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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Tuesday 23 December 2008

Public buildings in England and Wales are pumping out 11m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, more than Kenya's entire carbon footprint, the Guardian can reveal. . . . . .

Unpublished findings of an energy efficiency audit of 18,000 buildings including ministerial offices, police stations, museums and art galleries reveal that 9,000 buildings audited so far produce 5.6m tonnes of CO2, with one in six receiving the lowest possible energy efficiency rating - The Guardian

The European commission yesterday cleared the £12.5bn takeover of Britain's main nuclear power operator, British Energy, by the French state-owned group EDF. The commission said the deal could go ahead after EDF agreed to sell two power stations and make a site available for a competitor to build one of the UK's planned third-generation atomic power stations - The Guardian

House prices in the UK are likely to fall a further 13% over the next two years as banks and building societies continue to tighten lending conditions, according to property consultancy Hometrack. Following an estimated drop of 9% this year, prices are forecast to fall 10% next year and 3% in 2010, the consultancy said yesterday - The Guardian

Blackouts could become a regular occurence unless the Government ensures that more power stations are built, the head of National Grid said yesterday. Steve Holliday, the company's chief executive, added that unless the Government intervenes to ensure £100billion investment in new stations, there will not be enough generation to meet demand by 2015 - The Daily Telegraph

Centrica, owner of British Gas, hopes to agree a deal by the end of the month to take a 25 per cent stake in British Energy for about £3.1bn, after EDF of France was given the go ahead by Brussels to buy the owner of most of Britain's nuclear power stations. The European Commission yesterday approved EDF's £12.5bn bid for British Energy, subject to conditions including the sale of two fossil-fuel power stations and a promise to auction some of its nuclear power stations' output on the open market - The Financial Times

Centrica may reduce the £3.1bn offer that it has made to EDF for a 25% stake in British Energy after European regulators placed strict conditions on the French group's takeover of the nuclear generator. The European Commission gave EDF permission yesterday to proceed with the £12.5bn deal under stringent antitrust conditions - The Times

America's commercial property industry got out the begging bowl yesterday as the credit crisis tightened its grip on the world's biggest economy. Amid grave warnings that thousands of office blocks, hotels and shopping centres are braced for bankruptcy, representatives of the industry went cap-in-hand to Washington - The Times

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