Issue 047 Cover

World Energy

By Khaled Abou Alfa • 16th of July, 2020

New Zealand Empathy

You don’t need to have a connection to New Zealand to admire honest empathetic leadership. It’s good to see that some of that leadership is now spilling over into the engine that drives the built environment.

The Government of New Zealand announced their Building for Climate Change’ programme. The programme will seek to increase the operational efficiency while also intends reducing the embodied carbon during construction and eventual demolition. While the exact details and targets are not defined yet, it does show a methodical approach to the issue at hand and will involve rewriting the country’s building code.

It might be easy to decry that it does not address existing building stock, this is a sensible approach. Ensuring that new stock is considered holistically will only build the muscle memory an industry needs before it adapts those muscles to the larger challenge of patching the old.

Statistical Review of World Energy

We last mentioned in issue 009, although in a less than favourable light. They have published the 69th edition of their Statistical Review of World Energy. It offers an incredible overview of how we are generating our energy and where we are using it, across the world. The whole document is well worth diving into. A few graphs that stood out:

graph 1
Renewable energy generation over the last 10 years.
graph 2
Energy consumption per capita by region.

Notre Dame Restoration

On the afternoon of 15th of April, 2019, a fire broke out in one of the world’s most recognized landmarks, which all but consumed the roof. This sparked a heady list of architects dreaming of putting their stamp on how to restore the building.

Those crazy ideas will now remain on websites as it has been confirmed that the cathedral will be rebuilt not only eschewing these modern touches but also being rebuilt using the same materials, mainly lead. Full on traditional.

Publications of Note

A+T Architecture Library


Gorgeous library tomes over at A+T architecture publishers from out in Spain. You definitely get a lot of bang for your buck. They are currently on sale for the coming few days. Available in both print and digital versions - although really these book deserve the dead tree treatment.

The Flying Gherkin

Ever wonder what buildings get up to while we’re not around?

What do you get when you mix Toy Story and architecture? Find out in a series of children’s books from Fosters & Partners. They have released 4 stories, as the Flying Gherkin leaves London and travels to France, Hong Kong and Florida. While some of it is self serving, my 6 year old loved these.

The Flying Gherkin

Tools of the Trade

Pentel & Schmincke

While we are all relying on a digital world, there is much life left in analogue tools. Although these tools can sometimes be less capable than their digital counterparts, they offer a different experience that is near impossible to replicate.


Urban sketching is a wonderful way to get to know and understand your close environment better. For those looking to make a start,Pentel’s Aquash brush pens (they come in a range of sizes) and Schmincke’s Horadam Aquarell pan (they come in two sizes) make a winning combination.

30 St.Mary Axe

The Stet newsletter explores the ideas, projects and technologies that define our built environment.