We've had a busy old time on The Hub this year with over 170 informative and entertaining articles covering the built environment, energy use, the political scene, climate change, extinction rebellion and changes in legislation.
We gather independent commentators and editors and add in a sprinkle of our own experts to bring you quick-to-read articles that can help you understand the issues around the issues!
Whether that is the latest forthright views on housing from TV presenter, George Clarke, advice on advances to the F-Gas Regulations, the phenomenon that is Greta Thunberg, or a look at the rise of mental health issues among solo business operators, we try and cover anything and everything that is relevant to the built environment and the industry and people involved.
So, what would we highlight from the past year?
Already well known for his forthright views, George has written for The Hub throughout the year and, as always, he does not pull his punches.
Whether he is calling the Future Homes Standard ‘all trousers no action’, castigating the ‘short-term’ approach of today’s house builders, or highlighting who is to blame for the current housing crisis, his strong opinions always get right to the heart of the matter.
His piece supporting Greta Thunberg and the climate school strikes is also worth a couple of minutes of anyone’s time, and if you want to know how superior renewable heat pumps are over oil, or why off-site construction is the way forward, take a couple of minutes to follow the links.
Just a bloomin good read
Some of the most popular and well read articles this year have even surprised us as topics that really seemed to have grabbed attention.
These include the fantastic and informative piece from Dr Aidan Bell of EnviroBuild looking at the devastating impact of global warming on indigenous people around the globe.
My colleague Ellina Webb has once again excelled herself with a fascinating piece looking at weird and wonderful places to visit in London, along with lessons that the construction industry can learn from the disastrous Fyre Festival.
There’s also a look at electric racing with Formula E and whether this can hope to placate ‘petrol heads’.
And, on a more serious note, Chris Jones looks at the pressures on installers and the rise in mental health issues within the industry.
Business and the environment
One of the biggest issues in the air conditioning industry at the moment is the switch from R410A to R32 refrigerants and this short piece by Phil Ord explains just why it is so important.
Karen Fletcher has written extensively about the building services sector throughout the year, with her piece in June looking at the impact of zero carbon targets on the sector, whilst Kirsty Hammond has been looking towards the end of concrete, and Jim McClelland has been exploring what the results of COP25 in Madrid are likely to be.
Politics and legislation
Another popular read has been my piece looking at how the political situation has stifled debate on tackling the climate crisis and how it was important for us to lead the way.
But we also covered who was going to vote for mother nature and Joe Bradbury has written about what social housing providers would want on their Christmas lists.
On the subject of housing Patrick Mooney looks at the unintended consequences of strengthening the rights of private tenants, and Paul Groves has focused on how construction is doing beyond the ‘London bubble’.
Keep coming back won’t you
Thank you for taking the time to read this far.
As a market-leading manufacturer, it would be easy for us to concentrate all of our time and effort on growing our market and selling more ‘boxes’, but we realise that our position also places an obligation on us to help educate and inform people about the issues that are important.
That is why we have created The Hub, because we know that there are major global climate issues that can only be solved if we all come together and tackle them on a number of levels.
Firstly, we need to encourage legislative change and we will continue to report on issues such as COP26, the UN and our own government, along with the climate protesters and Greta Thunberg.
Then we need to look at what business can do and highlight best examples – part of the reason we are proud to support Sustainable Ventures and the environmental start-ups they empower. It is also why we are delighted to be able to highlight innovative case studies such as these.
Finally, we need to show individuals how they can make a difference and how important it is for all of us to play our part.
That is our mission and if you would like to be kept informed, sign up to our newsletter here for regular updates.
Russell Jones is content and communications manager and curator of The Hub