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Dangers of not adopting an integrated approach to building in the heart of our cities

The debate around London’s skyline has drawn attention to the shortcomings in the piecemeal approach of the UK’s planning system, says an article published this week in the CIBSE Journal, which highlights the need to understand the interdependence of buildings as our cities evolve.

Tall buildings seem to have become the architectural norm in many of the emerging new cities around the world. However, in London the emergence of several high rise developments has created controversy and fuelled debate, not least for their impact on the historic skyline of the city but also as a result of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ tower’s effect last summer on its surroundings.

With 230 buildings of 20 storeys or higher planned for Greater London a city-wide strategy is needed

Dr Julie Futcher, Urban Generation Architects

In the article in the latest issue of the CIBSE Journal (July 2014) Dr Julie Fulcher, CIBSE Member and architect at Urban Generation, points to the need for us all to understand the effect that high-rise buildings have on their neighbours – including their impact on energy demands on neighbouring buildings, and their overall contribution to the urban heat island effect.

With 230 buildings of 20 storeys or higher planned for Greater London she calls for a city-wide strategy, and a better understanding of the interdependence of buildings. This is critical if the strategy towards zero carbon targets are to be achieved, Dr Fulcher outlines in her article. Vast amounts of shade have a major effect on the capabilities for solar power generation.

 To read the full version of the article ‘Shadowlands’ click here.