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Why is construction so backward? by James Woudhuysen, Ian Abley, Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning
James Woudhuysen writesIan Abley writesMartin Pawley writesJames Heartfield writesMiffa Salter writesRichard McWilliams writes



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Why is construction so backward? - Contents

James Woudhuysen and Ian Abley draw on the latest technologies that have emerged both inside and outside the sector to form a detailed, practical alternative to the conventional wisdom in building design and urban planning. This book is a sharp attack against architecture as social engineering and environmentalist dogma.

Martin Pawley's Foreword to Why is construction so backward?, by James Woudhuysen and Ian AbleyMartin Pawley's Foreword to Why is construction so backward?

Why is construction so backward? James Woudhuysen, Ian Abley, Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning

Chapter 1

An industry that barely deserves the term

1.1 Construction becomes a mainstream political issue

1.2 Progress, but only of a sort

1.3 Local small firms do up existing homes – and always work on site

1.4 Illegal, cursed and DIY

1.5 Arise, Sir John Egan

1.6 Backward thinking in municipal strategy

1.7 Construction, risk and the wider crisis in capitalist innovation

Chapter 2

Backward perspectives: measurement, therapy, naturalism

2.1 The reduction of strategy to measurement

2.2 Campaigns for safety and against cowboys

2.3 Respecters of health, enemies of stress

2.4 The mantra of teamwork

2.5 Government buildings pioneer design as social engineering

2.6 New Labour’s sustainable communities

2.7 The messianic approach

2.8 Built-up brownfields forever

2.9 Out-of-date theories of urbanisation

2.10 Out-of-date theories of Britain’s green and pleasant land

2.11 Key worker housing and the microflat mentality

2.12 Longevity and the Royal Institute of British Architects

2.13 Therapeutic and naturalistic perspectives meet in proximity

2.14 The Holy Trinity in architecture

Chapter 3

Backward practice: the regulation of urban districts, workplaces and the environment

3.1 Urban innovation as Business Improvement Districts

3.2 Innovation in the law around workplace health and business continuity

3.3 Innovation in the law around the environment

3.4 Quango quagmire: the ceaseless re-branding of Britain’s building regulators

3.5 Power in the building trade

Chapter 4 - Miles Glendinning and Stefan Muthesius

Architecture versus Building in the 1960s housing boom

4.1 Industrialisation in post-war architectural perspective

4.2 Experiments in systems building in the 1950s and early 1960s

4.3 The reality of post-war mass production

4.4 State patrons of private-sector builders

4.5 The end of the boom

Chapter 5

False innovation and real innovation

5.1 Buildings as brands

5.1.1 Investment in process lags differentiation in product

5.1.2 Branded landmark developments as a displacement activity

5.1.3 What branded and anti-branded buildings have in common

5.2 The new prefabrication

5.2.1 From Paxton and Brunel to modern Japan

5.2.2 The example set by the car industry

5.2.3 The Pre-Fabulous Home

5.3 Not fearing materials, but doing more with them and about them

5.3.1 Bring in the new – and fix the old, too

5.3.2 Tablets of stone that are relatively rational

5.3.3 Say yes to nanotubes and radio frequency ID tags

5.4 Not fearing energy use, but getting it in proportion

5.4.1 Reason thrown to the winds

5.4.2 Just what can buildings do to save the planet?

5.4.3 Photovoltaics, solar chimneys and hydrogen

5.4.4 Less energy = more therapy, more bureaucracy

5.5 Face time, playing with virtual space, and monkeying with CAD

5.5.1 Critics of IT revive ‘face time’ and real space

5.5.2 The claims made for virtual space

5.5.3 The claims made for mobile IT

5.5.4 Architects as CAD monkeys

5.6 Organising wider aspects of IT to live up to their full potential

5.6.1 Supplier relationship management

5.6.2 What IT can do for building specification and project information

5.6.3 Electronic Document Management Systems

5.6.4 Tablet PCs

5.7 When teams model buildings in 3D

5.7.1 Beyond flat

5.7.2 How far Building Modelling has come

5.7.3 Signs of change

5.7.4 The obstacles are real enough

5.7.5 Developing momentum

5.7.6 New management issues

5.7.7 Ring out the old

5.8 The cultural climate impeding technological innovation

Chapter 6

To take human achievement seriously

6.1 Holding the line against the reaction to 9-11

6.1.1 Daniel Libeskind and the triumph of the emotions

6.1.2 Self-loathing and the end of ambition in architecture

6.1.3 Architecture as business continuity

6.2 How construction can catch up

6.2.1 Anticipate a new architectural division of labour

6.2.2 Assert independence from unbridled client power and partnership fudge

6.2.3 Radically reform Britain’s planning system

6.2.4 Dismiss opponents of prefabrication as utopians

6.2.5 Uphold Ford Dagenham, or something like it, to end the UK’s housing shortage

6.3 Conclusion

Biographies 7

7.1 Ian Abley

7.2 Miles Glendinning (Chapter 4)

7.3 Richard McWilliams (5.7 and Box 32)

7.4 Clare Morris (5.6.2, and Boxes 28, 29, and 31)

7.5 Stefan Muthesius (Chapter 4)

7.6 Vicky Richardson (Box 10)

7.7 James Woudhuysen

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1 Innovation in contracts: one step forward, two steps back

2 American theorists retreat from innovation

3 The innovator’s dilemma

4 New Labour funds a clipboard army in construction

5 The Precautionary Principle as EU policy

6 The space standards that have been abandoned

7 Buckminster Fuller’s legacy in the UK

8 Origins of today’s dogma in favour of high-density, mixed-use urban space

9 A building’s footprint: teleworking and the ‘Gherkin’

10 Olympic London: fence-sitting as an endurance event

11 Facilities Management and the coming of the Green office

12 The electronic surveillance of the city

13 The mitigation of architecture: Environmental Impact Assessments

14 The State Commission for Design Correction

15 Ordeal by standards

16 Competing indicators of sustainability

17 Office prefabrications as a template for homes

18 American marketing’s historic opt-out of innovation

19 Europe pioneers the branded building

20 Branded architects

21 Time to notice robots again

22 Time to notice FMS again, as well as ERP and MES

23 Going beyond Windows Version 0.0

24 Getting to the foundations of on-site mechanisation

25 How materials can help skyscrapers beat earthquakes

26 The loo’s the thing

27 The difference logistics could make

28 Specs in context

29 IT helps in the scheduling of refurbishment

30 IT assists in the ‘printing’ of 3D architectural prototype models

31 IT-based data coordination cut Stansted’s costs by a tenth

32 BAA Washroom Product

33 A computer scientist shows vision

34 Prefabrication is the best protection against fire

35 Dagenham: rise and fall

Index of names

General index

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