

    • Who we are;

    • What we do;

    • How we work;

    • Our members;

    • Where we are;

    • Working here; and

    • Getting in touch.

  2. 2.


    • Key issues;

    • Consultations;

    • Position papers;

    • Press releases;

    • Economic commentary;

    • Features;

    • Podcasts; and

    • Research and reports.

  3. 3.


    • RICS Books;

    • BCIS;

    • Dispute resolution;

    • Events;

    • Library;

    • Promotion opportunities;

    • Venues;

    • Useful guides; and

    • Branding.

  4. 4.

    Join RICS.

  5. 5.


Other menus include information on:

  1. 1.

    Global intelligence, trusted advice:

    • RICS UK Housing market Survey 2007;

    • RICS Economics and market surveys;

    • Housing market survey;

    • Lettings market survey;

    • Rural market survey;

    • Construction market survey;

    • Commercial property market survey;

    • UK Economic Briefs;

    • RICS Housing Forecasts;

    • Housing Affordability and Accessibility;

    • RICS European Housing Review; and

    • Global Property Survey.

  2. 2.

    Setting and maintaining standards.

  3. 3.

    Corporate citizenship:

    • Disaster management;

    • Sustainability; and

    • Home buying reform.

  4. 4.

    The very best advice.

  5. 5.

    Local insight global vision:

    • Global property survey; and

    • Valuing sustainable property.


The homepage of this web site includes information on:

  • Construction. Helping the Construction sector and their clients to use resources more efficiently and reduce waste.

  • Composting. Supporting compost producers and growing markets for compost products.

  • Retail. Working with retailers and their supply chains to reduce waste and encourage recycling.

  • Manufacturing. Commercialising the use of recycled materials in place of virgin products.

  • Local authorities. Supporting Councils in their work to deliver better recycling services and more waste reduction.

  • Businesses. Growing a successful recycling sector and helping businesses recycle and use recycled products.

  • Home, garden, schools and communities. Helping everyone to reduce waste and recycle more stuff more often.

  • English Regions, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Delivering support where you are.

Precast Flooring Federation (PFF)(

The main menu of this web site is structures as:

  • Technical;

  • Applications;

  • News;

  • Membership;

  • Publications; and

  • About and contact us.

There is a pdf version of the Code of Practice for the safe erection of pc flooring and associated components. There is also a series of data sheets which include the Building Regulation Approved Document A: Structure and the single sheet solutions to gas contamination.


This web site includes a wealth of information:

  • brick selector and special shaped bricks;

  • earth bricks;

  • health and safety;

  • thin brick selector;

  • literature;

  • rain screen cladding;

  • large format clay bricks;

  • tilebrick;

  • pre-fabricated detailing; and

  • design guides.

Door and Hardware Federation (DHF)(

The DHF and the GAI jointly published a new code of practice relating to hardware for fire and escape doors. This can be downloaded and included advice on products and standards.


This web site gives details of “environmental cubes” which can be used as extensions, home offices. The site includes a design configurator.

Graphisoft Virtual Building Solutions(

This web site gives information on the company’s 3D modelling software ArchiCAd:

  • The Virtual BuildingTM: ArchiCAD stores all the information about the building in a central database; changes made in one view are updated in all others, including floor plans, sections/elevations, 3D models and “Bills of Quantity”

  • Intelligent Objects: ArchiCAD’s intelligent building elements like doors, windows, and columns understand and react to their environment. This accelerates work, makes the management of the project easier and allows you to design instead of draft. Even working from drafted lines, arcs and splines, the Magic Wand can create intelligent building elements.

  • The ability to think and work “live” in 3D: you can design and edit the model in 3D view, navigate in real time to check the design, and hold interactive design sessions with clients.

  • Instant visualization: ArchiCAD’s rendering tools are simple to use; no expert knowledge is required to product stunning results. VR presentations and animations and can be generated directly in ArchiCAD.

  • Efficient documentation and communication: Construction documents and files can be derived automatically from the Virtual Building model. The interactive element schedules and “Bills of Quantity” can be quickly generated and always reflect the current state of the building model. Dimensions are both automatic and associative. Automatic labeling and enhanced Detail Tools ease 2D drafting work.

Stephen Todd

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