Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Salvage at Grand Designs

Excel, London, UK - The second Grand Designs exhibition is on from Friday 1 June to Sunday 3 June, this time with a smaller salvage representation, some cutting edge stuff and a lot more home show normality. Kevin McCloud's TV programme spawned firstly a glossy magazine, then a glossier bigger home show.

Last year the home show concept, format and exhibitors were new and in the main fairly innovative with a large salvage area created by Steve Tomlin of Masco with Robert Mills and other trade colleagues. Masco's Ascot Bandstand was auctioned live at the event which, had it sold, would have made the salvage project a breakeven, but unfortunately it stalled at the last minute. After some deliberation Masco decided against making that effort again this year, although they will be at Salvo Fair.

Media luvvie gardener Diarmuid Gavin is there again, coupled with a load of chefs cooking up a surreal meal, and the outside village is expanded to include more rapid build systems mainly from Germany. A new feature this year is Question Taste 'an innovative exhibition; designed to provoke debate and consideration around the meaning of taste. Can taste be defined? Is it possible to pin hard and fast rules to the lapel of tastefulness? Or is it all just too subjective? Incorporating a portfolio of exceptionally tasteful drinks, ‘Question Taste’ invites viewers to wander around a series of interactive exhibits, whilst sampling the unique tastes of Tanqueray® gin, Johnnie Walker® Black Label® Scotch whisky, Talisker® single malt whisky and Smirnoff® No. 55 (Black) vodka.' This orgy of resource consumption is being backed by WWF who are committed to promoting the use of sustainable materials and to reducing pollution and unnecessary consumption of the Earth's natural resources. So that's alright then.

It is good that Antique Baths of Ivybridge, RBS Oak and Ashwell Recycled Timber will be flying the reclaimed flag at the event, and even better that they are all Salvo Code supporters. Hopefully they will find the show worthwhile.

[Grand Designs Live]

Conrad Shawcross on salvage

London, UK - "I don't tend to buy furniture. I inherited quite a few bits and pieces from my grandfather, like a wonderful old set of leather suitcases - he was a lawyer and he used them for work; we use them as a table. Other things I need I tend to find by scavenging in abandoned warehouses and derelict buildings (there are an abundance of them around here). I have an amazing 1920s anatomist table that I found in an old building in Oxford from my student days at The Ruskin.

"One thing I did buy was my roll-top bath, which I recently found on eBay. It now sits a few feet away from our bed. I painted the underside of it black to make it look more elegant. That was Sophie's idea - she's an actress [in Vanity Fair] and likes things to look dramatic. I also put two skylights in to give the room better light. One of my current projects is to build a study for Sophie. It is going to be between our bedroom and the living room and will be somewhere she can keep all her clothes and practise her lines.

"The kitchen is one of my favourite areas of the house. I have a huge Belfast sink that I found in an architectural salvage store on the Essex Road in Islington (must be Jason Davies at Architectural Forum). Also, I have a great range cooker, which is wonderful for knocking up pasta on."

The son of royal biographer William Shawcross and the writer Marina Warner, Conrad Shawcross lives in Clapton, East London with his girlfriend, the actress Sophie Hunter [Part of an interview by Tessa Williams-Akoto in The Independent]

Hundreds of houses to be demolished

Hartlepool, UK - Plans by Hartlepool Revival to demolish several hundred houses in Hartlepool have been put on hold after several out-of-town landlords objected to the compulsory purchase orders. A public enquiry will now be held and a decision is not expected for as few months. [Hartlepool Mail]

Churches stripped for metal

Quebec, Canada - Night thieves took sections of copper roofs, gutters and wiring from four Quebec City churches. "It's audacious when you have to use a ladder of 15 or 20 feet to climb up and cut pieces of a roof,'' Rev. Raymond Angers, who oversees two of the churches, told The Canadian Press. Three men removed the 81-year-old metal from the St-Charles-de-Limoilou and St-Francois-d'Assise churches. The copper was worth a few hundred dollars, but repairs to the churches will cost up to $50,000, Angers said. "These people have no respect,'' Angers said.

Cleveland police said thieves stripped the copper sheating of a half-dome that sits at the four corners of the St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Ohio's oldest Russian Orthodox church. In Vancouver, thieves have taken off with aluminum ladders, soccer goals and park light fixtures while manhole covers have gone missing in Montreal. Hydro and cable companies have also reported stolen wiring while metal giants Alcan and Dofasco have also been robbed.

The theft of metal is a longstanding problem, said Len Shaw, executive director of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries. "It's a bit crazy at the moment," he said. "If you show up with a whole roof from a church, somebody should be asking questions.'' But not only does much of the material sold contain no markings, large stashes of stolen metal are usually shipped abroad. The $85-billion US global scrap metal trade has tripled since 2003 while
copper alone has climbed to about $3.71 US per pound.

Some Canadian scrappies no longer accept manhole covers. And in another case one man died whilst trying to steal copper. Thefts also include heritage bronze items like sundial plates.

The video news clip cites demand from countries like China and India fuelling the thefts, but of course most of that demand is fed by European and North American consumers who buy the goods made and exported from India and China, so in a way we only have our own greed to blame.

Video CTV

Bronze memorial stolen

Wiltshire, UK - A bronze sculpture by Henry Pegram of World War One soldier Lieutenant George Armstrong on horseback was cut from its base at St Leonard's Church in Semley, Wilts, overnight on Saturday by thieves using a blow torch.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kamstar moving

Photo: Reclaimed Polish pavers [Kamstar © 2006]

Kent, UK - Kamstar are moving to Parkgate Centre, Cranbrook Road, Tenterden, Kent. Tel 01580 761396. Fax 01580 761397. Charles Howey the MD says, 'We are importers of reclaimed terracotta & pine flooring with warehousing in the UK and a number of sourcing facilities in Eastern Europe. Our reclaimed terracotta and brick tiles that we have on offer have had to withstand very cold winters and are often of a higher density.'

Salvo Fair big items a-coming

Salvo Fair 2005 - Big birds and a big swan bath

Hertfordshire, UK - Every year at the Salvo Fair we encourage exhibitors to bring some big items for display in the central avenue. Last year two giant birds each carved from one piece of wood and a battered unrestored swan bath were among the big exhibits.

This year we are hoping for the restored swan bath to make a reappearance, coupled with a K6 red phone box of noble provenance, a camel and giant fibreglass statue from Manchester, a concrete Eiffel Tower, an entire English Rose kitchen fitted on the back of a flatbed truck, and a huge pair of wrought iron gates will be coming. In addition, on the main stand this year will be elements of the old Baltic Exchange and several other heritage London buildings.

[Photos © Salvo 2005 & 2006, 25MB versions available to the press]

Monday, May 29, 2006

Greenbank cemetery thefts

Photo from Trapac on Flickr of Greenbank cemetery

Bristol, UK - Sent via SalvoWEB message system 15:34 18 May 2006.

Greenbank Cemetery in Bristol has suffered from theft of over 100 stone vases & urns over the past 18 months. This is now a major problem to the relatives. The urns are obviously being sold on but not necesarily in the west country. Can anybody being offered this type of item check for the right to sell of the owner and if in doubt contact the local police. Any that have any identification relating to Green Bank Cemetery in Bristol contact PC 662, Fishponds Police Station, Bristol, 08454567000.

From BBC Bristol web site:

Cemetery thefts are investigated. Mass thefts of urns and vases from a Bristol graveyard are being investigated by police. Four were stolen from the Green Bank cemetery in Fishponds on Thursday, bringing the number to about 100 during the past year. Police believe the memorial items are being taken for sale, both privately and commercially. Old and new graves are being targeted and PC Stuart Reed said it was very upsetting for relatives and friends. "I would appeal to anyone who is offered such items for sale, including workers at stone masons or reclamation yards, or anyone who has witnessed people acting suspiciously around the cemetery, to contact us," he said. The incident on Thursday happened at about 1000 BST and the offender is described as a white man, about 5ft 8ins, wearing dark trousers and a fluorescent jacket. He was seen loading the vases into a blue car, possibly a Vauxhall Cavalier. Anyone with information is asked to contact Fishponds Police Station on 0845 456 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could receive a reward.

Avon & Somerset Police web site

Drew Makepeace art from demolition project

Plastic curtain gable soon to be gone but not forgotten. [Photo Drew Makepeace 2006]

British Columbia, Canada - Super Valu Redux is an installation of photos and elements from the recent demolition of a supermarket in Penticton BC Canada by Drew Makepeace. The building sported compression-arched laminate beams on pin hinge buttresses with multicoloured translucent plastic gables. The installation includes four of the pin hinge supports.

The beams are stashed in a demo yard awaiting a new customer - 'They're looking a little scraped up, but they are for the most part intact.' [Photo Drew Makepeace 2006]

Part of Drew's statement: Now that SuperValu has been demolished physically, we can begin to deconstruct it aesthetically . . . SuperValu Redux comprises images from 2000 photos taken during demolition in March and April 2006. After taking it for granted as merely a place to buy groceries, we can now look back on it through photographs and appreciate what we failed to notice for the last 42 years: that it was a fine example of urban architecture married with aesthetic principles. The installation comprises pieces salvaged from demolition . . . and four massive metal brackets with stubs of the long wooden beams that once supported the wide curving roof. We can now see and touch these chunks of metal and wood, and admire them in visual isolation as well as through their texture and heft. Then, turning back to the photographs, the objects can be seen as they once were, in situ.

The exhibition Super Valu Redux is on from 10 June to 1 July at Leir House Cultural Centre 220 Manor Park Avenue, Penticton BC, V2A 2R2.

NOTE: Drew has compiled a handy tabular too when-to-use-an-apostrophe web page too.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Reclaimed bricks stolen, man in prison

Georgia, USA Suspected Brick Thief Arrested . . . Savannah gray bricks are a part of the landscape in Savannah's historic district, and a tempting target for thieves. They're worth a lot for construction and decoration. We found one case where an aware business owner helped police crack the case of her own stolen bricks. Savannah Day Spa is a place where many go to relax and get away, but someone got away with something that doesn't belong to them. Sunday, someone stole the bricks, which cost in between $5 and $50 apiece, from the behind the spa. The owner noticed the bricks were gone on Monday, but the thieves didn't get very far. Thanks to the security cameras that the spa has, the thieves were all caught on tape . . . [Video clip and more]

Historic Bricks Stolen from Downtown Savannah Business . . . One man is already in jail and two more are on the loose after police said they are caught on tape stealing historic bricks from Savannah Day Spa. According to a Savannah-Chatham police report the bricks, valued at more than $15,000, were stored beneath a stairwell outside the downtown business. Police said they arrested 45-year old Raymond Floyd in connection with the incident after the owner of the business spotted Floyd with some of the bricks on Thursday morning while driving near where the theft occurred. They said the rest of the bricks were found in a shopping cart in the 200 block of Oglethorpe. Police are still looking for the other two men in connection with the theft . . . [WSAV3]

NOTE: '$50 apiece' sounds a little excessive as a valuation for old bricks - even $5 seems a lot. This may be a case of slight media exaggeration, and could even spawn more copycat thefts. The total stolen was believed to be 300 bricks.

Donald Sinden at Sotheby's Chelsea

Despite the showers and odd deluge, Sotheby's Billingshurst had a successful time at Chelsea Flower Show, with many old and potential new clients dropping by. Donald Sinden was amongst them. "Do you know The Four Ages of Man?" he asked in his imitable old man posh. 'Not sure' was the reply, expecting some kind of Shakesperian riposte. "Lager, Aga, Saga and Ga-ga," was the answer, "and I am now in the Ga-ga age." Ho ho though - it turns out via Google - not entirely original.

Note: William Shakespeare, in the As you Like It speech by melancholy mysogenist Jaques commencing 'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players' gives the seven ages of man as Infancy, Childhood, Lover, Soldier, Justice, Old Age, Senility and death. Oedipus correctly answered the riddle of the Theban Sphinx, 'What starts the day on four legs, then goes on two legs and ends the day on three legs?' - the answer of course, the three ages of man, who starts out crawling, then walks, then has a stick in old age. The ancient greeks also had the four ages of man, gold, silver, bronze and iron - the age which we are still in now.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Monster waste contracts planned

The UK government are scrapping financial limits on waste contracts as a record £100 million contract was signed for Greater Manchester. Councillor Neil Swannick, Chair of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority welcomed the announcement: "This is great news for Manchester. We are the largest waste disposal authority in England, dealing with 1.5 million tonnes of waste each year. We need to divert the rest of our biodegradable waste from landfill if we are to avoid the £150 per tonne penalties in the new Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme. This PFI finding will allow for capital investment in a new waste disposal infrastructure." News comes amid a background of poor performance by PFI (public finance initiative) companies who would be targeted to build the infrastructure for such large contracts. I have written to Elliot Morley, the UK minister in charge, asking whether steps will be taken to avoid reusables such as reclaimable timber from being sucked into these proposed highly capitalised state funded monsters. [News story taken from Record breaking PFI waste contracts announced while PFI rules to change

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cox's door wins at Chelsea

Photo: Sanctuary by Adam Woolcott, gold medal winner at Chelsea in the courtyard garden section, complete with the planked reclaimed oak door made by Cox's Architectural

Cox's Architectural were part of the team that won a Gold Medal at the RHS Chelsea Show this week. Sponsoring A & W Gardening Services in the Small Courtyard Garden Class, Cox's supplied a traditional planked oak Church door made from reclaimed oak planks and original hardware. The design brief was for a garden with a mixture of wild plants to recreate the peaceful but slightly unkempt Churchyard feel where not only the plants find sanctuary but also where the individual can find
sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of modern lfe. Designers Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith recreated this with prolific
use of British wild flowers leading up a flagstone path to an ancient flint wall in which a with a faded centuries old oak gate closed against the hurly burley of a busy town. Cox's stepped in and made a door from gnarled reclaimed oak, retaining that weathered silvery look that only old English timbers can give. Adam Woolcott said " I couldn't believe my eyes when the door was delivered. It was just as I imagined it should be.It played an important part in our Gold Medal win. Visitors have been asking where we found it and when told that it was made last week, they are staggered." Co-designer Jon Smith said " Our feet haven't touched the ground yet.This is our first show garden and our first time at Chelsea. To win a Gold was beyond our wildest dreams." Cox's have been making traditional oak doors that look centuries old for quite some time and provide a custom made service, making to customers size, style and finish. "We'll do any finish the customer wants except perfect!" says MD Peter Watson. "There is a need, especially in the Cotswolds, for country style front doors. We could never get enough originals to satisfy demand and so we did the next best thing. Started making them. These doors are really solid, will outlast most of our customers and certainly outlast me!". On Chelsea , Watson says " We've been asked over the years to supply all
sorts of things for Chelsea but nothing really caught my imagination until this scheme came along. We're absolutely delighted for the lads and my blokes in the workshop are particularly proud of the part they played in their success. I'm only annoyed that I haven't been able to get down to see it."

Peter Watson, Cox's, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire
Tel 01608 652505

[Press release by Cox's Architectural]

Chelsea Flower Show

News from the show is that between deluges business was brisk yesterday, opening day, and slower today with more rain things like the power going down which turned the fountains off.

Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea, London. Exhibitors in the Market Place this year include Triton UK, Sotheby's, Silverland Stone, Holloways and Architectural Heritage. We have not heard of specific involvement of the salvage or garden antique trade in show gardens this year, but doubtless there is.

This is what the RHS says:
'Since 1913 the world’s greatest flower show has set the standards and trends in gardening all over the world. It has been held at the Royal Hospital since 1913 but was first held in Kensington in 1862. The 300 sundries exhibitors represent the very best in gardening products. With the most comprehensive media coverage of any gardening event the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is definitely the place to be seen. Annual attendance of 157,000 paying visitors (capped to ensure visitor comfort), 47 per cent of visitors are RHS members, 75 per cent of visitors are ABC1, 40 per cent of visitors spend six hours or more at the show'
Start Date : 23 May 2006
Finish Date : 27 May 2006
Url :

Demolition moratorium in Chennai India

New Delhi, May 23: The Supreme Court today refused to stay the operation of the new law placing a moratorium on the demolition of unauthorised structures in the capital but issued notices to the Centre and the MCD on the PIL challenging its legality. A vacation Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice R V Raveendran posted the matter for hearing on July 17. The court referred the issue to the Bench which has been hearing the matter relating to demolition of structures and ceiling of shops. The petition, moved jointly by the Delhi Residents Welfare Associations Front and an NGO Citizens Forum, alleged that the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 was politically motivated keeping in view the coming municipal elections and should be declared ultra vires of the Constitution as it "violated" the fundamental rights of the law abiding citizen. The Act provides for maintaining status quo as on January 1, 2006 of unauthorised development in respect of mixed land use, construction beyond sanctioned plans and encroachments by slum dwellers, hawkers and street vendors in the capital. The law aims to use the one-year period to finalise policy, norms, and guidelines to deal with such violations. [Chennai Online]

Comment: A normal feature of slum clearance in such situations is that the materials arising from demolition are destroyed to prevent dwellers from taking them elsewhere and reusing them. The hope is that the slum dwellers will move to another city or go back into the (normally impoverished) countryside from where they came. [TK]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What are we grafting for?

'This week,' two weeks ago, 'Madame Venus offers you a break,' no she didn't, 'but the real issue is what are you grafting for? Family, security, duty, survival or stardom?' Seen on the Observer mag horoscope page - and no I never usually look at them - by the side of which was a fetching picture of Peter Blake with a 3inch paintbrush. Hard to tell which was stiffer. 'Any is fine as long as you are clear,' it finished. I am not clear, but have decided to try a three months stretch of each to see if it makes a difference. I will let this blog know in 15 months time.

Bat colony halts demolition

Tesco's plans to knock down the former College of Textiles in Galashiels, Selkirkshire UK have been put on hold due to the discovery of a bat colony in the attic which means the demolition, which was due to start in July when Department of Work and Pensions staff move out of the building, will have to be put back. [Scottish Daily Record]

Monday, May 22, 2006

Robotic mule Boston Uni

Could robots be the future of demolition? Cheap, easy to use, safe and careful dismantlers.

Indian demolition?

House demo using men and ropes

'We own only what we can destroy'

Kicking and hammering a house down.

Gorbals tower blocks explosive demolition

Italian explosive demolition teach-in

The old wrecking ball

Reubens runs through a wall

East London slates go west on demo job

The slates look as if they could be reclaimed. Does no-one know they are worth a pound each, don't they care, or have they been told to salvage nothing for reuse?

Beacon NY USA house demolition, 'somebody blew that big time'

Historic building destroyed in four minutes by one man and a machine.

Demolition playhouse and dog

San Diego hotel explosive demolition

Jamestown RI USA bridge demolition

Dangerous demolition

Young men at play including remote flying sledge hammers and wildly remote controlled skid-steer, somewhere in north America.

Mirth at explosive demolition failure

How not to carefully dismantle and reclaim

Demolition using explosives in the USA

How to load reclaimed maple on to a truck

How to remove a salvaged fireplace

Lassco's new blog

LASSCO NEWS is the blog of London Architectural Salvage & Supply Company. Full on snippets and gossip from St Michael's church and Brunswick house.

Hots spotkins

The scariest web page in the world? Architectural Antiques of Hammersmith fireplace page.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mark McGowan at the Gherkin

Left: Mark McGowan prepares for his two week daring-do, with a reclaimed door, plenty of foam rubber, and some reclaimed bricks (not visible). He will somersault from the Gherkin to the Salvo Fair at Knebworth

Press Release
Press call Friday 5th May 2006 10am-11am, the Gherkin, St. Marys Axe, London

An artist will somersault 40 miles over a reclaimed door and a pile
of bricks.

"Materials destroyed during demolition and refurbishment
contain enough energy to heat 10 million homes every year in the UK,"
says Thornton Kay of Salvo Llp, the reclaimed building materials
network. 'Reuse more and recycle less' is Salvo's message, and this
will be reinforced on Friday by Mark McGowan, who is to give a
demonstration of how he will go head over heels from the Gherkin in
the City of London, where the old Baltic Exchange was demolished, all
the way to Knebworth, where this year's Salvo Fair will be taking
place and where the Baltic Exchange will be offered for sale.

Everyone is promoting recycling, which uses lots of energy, but no-one is encouraging reuse which saves lots of energy. In the past ten years the amount of salvaged material reused has decreased substantially while the amount destroyed has increased enormously.

Notes for editors
1. Materials arising from demolition and refurbishment amount to 100 million tonnes a year of which roughly 2 million tonnes is reclaimed for reuse by the UK salvage trade.
2. The embodied energy of the material destroyed is enough to heat half the UK's houses, this is 12 million tonnes of carbon, or 60 million tonnes of carbonb dioxide.
3. Since 1995, billions of pounds has been poured into recycling, but nothing has been spent on encouraging reuse of reclaimed building materials.
4. Worse, is that materials that used to be landfilled ten years ago, are now crushed, chipped, composted and processed before being deposited on the ground, and this uses even more energy, for absolutely no benefit, and a huge increase in carbon emissions.
5. The UK would be better off putting whole bricks into landfill, and then in 100 years these can be mined and reused, rather than wasting energy crushing them.
6. Twelve reclaimed bricks contain the embodied energy equivalent of a gallon of petrol. The UK destroys 3 billion bricks a year from demolition and refurbishment, and UK builders use nearly the same amount of new bricks. Around 150 million bricks are rescued for reuse. Saving them is getting increasingly difficult.
7. The Baltic Exchange was carefully dismantled and moved to warehouses in Reading, sold and moved to Manchester, then resold to a business called Extreme Architecture and moved to Kent where it is today. The Baltic was delisted by John Prescott before the decision to build the Gherkin was made. No assistance has been given to increase its chance of reuse.
8. The Salvo Fair is held at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire and is open to the public on 1st and 2nd July 2006. There will be 7 acres of salvage from around the UK. On Friday 30 June construction professionals and media will meet the trade at Knebworth to discuss the issues.
9. Mark McGowan is this year's artist in residence for the Salvo Fair, and his journey from the Gherkin is scheduled to take two weeks, during which he will be celebrating salvage and denigrating recycling in unusual ways at unusual places, including outside IKEA and at St Albans cathedral.
10. The UK mainstream press (apart from The Guardian) has been very supportive of the architectural salvage trade since the 1970's. Their main market is still the private DIY sector (SalvoWEB received 13,000 visitors a day in April 2006) and niche builders. The UK salvage trade is a world leader. The UK press influences policy makers who may then look into these issues and see what can be done to reverse the increased destruction of materials for which there is such a high demand.
11. The size of the market for new construction materials is around 40 billion pounds. The market for reclaimed materials is around 400 million pounds. So reclaimed is one per cent of new by value. The salvage trade could increase its share to 5 or even 10 per cent by value, but not without outside help.
12. Surprisingly, Friends of the Earth, WWF, Greenpeace, London Remade, WRAP, English Heritage, RIBA, all heritage organisations like the Victorian Society, are unsupportive of reuse of reclaimed materials. The ODPM, Ken Livingstone and some local authorities are supportive in written policy, but none have backed this with positive help or action. Some local authorities have banned the reuse of reclaimed materials.
13. Salvo Llp is a two person partnership (father and daughter) and the Salvo fair is run by five Kay sisters and their brother. The UK salvage trade has no trade association and so had no representation to government, EU or any other level. Salvo makes no claims to represent it, but is perhaps the nearest thing it has to a trade body. Salvo runs a code for dealer to which Tessa Jowell has recommended that all salvage dealers should sign.

Mark McGowan
Salvo Fair

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Fondness for Fossil Fuels

A Fondness for Fossil Fuels: "If we're to have a hydrogen economy, we have to secure our supplies of natural gas. By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 25th April 2006. My timing could scarcely be worse. To announce, in this of all weeks, a Damascene conversion to natural gas is to invite ridicule from every ..."

SalvoFAIR: Construction professionals afternoon

In the UK 50 per cent more from demolition is now being destroyed than ten years ago, either being mulched, chipped, crushed or burned, or simply being landfilled.

At the Salvo Fair this year (1-2 July 2006) there is an extra day to give an opportunity for the trade to meet construction professionals to discuss the issue. Friday 30 June 2pm-7pm Salvo Fair Knebworth Construction Professionals & Media Afternoon. - admission is by ticket only (apply at or tel 020 8761 2316).

The problem is that the cost of trashing materials is small by comparison to the value of property, so fiscal penalties or incentives would have to be huge to encourage greater reuse.

A sensible solution would be to require all refurbishment and new build to incorporate a pecentage by value of reused materials, say 5 per cent to start with, and to load the percentage in cities to discourage material migration out to cheaper areas, so increasing transport and hence energy costs.

The UK is now destroying reclaimable materials containing enough embodied energy to power between 6m–12m homes a year.

There must be a solution, but it is beyond the salvage trade's ability to organise. It needs outside help.