Monday, 21 March 2011

Airblades in the bathroom...

AIRBLADES IN THE BATHROOM- How many times have you used the facilities in the work place recently and had fun with the Dyson Airblade?  Sadly I have enjoyed the sensation of having my hands blown dry with such hygienic efficiently quite often recently.  They seem to be springing up everywhere and I like them, so I decided to do a bit of research.

Apparently the Dyson Airblade hand dryer has over a 70% smaller carbon footprint than paper towels. Used paper towels, including the ones made from recycled content can’t be recycled so they end up in landfill or have to be incinerated, paper towels create over 45 time more waste!

An Airblade uses a 400mph sheet of HEPA filtered air and scrapes water from the hands in 10 seconds, that’s quite an impressive speed it seems to me, as a result it is very suitable for situations where hygiene is critical and would obviously be very useful in schools and kitchens in public buildings.  I can see many more work places taking it on either as a refit or as part of any new development.

My final bit of research revealed that -The Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer is the first hand dryer to be awarded the Carbon Reduction Label from the Carbon Trust - meaning the machine’s total carbon footprint – the amount of carbon emissions produced from its materials and manufacture, transport, in-use and end of life – were measured and certified by the Carbon Trust. Dyson has committed to reducing the Airblade™ hand dryer’s carbon emissions further in the next two years.

Hard to beat as a bit of kit, apart from the noise it makes, if they can do something about that emission it would be great.

Little things still mean a lot...

Even with the housing market in the doldrums there is no reason not to enjoy your home and relatively minor adjustments can mean a lot.

With the Spring on its way it might be time to make some plans for a bit of revitalising of your home. An increasing number of people are making the most of the current low interest rates to borrow money to make home improvements, and see the spending as an investment in themselves as well as for the future.

Making the smallest room in the house work for you can still makes sense. Revamping existing bathrooms with a bit of new plumbing; a new shower or updating your boiler and central heating system can really make things feel more cosy as well as being more efficient and practical. Don’t leave it till the middle of next winter and wish you’d sorted it out in the spring.

Going a step further and putting a new bathroom in the right place can not only give you extra space to relax but in the long run many believe it will still add value to your home. It might be good to consider a second bathroom if your home only has one to start with but remember it’s good to have the number of bathrooms in proportion to the number of bedrooms and  floors in your home.  Why not spring clean with some bathroom remodeling strategies to add value to your home without breaking the bank.

There's no need to move out, just move up...

HOUSE PRICE NEWS -Checking out house price news can be a bit depressing. The headlines of 2011 have already been filled with apparently contradictory tales of lowering house prices on one hand and increasing asking prices on the other. Recently said that the early Spring market bounce has seen asking prices increase by 3%, but of course this is only the asking price, not the selling price.

But maybe it’s not so bad locally. When listening to reports of the housing market nationally it is important to remember that these figures take the average from across the country. In places like Cambridgeshire, and in particular in and around Cambridge, we are still experiencing high levels of demand for housing with prices remaining relatively stable.  Says Alex Plant, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons

All said and done it’s still not an easy time to buy and sell, perhaps there is sense in well chosen home improvements.  Many people are taking advantage of the low interest rates to extend their homes. Building a loft conversion can prove very effective in many ways.  Why move when you can expand upwards converting dark and dusty lofts into beautiful airy living spaces.

It doesn’t have to involve loads of paper work an easy way to check out the idea is by using Planning Portal a Government operated website that manages conditional circumstances with in England and Wales about planning permission. Planning portal is one of the most highly highly recognised tools for accessing information regarding whether planning permission in needed or not, might be worth checking it out. There is also some more information in the loft conversion section of our website.

School budget cuts don't necessarily mean building cuts...

Good news for some schools as RE-DEVELOPMENT PLANS are UNVEILED FOR THREE MORE FENLAND SCHOOLS. Plans for the re-development of three more schools in Fenland will be on display at community consultation events in Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey next month.  Meadowgate School in Wisbech, Cromwell Community College in Chatteris and Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey will each be hosting exhibitions to show off the designs for their new schools.  A total of £28 million is being invested to provide additional accommodation and much improved facilities in each of the three schools. Alan Kippax, BSF Project Director at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “I hope people will come along to the exhibitions to see for themselves the exciting future which awaits the next generation of secondary school students in these areas, writes Simon Cobby on 25th Feb 2011

Not every community will fare so well but even with the collapse of the BSF and the reality that even those that have the go ahead may have to face 40% reductions in their budgets there is still plenty that can be achieved.

Many schools might find that they only have budgets for condition work but again that doesn’t mean good work can’t be done.  Lots can be achieved with good design, replacement and redecoration. Education Design can still deliver real change to the physical environment of a school just because it’s called condition work doesn’t mean it can’t improve the school environment.

What’s most important is making the building you have work for your school and your community and that any money is well spent to have the most impact.