Leeds Sustainability Institute

Open Knowledge Exchange and Sharing

10th June 2015 – A Busy, Inspiring, Built Environment Day

This Wednesday, 10th June, is going to a busy built environment learning and sharing day: Check out these great events:

If you are in Leeds, Yorkshire or the North of England:

UK_collaborative_logoOur Living Building Challenge UK Collaboration Materials Workshop explores the materials petal, at Squire Patton Boggs, Leeds from 2.30 – 5

Introduction to the Materials Petal (LBC Presentation) Martin Brown
Materials Handbook Working Session
Experiences of tracking Red List Materials (Alex Whitcroft)

Contact LSI GreenVision e.a.schofield@leedsbeckett.ac.uk  for more information.

 

 

If you are on the internet

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CGlkNIhUAAEei4eBrightest Greenest Buildings: The free-to-attend carbon neutral virtual exhibition dedicated to Europe’s most successful and greenest building projects and green building solutions opens on June 10th. We will have a presence – thats the UK Living Building Challenge UK, Fairsnape, #FutuREstorative and LSI Green Vision, along with many other great green building advocates and supporters.

There is an inspiring and free seminar Schedule of Events running through out the day, not to be missed!

 

 

If you are on twitter:

WORLD-FM-DAY-LOGO_2015_translations2-1World FM Day On June 10, @IFMA will host two Twitter chats that pose hot-topic questions addressing aspects of this year’s World FM Day theme, “Building Resilience for the Future,” using the hashtag #WorldFMDay.

8-9 a.m. CDT: Chat on resilience (risk mitigation, business continuity, agility/change management)
2-3 p.m. CDT: Chat on the future of FM (succession planning, tech/industry innovations, etc.) (There are also a myriad of other WorldFMDay events taking place on the 10th)

Brightest Greenest Buildings Europe 2015

Once again The UK Living Building Challenge Collaborative and Leeds Beckett University’s Green Vision & Leeds Sustainability Institute  will be exhibiting at this free to attend virtual exhibition dedicated to Europe’s most successful and greenest building projects and green building solutions. Brightest! Greenest! Buildings EUROPE 2015 is a virtual exhibition, organised by an international project team to promote the greenest building projects and associated solutions in Europe. With an extremely low carbon footprint,  this exhibition and conference will reach over 50 countries in the European market in a highly efficient & energy saving manner.

In a shift of direction from last year’s conference, then entitled ExpoC21, Brightest! Greenest! Buildings Europe 2015 will run over several months with an evolving focus and a diverse monthly Events Programme featuring topical presentations from international experts and advocates. The expo will officially launch on 10 June 2015 & it’s first set of presentations will include contributions from Delta Development Group, C.F. Møller, The Carbon Trust, MIPIM’s Innovation Forum and many more! This launch event will also see the soft lauch of Base EU Cities following it’s successful programme on smart cities it has implemented throughout the UK. The event itself will also feature a wide range of different exhibitors featuring investors, project developers, designers, green building consultants and rating tool assessors and other services as well as technologies, products, and materials providers. Last year over 1500 people attended across two days and this year the organizers expect to welcome 10000 people over several months. Speaking about last year’s exhibition, Green Vision chair Martin Brown says,

“Visiting the stands was actually easier and more enjoyable than a real show, being able to chat and pick up brochures, watch videos and read posters with ease. I had numerous business card exchanges and agreements to get in touch after the show to discuss possible collaboration on Living Building Challenge, sustainability, green schools and social media, including a future discussion to be had on possible funding. I would have considered it a very good day at any real life show.” Martin’s full review of last year’s show can be read here

Further information about the event, including the team behind it, the promotional plan as well as last year’s highlights can be found on the website. In the meantime here is a sneaky peak of our stand at the event, do register online at http://www.brightestgreenestbuildings.eu/, create your avatar & come and visit us on the 10th!

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Healthy Buildings to Healthy Minds – joining the dots at Green Vision

Imagine buildings that foster net-positive health and happiness. Buildings that can actually make us healthier and feel better from working or living in them – sounds great doesn’t it? Well that was the theme of last month’s Green Vision “Health & Happiness” seminar where we welcomed around 20 industry professionals to Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds to explore some of the new thinking correlating building design with health.

First to speak was Green Vision chair, Martin Brown, who gave an overview of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) performance standard and the LBC UK collaborative who have been hosting workshops for over a year now outlining the requirements of the standard and the seven tranches (known as petals) by which a building can be assessed against. The Living Building Challenge is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard & calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. There are 7 ‘petals’ within the standard; place, water, beauty, materials, energy, equity & health and happiness. Find out more about the Living Building Challenge UK collaborative here and contact us if you wish to get involved.

We also welcomed Victoria Lockhart , Wellbeing & Sustainability expert at Arup Associates who introduced the International Wellbuilding standard of which Arup is the first organisation outside of the USA to support.  The WELL Building Standard®, administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ is an evidenced based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and wellbeing. The standard is third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which administers the LEED certification program and the LEED professional credentialing program. As with the Living Building Challenge, the standard provides a structured framework against which projects can optimise their impacts on human health, with performance requirements defined across seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.

WellBuildingimage sourced from Arup Associates here

Finally, in a slight change of tone for the seminar, but of no less importance, we welcomed Elliot Cohen, Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University to talk about mindfulness. There are many different descriptions of mindfulness out there but perhaps the best one comes from bemindful.co.uk who describe it as

“an integrative, mind–body-based approach that can help you manage your thoughts and feelings, and change the way you relate to experiences. The practise of Mindfulness helps/teaches us to pay attention to the present moment without judgement, using techniques like meditation, breathing, and yoga. Training helps us become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them. Practising mindfulness can give more insight into emotions, boost attention and concentration, and improve relationships.”

Anyone can practice mindfulness as Elliot ably demonstrated with a series of short breathing exercises with the assembled. Why is mindfulness important to building design? Well, people are critical to good building design & studies have shown that mindfulness can be one of key drivers for fostering behavioural change & collaboration in teams. Not to mention the obvious health benefits of helping us to destress,  regain focus, be more effective and look at challenges more objectively – who wouldn’t want that?

Check out our short storify of the event below. Anyone who is interested in viewing the slides for this event, please send an email to ckeevents@leedsbeckett.ac.uk and we will send you the link.

 

Leeds Sustainability Institute (LSI) welcomes the Paris Institute of Technology

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A group of Executive Masters students from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausees, the Paris Institute of Technology, were engaged in a four day study visit from 27th to 30th April at Leeds Beckett University. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the research and work of the CeBE team working within the Leeds Sustainability Institute and also explore some of the local area.

The Dean of the Arts, Environment & Technology faculty, where the Institute sits, Professor Mohammad Dastbaz gave a welcoming address to the students who then embarked on a packed schedule of presentations, visits and activities. The students were treated to presentations on LSI research into building behaviour, thermal bridging, and closing the performance gap. In addition, Mark Warner, Sustainability Manager at Leeds Beckett University, gave an insight into the environmental improvements in the university estates and Anthony Smith presented his research on solving civil engineering problems using biomicrobial solutions.

 

The group were also treated to some activities outside of the classroom,visiting the Little Kelham development in Sheffield and the Energy House at Salford University.

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Dr Lindsay Smales also took the group on a walking tour of Leeds & the heritage town of Saltaire.

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The LSI has a long standing relationship with the Paris Institute of Technology  which continues to be highly productive & collaborative, fostering a robust exchange of ideas, knowledge & best practice on sustainable research, practices and technology.

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DEng – Study for a Doctorate of Engineering while you work

LSI 2015

The Doctorate of Engineering (DEng) is a programme of research based on the advanced study of engineering or applied sciences and professional practice in engineering, It is intended for candidates with relevant professional experience and supported by structured learning. The aim of the course is to blend the practical experience within the working environment with a part-time research degree. The key themes of the DEng are Energy, Sustainability and Building Performance.

Current Student Profiles

Stephen Wise, Technical Development Manager, Knauf Insulation.

Stephen has worked for the business for 13 years and held his current post for 6 years. His responsibilities include managing the Knauf’s research portfolio in the UK and working on CEN and British Standards Committees on subjects including product standards and in-situ testing. He also has been heavily involved in the government’s industry engagement process for the last 4 revisions of Part L. He was the chair of the Construction Products Association Technical Committee for several years standing down in 2014 and is currently chair of The Thermal Insulation Manufacturers and Suppliers Association. He has worked closely with Leeds Beckett University since 2009 notably on the development of solutions to Party Wall Bypass. Since starting his D.Eng he doesn’t have any spare time but if he did he would probably spend it working on the refurbishment of a 150 year old house in the Pennines and for pleasure he likes to walk in the hills.

Mark Burrows, BSc(Hons) MSc CEnv CEng CMVP FEI FLSI, Energy Solutions Specialist, Siemans Industry UK & I

Mark is currently undertaking a D.Eng research degree in the field of industrial energy data analytics. His research centres on analysing and understanding the barriers to the uptake of energy data analytics, as a tool for energy reduction within industrial manufacturing businesses within the UK. Day to day, Mark is an energy management specialist with varied experience in the management and delivery of energy, carbon and wider sustainability services to both public, but mainly, large-scale industrial energy users. He leads on the conception, delivery and review of energy management services for Siemens. This includes the design, management and verification of energy performance contracts. Mark is a Fellow of the Energy Institute, Fellow of the Leeds Sustainability Institute, a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Environmentalist and Certified Measurement and Verification Professional.

 

Expected Duration

4 years minimum

How to Apply

Interested parties should email Anne Stafford a.stafford@leedsbeckett.ac.uk in the first instance

Ant & Tech – LSI Biomimicry expert featured in Sunday People

Following on from Green Vision’s excellent learning from nature twilight seminar in February, we are pleased to see that Leeds Sustainability Institute’s  Rich MacCowan , one of our speakers for that event, has recently been featured in the Sunday people talking about Biomimicry and the principles behind it. As well as being the LSI lead for Biomimicry, Biophilia and Systems-thinking Richard formed the team behind Biomimicry UK in 2012 to take the research on nature-based design and finding a place for it in industry. The full article has been reproduced below;

The way busy worker ants defend their nests is being studied by scientists – to help busy human workers defend their emails.

In our hectic world of 24-hour living and instant information, it would be easy to think nature has nothing left to teach us. But top scientists know we still have plenty to learn from animals and plants. An exciting branch of science called Biomimicry uses nature to answer problems of modern life.

Ants, for example, are experts at keeping predators at bay because they are organised and share their workload across the colony. It is a principle that may work against unwanted email junk messages, which make up about 90% of emails and spread viruses. Ant colonies work like the human immune system, in which each cell is designed to fight off one or two different bugs, rather than being weighed down with every tool needed to battle all infections.

Biologist Deborah Gordon, at Stanford University in California, said: “Ants often make mistakes, and yet over evolutionary time it works out well enough that a colony can keep out all the bad guys. Because the chances are, when any particular ant of another colony comes along there will be an ant that recognises it.”

She said the same logic could be applied online. Emails are currently screened against blocklists, which stop messages from known spammers getting through. But the culprits are often skilled at staying one step ahead, and Dr Gordon says a smarter, more flexible system could be developed by studying ants. She said: “Spam filtering has evolved into a war with hackers. Once they figure out how the spam is being identified it is pretty easy to change things around so as not to be identified. What we are suggesting is a system where each part just reacts to the particular spam that it encounters.”

Ants are so amazing that even in zero gravity, when 600 were sent to the International Space Station, they stuck to their tasks and stayed organised as a colony. Teams of robots using such tactics could revolutionise search projects in dangerous environments, added Dr Gordon.

And it’s not just ants. Biomimicry has already changed all our lives and will continue to do so. The skin of sharks has inspired swimming costumes which cut drag and helped top performers such as Michael Phelps to smash records. And the shock-absorbing skull of the woodpecker, which drills trees up to 12,000 times a day with its beak, led a designer to create a super strong cardboard cycle helmet. A beetle’s ability to trap moisture from the air spurred scientists to try and grow trees in a desert. Meanwhile a fish is helping improve natural light in offices, pine cones have inspired a revolutionary clothes material and burdock plants’ hooks led to the development of Velcro. Birds’ hollow bones may improve jet plane design, while the reflective quality of butterfly wings are lengthening the life of batteries in electronic books.

Richard MacCowan, director and co-founder of Biomimicry UK, said: “It’s not just about sustainability. “It’s about what you can achieve that’s more beneficial, better for the environment, has better social impact. I t’s about tangible results, that’s why we’re starting to see improvement.”

 

Antandtech

Ever wondered how the built environment can contribute to our health & happiness?

Imagine buildings that foster net-positive health and happiness. Buildings that can actually make us healthier and feel better from working or living in them. This evening seminar, aligned with our Living Building Challenge afternoon session, will focus on the emerging importance of health and happiness within the built environment.

We are seeing built environment sustainability mature, at design, construction and facilities management stages, moving away from an approach that focuses solely on technology, energy and water performance to embrace health, happiness and even mindfulness.

This not to be missed event will feature the following speakers:

Introduction to Net Positive Health and Happiness Thinking 

Martin Brown, Chair Green Vision and LBC UK, fairsnape

Mindfulness – Training in Tranquility and Cultivating Creativity  

Dr Elliot Cohen, Senior Lecturer in Psychology,

Leeds Beckett University

An introduction to the Well Building Standard 

Victoria Lockhart, Arup Associates, Wellbeing and Sustainability Specialist, LEED AP ID+C, BREEAM AP, WELL AP

Wednesday 13th May 2015

17:30 to 19:30

Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, 2 Park Lane, Leeds

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Earth Day 2015 – Beyond Sustainability

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Martin Brown is the Leeds Beckett Green Vision Ambassador, a Living Building Challenge Ambassador and through Fairsnape an innovative, leading consultant and advocate for built environment sustainability.

We are seeing the emergence of new sustainability thinking, one that is challenging our understanding of sustainability, one that uses expressions such as net positive, regenerative and restorative sustainability.

Patagonia company founder Yvonne Chounaird thinks we should not even use the term sustainability until we give the same or more back to nature than we take. 

At this free public EarthDay presentation Martin will provide an overview of EarthDay, from its origins back in the 70’s to its present day global celebration of the Earth, along with a backdrop for a new sustainability, focusing on how buildings and the built environment can deliver a restorative sustainability, starting to heal the future and to correct some of the sector’s past environmental damage.

We are limited to 70 places on this event so secure you place now at this FREE event by email to ckeevents@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

 

Getting serious about water

On 11th March we held the second in a series of workshops exploring the seven key performance areas of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), otherwise known as petals (more about Petals & the Petal workshops here). This session focussed on the water petal.

The purpose of the water petal is to realign how people use water and to redefine “waste” in the built evironment so that water is respected as a precious resource. Attendees to the petal workshop discussed how elements of the water standard can practically be applied using real life examples from the Bullitt Centre in Seattle. This was presented via weblink by Martin Brown, Green Vision Ambassador, who happened to be visiting the centre at the time, more info here .

We asked one of the attendees to the session to summarise some of the current thinking & initiatives around water management & conversation in the UK.

 

LouiseWalkerGuest Post by Louise Walker, Innovation Manager, water@leeds, University of Leeds

The launch of the new UK Water Partnership signals a growing awareness of the need to think seriously about this most precious of our natural resources.

Launching the new body in February, its chair Lord Smith of Finsbury said:

“There’s nothing more important than water. With expanding urban concentrations around the world and the growing impacts of climate change, we need to get better at managing water, conserving it, cleaning it, delivering it, and using it. That’s where innovation is going to be so important. The UK Water Partnership will bring together people across the UK water community to stimulate ideas and develop the products and services that will take on these challenges for the future.”

I am the Innovation Manager for water@leeds, the cross-disciplinary water research centre at the University of Leeds. With over 150 members from across the different faculties of the university, we have a wealth of talent thinking about water in all its forms and for all its purposes. We work internationally and with the UK water community to incorporate the latest research findings in those products and services that will help to meet the challenges Lord Smith mentions.

My particular interest is in ‘water sensitive design’ – that is how we can better incorporate water into our thinking for new developments, and in retrofitting, to help improve water quality, reduce flooding, provide water resources and create better places to live.

The concept of ‘Water Sensitivity’ has been embraced through holistic philosophies such as Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in Australia and Low Impact Development (LID) in the USA. Currently, water management in the UK is compartmentalised, and surface water management in particular is not prioritised. This is not surprising, given the way in which our water services have evolved over time along with urban development. We have ensured in the UK that our cities are supplied with water, that wastewater is removed and treated to a high standard and we do our best to keep our cities well-drained (though are often thwarted by nature on this last point).

This is summarised in a neat diagram by Rebekah Brown at Monash University[1], who has considered in depth how we can move towards caring for the water resource in our urban environments whilst continuing to utilise it for our needs.

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If this illustration is seen as a timeline, we can see that we somewhere around waterways cities where we are working hard to tackle pollution, but we are a way off the future vision of a Water Sensitive City.

Innovation in the built environment will help us get better at managing our water resources and this is supported by initiatives such as the The Living Building Challenge, which is described by its American developers as ‘a building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today…’

The Challenge comprises seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty.

The aim of the ‘Water Petal’ is ‘to meet all water demands within the carrying capacity of the site and mimic natural hydrological conditions, using appropriately-sized and climate-specific water management systems that treat, infiltrate or reuse all water resources on-site’.

So this is not just about getting better at managing water, but about being the best we can. The idea is to make sure all the needs for the development are met by the site. Used water must be reintroduced so that it does not compromise natural systems in any way.

Green Vision is currently looking at developing the methodology for a UK landscape. This type of thinking lays down the gauntlet for innovation in the built environment. When integrated into a holistic catchment scale approach of water management, linked to green and blue infrastructure, embracing the flexibility and adaptability to deal with future changes and aligned with the aims of each of the petals, It will help us move toward the vision of water sensitive cities. This is getting serious about water.

[1] Brown, R.R., Keath, N., Wong, T., 2009, Urban water management in cities: historical, current and future regimes, Water Science And Technology [P], vol 59, issue 5, IWA Publishing 2009, England, pp. 847-855.

You can find out more about Water@Leeds & connect with Louise and the team here

Net Positive Water – CANCELLED

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES WE HAVE HAD TO CANCEL THE EVENT BELOW. WE HOPE TO REARRANGE THE PRESENTATIONS FOR A LATER DATE, PLS KEEP CHECKING BACK HERE FOR DETAILS

(Excerpts of this text have been sourced from “Is Water the Next Carbon?” post by Andrew Winston and Will Sarni, Harvard Business Review)

We all take water for granted. Even though water is critical for human life, ecosystems and as a major process or product input for industry, it’s a resource that very few of us think actively about managing.

Water, often referred to as the “new Carbon” is arguably the next major sustainability hurdle the built environment faces. Recent reports have highlighted some key issues;

  • Water demand is increasing while water quality is decreasing
  • Impacts of Climate change will affect water availability
  • Price does not reflect the real value of water
  • We need to collectively develop new ways to manage water.

Now then is a perfect time to consider better, perhaps even radical, approaches to the design, management & conservation of this vital resource.

How could we, as emerging standards are suggesting, move towards net-positive or closed loop water systems where all water in a building is “captured, treated, used/reused and released clean within the boundaries of the building”. Buildings as water cleansing facilites rather than buildings as water polluting facilities?

On Wednesday 11th March Green Vision will be hosting the second is their Construction and Assemby spring series focussing on a number of current approaches to help us better understand the water challenge and to improve our thinking around water design, management & conservation.

Our speakers for this event will be Louise Walker, Innovation Manager at water@leeds who will be talking about how we can better incorporate water into our thinking for new buildings & retrofit to help improve water quality, reduce flooding, provide water resources & create better places to live. This sounds ambitious but it is all part of the concept of ‘Water Sensitivity’ and has been embraced through initiatives such as Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in Australia. Currently, water management in the UK is compartmentalised & surface water management in particular is not prioritised. How can we improve the situation and will the Water Petal of the Living Building Challenge help?

Our second speaker for this event will be Martin Brown, Green Vision and Living Building Challenge Ambassador who will be joining us live from the Bullitt Centre in Seattle for a short audio update with insights into to his visit to the “Greenest Building in the World” including their water management strategies.  “The goal of the Bullitt Centre is to drive change in the property and built environment marketplace faster and further by showing what’s possible today. The era of harm reduction, half steps and lesser evils is behind us… we need to be bold in ways that were once unimaginable”

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