Instagram Takeover 2021 – Neil Dickson
Posted by GLM on Apr 16, 2021 in Building Surveying
For the second week of the 2021 Takeover we head from Architect to Surveyor as Neil Dickson takes over. Neil is a Senior Building Surveyor on the GLM team and with experience from New Zealand to Scotland will share his unique perspective on his World of the Future this week! Connect with Neil on LinkedIn to stay up to date with his current projects!
- (Image : Above, Centre) The first image of my takeover will no doubt divide opinion.
When I moved to Edinburgh just over 4 years ago, I was surprised just how car friendly Edinburgh was. Cars are free to roam and park pretty much where ever they please (even for free on a Sunday until recently!) Some streets have been closed to public traffic such as Princes Street, but even this prominent street doesn’t have cameras or bollards to prevent passage so there is little in the way of a deterrent.
No doubt people will disagree with me, but there is no need for cars on George Street. I’m a big fan of the proposal to create a ‘European Boulevard’ on George Street and sincerely hope it happens. Not only to reduce emissions in the town centre, but to improve the look and feel of it. (Image Rights : City of Edinburgh Council)
- (Image : Above, Right) Just before Christmas I was part of a team tasked with undertaking a pre-demolition audit on a group of buildings in North Lanarkshire. A pre-demolition audit looks at all elements from a building which is due to be demolished from the foundations to the roof covering and everything in between. The audit then schedules the materials to be reused, recycled and those which cannot be reused with the aim of saving carbon emissions on future projects. Inevitably this is an additional cost to any project, but our exercise showed that across future projects benefitting from the free materials then the client ultimately saves money and carbon emissions are reduced. With the focus on sustainable development I can see this exercise being more and more common in the years to come.
- (Image : Below, Left) When thinking about the world of the future, perhaps we should look to the past. Melville Street is, in my opinion, the primary residential street in Edinburgh but for a long time has been largely occupied by offices looking for a prime city centre location. The pandemic has forced companies to rethink their office strategy and several office vacancies are appearing. GLM are currently involved in the conversion of a townhouse back to residential use on Melville Street and I’m aware of at least three other similar developments. I think it would be great to see this street in residential use once again. But house prices and running costs can make them a costly asset. (Image Credit to www.bygonely.com)
- (Image : Above, Centre) “As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind. We’ve got huge, huge gusts of wind going around the north of our country – Scotland. Quite extraordinary potential we have for wind” said Boris Johnson in 2020.
Fossil fuels are expected to run out in my lifetime, so like it or not I will need to be 100% reliant on renewable sources. One report suggests Scotland produced 60% of its energy through renewables in 2019, with 75% of that coming from wind. Really makes you think about the turbines on the skylines. (Image Credit to www.bbc.com)
- (Image : Above, Right) For the regular followers of GLM, the following statements may be familiar :
“80% of the buildings we will use in 2050 have already been built”
“At least 15 million homes need to be retrofitted by 2030 and, to meet 2050 carbon targets, the same homes would need to have further measures installed again after 2030.”
Both of these are quite daunting. Do you think there is enough urgency, information, help and desire to achieve this in todays world?
- (Image : Below, Left) The buildings we use in the future may be structures we have long overlooked.I love the mews buildings that are behind many of the townhouses in Edinburgh. Originally designed to stable horses with grooms accommodation above, these structures are always in a great location but quieter and are much more affordable, manageable and probably more interesting than other city centre buildings.
- (Image : Above, Centre) The truth is no one really knows what the future holds but I soon hope to be discussing it with you all whilst sustaining my body on natural plant based liquids served in a reuseable vessel from the greatest buildings of them all. Pubs!
Head over to our Instagram – @weareglm – and follow along as Joanne McClelland (Image : Above, Right) takes over Week 3!