In thirty years time, we may very much care that mutualism had to be re-invented because of clowns running the Co-operative Bank into the arms of hedge funds. I don’t think we will be too worried about the crystal methodist though…
We will look back in disbelief that the Manchester Evening News can print a story proclaiming the Co-ops new headquarters as “the Greenest building in the world”…
… and then, 11 days later an approving picture of all its lights on at night. Genius. Pure unadulterated genius.
UPDATE Mon 25th Nov, 21.40: On facebook someone has made a very good point – “this time of year, and in this context, “night” could mean 4.30pm.” i.e. maybe all the lights are on because the staff don’t knock off till 6pm. Any readers who live/work in the north of the city have any personal experience of this?
UPDATE Tues 26th 088: MCFly is reliably informed – “Hi. re: Co-op HQ. The blue lights do stay on all night.The re-routing of the ringroad nr homes make the lauded Green credentials ridiculous.”
Of course in a sane, real-world context the word “greenest” means ‘the most environmentally sustainable’ … but in a marketing context it’s just a meaningless collection of letters designed to impress uncritical plebs who are vaguely aware that ‘environmentally sustainable’ is ‘good’.
‘Pure’ and ‘natural’ are other examples of collections of letters – designed to imply ‘gooooddd’ -but having no real meaning in the real world.
Sane, real-world. I have heard of that. Isn’t it somewhere beyond the M60?
I suppose it depends how the lights are powered. That’s what ‘greenest’ often means – spending a pound to save a shilling.
Except in terms of the light pollution, that is. Like noise pollution, it’s not taken seriously enough – because people are so out of touch with nature they usually don’t even notice it.
How a building which demanded massive road construction to re-route the Miller St Inner Ring Road purely to change the postcode and subsequently raise the value of the land for the Co-op can be regarded as environmentally friendly is in itself laughable.
The Environmental Impact Report put before the Council Planning Committee could not hide the fact that putting 15,000 vehicles a day along a residential estate previously carrying less than 500 was never likely to be anything other than disastrous for those living in the area- yet was ignored.
The operation of the road continues to breach planning obligations on constructing a noise bund between the residential properties and the road as well as implementing a valid traffic-calming scheme through the local neighbourhood.
The new Co-op building (and the now adjacent ringroad) impact on Angel Meadow- the only viable park in the city- is similarly destructive.
Manchester continues to breech all European guidelines on traffic pollution especially Nitrous Dioxide levels, which has considerable impact on the health of its residents. Also the World Health Organisation regards traffic noise as one of the main causes of stress in an urban environment.
The fact that all this was done with £20million of public money by an executive of councillors heavily financed and supported by the Co-operative & Labour Party is the untold news story yet to reveal itself.
I’ll leave better qualified judges to reason how using vast qualities of concrete, glass and steel (given the energy involved in the manufacture of those materials) to build in the first instance can be regarded as low carbon.
They have taken land out of food production, to produce fuel crops to burn in a dirty biomass incinerator. That is neither green or clean, let alone sustainable. Also BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a UK standard which has been adopted globally but it is being overtaken by other certification such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). And lets not forget, they decided to build a new building because they had decided they were in need of more office space. No sooner is it built, they sell the building to another company, to lease it back and they are looking for tenants to fill the building. So, was this building and all the environmental damage caused during its build, really necessary? Their argument for new offices was based on the usual Government’s arguments. Where they invent facts, to provide the evidence for the expansion of Heathrow, new nuclear build and now HS2.