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A Specification for the 21st Century

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#1773: 22/05/2015: TGR Steering Group Meeting in Bristol

Dropping students work off at LSBU on the way GBE 3D View on the way ready for Vision London presentation
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The surest way to be late
is to have plenty of time.

                                                                  Leo Kennedy

 The shortest distance
between two points
is under construction.

                                                                  Noelie Alito

Anyone can hold the helm
when the sea is calm.

                                                                  Publilius Syrus

The reward for work well done
is the opportunity
to do more.

                                                                  Jonas Salk, MD

The past should be
a springboard,
not a hammock.

Ivern Ball

Golf without bunkers and hazards
would be lame and monotonous.
So would life.

                                                                  B C Forbes

If you want truly to
understand something,
try to change it.

Kurt Lewin

Friends come and go,
but enemies accumulate.

                                                                  Thomas F. Jones, JR.

The man who moves mountains
begins by
carrying away small stones

                                                                  Chinese proverb

People who say It cannot be done
should not interrupt those who are doing it

G B Shaw

 The closest to perfection
a person ever comes
is when he fills out
a job application.

                                                                  Stanley J Randall

Ability will never catch up with
the demand for it.

                                                                  Malcolm S. Forbes.

Talent is a flame
Genius is a fire.

                                                                  Berne Williams.

If you tell the truth
you don’t have to
remember anything.

                                                                  Mark Twain

Often the impossible
is what has
not been attempted.

                                                                  Ultimas Noticias

If you take too long in deciding
what to do with your life,
you’ll find you’ve done it.

Pam Shaw

 “Knowledge is of two kinds:
We know a subject ourselves
or we know where
we can find information upon it”

Dr. Johnson

“It’s not what you know
it’s who you know”
A Librarian is a great ally

“Knowledge itself is power”

Francis Bacon

“Man prefers to believe
what he prefers to be true”

“What some of us do not know
is very profitable to others”

“Imagination, coupled with judgement,
is responsible for
the creation of most of the great things in this world.”

“There is one form of advertisement
better than making a good show-
that is showing a good make”

Quality Assurance

“QA won’t stop you making mistakes
but it’s there to help you
prevent it happening twice.”

A stumble may prevent a fall

                                                                  English Proverb

Quality Assurance

“Never let mistakes discourage you.
there is precious instruction to be got
by finding it was wrong.”

Quality Assurance

When you aim for perfection,
you discover
it’s a moving target.

                                                                  George Fisher

Quality Assurance

Rules are made for people
who aren’t willing to
make up their own

                                      Chuck Yeager & Charles Leerhsen

It’s only eighteen inches
between a pat on the back
and a kick in the pants.

E. Joseph Cossman

“My idea of an optimist
is one who believes that
things will come right if
he works to put them right.”

“It is not the clock
that ticks the loudest
that goes the best”

“The weaker the argument
the louder the words”

Use soft words
and hard arguments.

                                                                  English Proverb 

“Blessed are the ignorant
who know they are ignorant,
for theirs is the
Kingdom of Knowledge.”

Expert: Definition:
X is an unknown quantity,
Spurt is a drip under pressure

If you assume,
you risk making an
ass of u and me

“Blame is for God and for Children”

“Prevention is better
than knowing who did it”

“Never let mistakes discourage you.`
there is precious instruction to be got
by finding it was wrong.”

“The way to gain a good reputation`
is to endeavour to be
what you desire to appear.”


“The common law
of business balance
prohibits paying a little
and getting a lot
- it can’t be done.”
John Ruskin (1891-1900) 

Resource Efficiency

“Do what you can, 
with what you have, 
where you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

'Know where to find the information and how to use it -
That's the secret of success'
Albert Einstein

"You must be the change 

you wish to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi

“Try not to become a man of success,
but rather try to become a man of value”

Albert Einstein

'Know where to find the information and how to use it 
That's the secret of success‘
Albert Einstein

“I have yet to see any problem,

however complicated,`
which, when looked at properly,
did not become still more complicated.”

Paul Anderson, New Scientist

“failures are the inevitable consequences
of pushing technology into new areas”

New Scientist

If opportunity doesn't knock,
build a door

Milton Berle

“My idea of an optimist
is one who believes
that things will come right
if he works to put them right.”

“It is a wise man who
looks things over,
instead of
overlooking things.”

“Keep away from people
who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel
that you, too, can become great.”

M. Twain

'As man thinketh so is he'

Patience is doing something while you're waiting!

we cannot manage time,
we can only manage ourselves

We always have two reasons to do something..
the logical one
and the real one!

“There is hardly anything in the world
that some man cannot make a little worse
and sell a little cheaper,
and the people who consider price only
are this man’s lawful prey.“
John Ruskin (1819-1900)

9 qualities of truly confident people

© NGS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
31st January 2013 - 3rd January 2014


"The biggest challenge for water by a long way is the developing impact of climate change.
That's going to determine everything that happens in water policy over the next 30 to 40 years."

Environment Agency chairman
Lord Chris Smith

"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuit, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled ro composted

Then it should be restricted, dredesigned or removed from production."

Pete Seeger

“It seems to me unarguable that man has an impact on the climate.

It seems to me unarguable that climate change can have a devastating and damaging impact on societies and economies that are even less developed.

And therefore it seems to me unarguable that we should seek first to lessen the impact that man might have on the climate, and secondly invest appropriately in measures to mitigate and protect individuals and societies from the impact of climate change.”

Education Secretary, Michael Gove February 2014

Remember, this is the guy who tried (unsuccessfully) to take climate change out of the school curriculum last year.

Fabric First

Build tight, ventilate right

“We need sustainability at the heart of our skills and professional training.
We need architects and designers to incorporate sustainability in their designs.
Manufacturers must deliver efficient buildings services and fabric components”

Margaret Beckett

“We should demand the highest environmental standards possible in all our buildings
to ensure that future homes and communities are sustainable.”

Margaret Beckett

“Buildings can have an enormous environmental impact and, with existing housing pressures, it is vital that new properties or improvements to existing properties are built to the highest environmental specifications.
Thriving and sustainable communities need high quality, well-designed and efficient buildings that meet people's needs alongside those of the environment.
One Planet Products, backed by Defra funding, will have a key role in fostering a more sustainable approach in the sector.
I urge developers and others in the sector to sign up, get involved and reap the benefits.“
Elliot Morley,
Minister of State for Climate Change and the Environment

“The construction industry must embrace more sustainable forms of building.
This means buildings that meet the needs of society and stimulate the economy, but with higher environmental performance, especially in terms of energy and water efficiency and waste management”.
Sir John Harman: 
Better buildings – better lives.
Sustainable Buildings Task Group Report 2004

“Upskilling the broad range of core and associated occupations with a role in planning, delivering and maintaining sustainable communities represents a very significant challenge,
but is one we must take on if things are to change and real progress is to be made.”
Sir John Egan:
The Egan Review - 
Skills for Sustainable Communities

Climate change is for real.
We have just a small window of opportunity and it is closing rather rapidly.
There is not a moment to lose.
Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The largest potential [for the reduction of greenhouse gases] is in the buildings sector.
Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Vice-Chair,
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The UK urgently needs to embrace the Passivhaus approach
if we are to respond to the threat of climate change effectively and cost-effectively.
Chris Herring, Director, Green Building Store

‘…calls on the Commission to propose a binding requirement that all new buildings needing to be heated and/or cooled be constructed to passive house or equivalent non-residential standards from 2011 onwards…’
European Parliament resolution 2007/2106(INI) 31 January 2008

Much of the current legislation is simply a stop-gap solution


“Being less bad is not good”

William McDonough C2C

Fertility of the soil is the future of civilisation

Sir Albert Howard (19th C agriculturist) 

© NGS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
31st January 2013 - 1st march 2014


© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd. Published in RIBA Journal (monthly magazine)


"If engaged by a Contractor to assist on or with any stage of work you must ascertain and restrict your liability in writing.
Architect's Appointment should be used to reference the clauses which define the services you provide.
Responsibility for inherited design decisions should be specifically excluded." 

Liability Alert No.3


“A recent legal judgement has shown that
part of an Architect's duty must be to
collect information about materials
or systems of which they lack
knowledge or experience and
then to form a view about them”

© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd.


 “If an Architect feels that he or she cannot form a reliable opinion then the client must be advised to take additional specialist advice”

© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd.


When asking directors of companies or suppliers or system designers to verify your intentions as reasonable, state that you place reliance upon their written replies and guidance.
In a recent legal case, Architects sued for £75,000 were able to recover the loss from the 'director' that misled them.

Liability alert No.14 


“Many suppliers claim conformity to
British Standards or other test standards
but have no certificates or
in house testing procedures. 
If such is important, then ask for
the number and date of the certificate”

Liability alert No.  17


 “If Agrément test certificates
are claimed, make sure
they are current and
relate to the proposed product,
not another in the range”

Liability alert No.  17


“It is prudent to tell clients in
writing what to you may be obvious:
No building is perfect in perpetuity”

Liability alert No. 19

“All work is designed
in the expectation it will receive
regular future maintenance
which will accord with
good trade practice and
manufacturer’s recommendations”

 Liability alert No. 19


"Some failures of flat roof suggest that the design specification and detailed construction did not provide for adequate rainwater run‑off so roof ponding and flooding resulted.
Water exit points may not be cleaned regularly and the odd unfriendly visitation of objects like dead birds must be provided for.
Flashing details must be taken high enough and tucked deep enough to help resist wind driven rain penetration."

Liability alert No.21


When designing roofs to comply with the Building Regulations, remember to provide for ventilating the roof space beneath.
Claims based on condensation highlight this as a problem area.
Vapour barriers rather than vapour checks should be provided and fixed correctly.

Liability alert No.22 


The Lead Development Association has provided helpful guidance in connection with claims involving lead problems.
Failure to ventilate the underside of lead work, particularly on roofs, can cause corrosion on the underside of the lead sheet due to condensation.
Also the omission of patination oil on the surface of new leadwork can result in unsightly white run off on to darker materials below the lead.
Both potential problems can be avoided.

Liability alert No.23 


“Innovative design to be successful requires adequate research”

Liability alert No. 30

 “Innovative materials tend to be launched
without adequate testing
or their virtues over emphasised
and possible failings played down”

Neil Pepperell MD 
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.
Liability alert No. 30  

 “Healthy cynicism as to life in-use performance can prevent claims for negligent specification” 

Liability alert No. 30 

“Seek specific reassurance about product performance claims
from directors of supply companies
and state in writing you are placing reliance upon their advice”

 Liability alert No. 30


Liability is derived from professional duty of care being owed and proof that breach of that duty gave rise to damage, injury or loss.
To avoid PI claims, clarify the services you have agreed to provide, avoid involvement in things you ought not to do and keep clear records to prove it.
To develop a supporting quality management system, explain what you do, do what you say and keep clear records to prove it. 

Liability alert No.32 


"Thermal insulation does not function effectively when its inner face is ventilated to outside air.
This condition occurs with partial cavity fill where the insulation is not bedded solidly onto the face of the inner leaf.
Problems occur with loft insulation draped over ceiling joists leaving voids below the insulation.
Discontinuities in insulation lead to cold bridging and this impaired thermal performance can create localised condensation points .
Failure to achieve the required "energy label" leads to increased heating costs and may incur  liability." 

Liability alert No.36

“In the touchy and litigious
world of building design,
ignorance is no excuse”

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.

Quality Assurance

“Say what you do,
do what you say
keep records to prove it”

Liability Alert No.32 
Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.

"....but the main lesson I learned here
[whilst inventing the 'Turboblock']
was about how Architects specify.
Most people specifying Blockwork didn't know the product.
It could be dense, light, aggregate, whatever.
To Architects a block was a block."

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.

"If you don't know
what's in the material
you end up putting
things side by side
that don't like each other."

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.

“You must interrogate the data” 

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.

Performance Standards:

"Unless workmanship and performance
are defined as part
of the Contract Documents.
then any control over the end result
becomes entirely speculative."

Neil Pepperell MD
© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd. 

BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
31st January 2013 - 9th January 2013

Rules are made for people who aren’t willing to make up their own

                                      Chuck Yeager & Charles Leerhsen