Online debate tackles fabric first approach to building

Expert guests are grappling with the critical industry issue of economical sustainable building in an online debate.

The online debate is considering the motion: “Over the long-term, fabric first is the most economical approach to sustainable building”, and is drawing upon the experience and views of two industry experts. Neil Smith, Head of Research and Innovation at the National House-Building Council (NHBC) who is proposing the motion and Lu Rahman, Editor at Energy & Efficiency Today, who is acting as the opposing speaker. Taking the form of an Oxford-style debate, both sides of the argument are available for scrutiny at

The traditional style debate kicked off with opening statements from the opponents on the 21st January. The discussion is continuing and will culminate on Thursday 30th January when the victor will be announced. Visitors are also actively adding their thoughts to the proceedings through a comments section, and also have the option to cast their vote for or against the motion, based on which speaker has been most persuasive.

Richard Halderthay, Director of Communications for Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland & South Africa, said:

“We are really excited to be hosting our second debate in the series and it’s brilliant to see the discussion unfold, particularly as fabric first is a principle that we consider to be of great importance at Saint-Gobain.”

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