Twelve of the best

Modus staff have chosen their favourite articles of the past year – covering everything from nuclear fusion to build-to-rent by way of queer and racial inclusivity. If you have missed any, this is your chance to catch up


  • Modus staff

19 December 2022

Icons of the built environment

Illustrations by Calvin Sprague

Built environment

Built environment icons



Pride and prejudice: queer venues in crisis

The LGBTQ+ community is becoming more visible but, curiously, bars and venues catering for its members are in decline. Modus explores why.

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Is build to rent the best way to create more homes?

Corporate investors may be best able to judge the needs and requirements of the modern rental sector – but does it prevent tenants from buying their own homes?

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Why commercial property is more valuable when it’s green

Rising demand for more sustainable commercial buildings is creating a “green premium”. Will the profits offset the costs of implementing measures?

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Natural environment

Sustainability and nature icons

Three experts on the best ways to retrofit housing

Insulate, insulate, insulate has been the command. But, with a huge proportion of the period housing stock in the UK, three experts say there are other approaches to energy efficiency.

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The cities creating new jobs to fight climate change

Miami has a heat officer, in Dublin there is a biodiversity officer and Denver has appointed a decarbonisation manager – meet the council workers with sustainability in their sights.

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Flood the market: protecting homes from extreme weather

Rising seawater levels mean local authorities have to devise new ways to protect cities, countryside and human life – with developers picking up the tab.

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Technology and data

Person pluggin in and technology icons

Unreal estate: buying property in the metaverse

The virtual world allows the buying and selling of digital land – but can it be valued, is it worth it, and can the metaverse teach us anything about real-life bricks-and-mortar?

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How drones became crucial kit for construction sites

Eyes in the sky have transformed building sites, tracking progress, monitoring health and safety and helping to problem solve. Will they soon be able to build as well?

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Fusion energy: nuclear but not as we know it

The race is on to develop the world’s first fusion energy plant. But harnessing this safe, limitless, zero-carbon source of power has remained elusive – is it finally within reach?

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Business and skills

Icons of people

Race and space: decolonising the built environment

From acknowledging our own biases to encouraging more minority representation at a decision-making level, Modus speaks to five RICS members who are changing the industry.

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Monet laundering: how criminals use art transactions

The high value of art and opaque practices of the art world make it the perfect conduit for illicit money. How does it work and how can appraisers fight criminality?

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Sounding off: how quiet should an office be?

About 65% of office workers surveyed say that their workplace is too loud – but can sound be designed out of the work environment without creating a deathly silence?

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