Whilst the debate about sustainability, energy-efficiency, carbon-reduction and climate change rumbles on, we have to ask ourselves the question: “Have we really learned anything of lasting value in our quest for more sustainable, lower energy buildings in the last 50 years?” This was the question posed by Bill Bordass in his excellent Inaugral George Henderson Memorial Lecture at the UCL Energy Institute on 12th June. The talk was entitled “Improving Building Performance: Sparing no expense to get something on the cheap?” and I was impressed by the strategic overview Bill gave on the subject, and the witty delivery. The key message that came through from a well-respected expert in building performance evaluation is that, as a nation we don’t seem to be learning from the past. The use and performance of buildings is critical in obtaining feedback from the building itself but it doesn't get the focus it deserves and needs. There are a number of reasons for this but the main one highlighted was the divorce between...