Pelli Clarke & Partners creates Mexico City's tallest skyscraper as "window to the heavens"

Energy savings from home insulation "don't 'vanish' after four years" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing whether energy savings from home insulation "vanish" after four years and Pelli Clarke & Partners' Mexico City skyscraper.

The US architecture studio has completed the 267-metre-tall Mitikah skyscraper, which is now the tallest in Mexico City.

Mitikah is located in the low-rise neighbourhood of Benito Jaurez. In order to better connect the 62-storey glass tower with the surrounding area, a series of canopies were included to create a graduated entry.

Readers discussed the success of the project.

entrance to Pelli Clarke and Partners Mitikah skyscraper
A series of canopies were included to create a graduated entry

"Nice and clean but completely unnecessary"

Pablo Simg commented "it's a beautiful addition that will become a new icon for the capital and punctuates a new era for Mexico City's development."

"It's just another glass tower, designed by American architects who pretend to incorporate it into the environment and architecture of CDMX," commented Chicharron.

Jacopo was more forgiving, saying "suppose you want to have a city without cars? In that case, you need to accept towers and high density. And if the area is all low density, there will always be a "first" tower, followed by more. The context will come with time!"

"Nice and clean, but as with all buildings of this scale, completely unnecessary," said JZ.

They further explained that buildings like the Mitikah skyscraper "are a reflection of real estate speculation, based on overcoming acquisition costs and addressing the seriously messed-up lending practices of capitalism."

Out of context or a positive contribution – what do you think? Join the discussion ›

Picture of insulation in a building framework by Jupiter Images illustrating story about Cambridge insulation study
A study by the University of Cambridge analysed the gas-use patterns of more than 55,000 homes across England and Wales

"Energy savings from home insulation don't 'vanish' after four years"

A study by the University of Cambridge found that "insulating the lofts and cavity walls of existing UK housing stock only reduces gas consumption for the first year or two, with all energy savings vanishing by the fourth year after a retrofit".

Commenters had a strong reaction to the study and the story.

ELM58 had some questions for the researchers; "With so many unknown variables in this 'study', I think Cambridge might consider trashing it and starting over with more detailed and knowledgeable data."

Thom Chesshyre was upvoted for arguing that "citing extensions as offsetting the benefits of insulation is nonsense – metrics should be about heating load per square metre, surely?"

Christopher Gibbons contested the reporting concluded from the research.

"What the study shows is that insulation has been massively successful at mitigating a wide range of bad practices," they commented. "Those bad practices are on the rise and building codes need to be updated to ensure new additions adhere to good standards of construction."

With more than a dozen upvotes, Richard Leonard laid out quite the opposite of what the story suggested. "Energy savings from home insulation don't 'vanish' after four years; instead, people increase their energy use over time, in a manner almost entirely unrelated to whether or not their walls are insulated".

What are your thoughts on this study by the University of Cambridge? Join the discussion ›

Angel Oaks by Strang Design
"Connectivity within the home, despite the size, was important," the studio said

"Solid, light, and romantic"

Strang Design has created an 8,500-square foot (2,590-square meter) house with garden terraces in Miami, Florida, called Angel Oaks Residence, featuring Brazilian influences and vintage touches.

"Connectivity within the home, despite the size, was important," the studio said. "The home is large but not overly programmed to allow for very comfortable spaces to gather." Readers responded to the recently completed project.

"It looks solid, light, and romantic," observed Cet. "This is a lovely home!" chimed in Omor.

Mkgr4 also agreed "it is a lovely property", while George Panagos appreciated the "nice landscaping".

But JZ thought the project was "pompous and slightly tacky".

"Let's all have a visual reminder of how much wealth is consolidated in the hands of so few," they continued.

What do you make of Angel Oaks Residence in Miami? Join the discussion ›

NW10 House by Platform 5 Architects
The house features exposed concrete interiors and a textured brick exterior

"Ghastly interiors, wonderful exteriors"

Readers are discussing the interior-exterior contrast of Platform 5 Architects' family home on an infill site in north London.

"The exterior looks promising – the interior is just a major disappointment," commented Klunkrkraniche.

"Ghastly interiors, wonderful exteriors," agreed Sharad Majumdar.

Apsco Radiales also commented on the contrast. They were "not feeling the beton brut in the inside, particularly in the stairwell. Exterior brickwork is interesting".

Alfred Hitchcock captured what a lot of commenters were struggling with when they asked "if you're going to build a house from bricks, why first build a concrete bunker? If you're going to build a house from concrete, why apply an external veneer of brick?"

Do you prefer the inside or the outside of this project? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

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