Green Vision

Open Knowledge Exchange and Sharing

Month: March 2012

World’s Green Vision to be shared with Leeds

Lessons learnt by architects having worked on the greenest building in the world are to be shared with property and construction professionals in Leeds, and worldwide, thanks to Green Vision, Yorkshire’s knowledge exchange network for sustainability in the built environment, on March 29th.

The event to be held, at Old Broadcasting House in Leeds will feature Vancouver based Max Richter, an architect at leading sustainable practice, Perkin & Will, sharing his experience with property professionals gathered in Leeds, and globally online, on what was involved in designing a building that has now achieved the status of being net positive in embodied carbon, making it possibly the greenest building in the world.

Richter will address delegates during the GVis2012 Half Day Cutting Costs & Carbon Conference as the keynote speaker at 4pm, discussing the CIRS building (Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability) based at the University of British Columbia and reveal how this has managed to achieve the Living Building Challenge status, lower the carbon footprint and energy costs across the Uni campus and create what has been termed as ‘a living eco laboratory’.

With CIRS being: “…An open place for researching and teaching sustainability; supporting collaborations between academia, government, industry, professionals, non-governmental organizations and the public; and spreading the seeds of sustainability through its interactions with a wide range of people” it is set to provide a hugely relevant backdrop to the wider discussions taking place at the Gvis2012 conference.

Run by Leeds Metropolitan’s Centre for Knowledge Exchange (CKE) and the Construction Sector Network (CSN) the event is supported by the Carbon Control and Comfort Project (CCC), global legal practice Squire Sanders, and the Leeds College of Building.

Sharing the global stage with Richter is London based Janet Kinder, Head of Sustainability EMEA, Lend Lease (UK) Ltd who is at the forefront of supporting policy development through her work in developing a global common carbon metric for the industry. She is also an active membership of the UK-Green Building Council Policy Committee and BPF Sustainability Committee and is currently acting as the co-Secretariat for the Government and industry collaboration, the Green Construction Board.

Claire Walker, Project Manager at Green Vision said:”Taking the sustainable building and sustainable asset management discussions that we’ve been having within the Green Vision seminars in Leeds over the last quarter, to a wider audience is very exciting for us. We have a huge resource of knowledge and expertise in the Yorkshire region, but are always looking for ways to learn from world leaders on best practice. I can imagine there is going to be lively debate following all speakers and roundtables and this is what Green Vision is all about.”

The event will run from 1pm to 5pm at Broadcasting House, but delegates can also join online via a live webcast of the event, free of charge. The discussion of the day will also be fed out on social media via industry blogs and twitter , to encourage interaction with international individuals and organisations, to gain an even wider perspective on topics discussed.

The hashtag for the event is #GVis2012 .

Ecobuild Tweetchat 20th March

Please join us at 20:00 GMT for a tweetchat discussion on the subject of ‘what is your green vision for the built environment?’.

The hashtag will be #gvischat

The full transcript for the last tweet chat with notes and links can be viewed here on Storify.

For more information on how to twetchat, please click here.

Posted by Darryl Camp

#GVis Cutting Costs and Carbon: Carbon Reduction Strategies Event Write Up

Carbon Reduction Strategies March 2012

Over 40 construction and property professionals gathered at Squires Sanders at 2 Park Lane in Leeds last Thursday evening for another engaging Green Vision event. An excellent panel of speakers covering the relationship and correlation between Carbon Costs and Competitive edge offered their perspectives on the relationship between carbon and cost reduction. Richard Francis brought an update on the emerging link between building and financial performance highlighting the business case for Carbon reduction and energy efficiency of commercial properties Vassos spoke passionately about the need to reduce Carbon (and Costs) in the construction delivery process with excellent compelling examples of waste through logistics planning of national construction projects. Tim then made the compelling case that construction firms must be better and perform in a more efficient way in order to reap the competitive edge and associated benefits.

Richard Francis presented with the commercial property cost perspective of carbon, with a clear desire to communicate that green buildings carry a value premium but noting that this is often difficult to present with hard figures.  What is more apparent and convincing is a “brown discount” for poor performing properties.  The latter is currently featuring into transactions such as due diligence and rent reviews.

Richard set the scene by proposing that people are excited by the low carbon agenda and that occupiers are savvier than ever, this combined with property portfolios being a considerable expense to organisations set the commercial business case for low carbon building. Compared with 5 years ago the plethora of regulatory drivers is evident, yet Richard stressed that it is not these that are ultimately driving change: the market is now leading.  The cost of doing nothing is getting more expensive and energy is not just about energy anymore. Buildings are the ultimate representation of a company’s due diligence, behaviour and should mirror their CSR policies and as a result it is getting easier for customers to make decisions about companies according to their buildings’ performance. Environmental performance is an indicator of what companies stand for and how they operate their business. It speaks directly to the most important company asset – its reputation. Richard then went on to present a compelling case for a review of existing assets and focussing on priority assets and those that can achieve the greatest savings.

Next to present was Vassos who started the presentation with a comparison of two live national construction projects and the identification that a key source of Carbon relating to their projects is from logistics (transport of resources both human and materials) to and from the sites during the lifespan of the projects.  A key message from Vassos’s work and use of the carbon calculator tool ConstructCO2 was that all of the records needed to track carbon in the construction delivery process are already in place – it is just a case of knowing how to analyse the data. Evidence form case studies pointed to the need for transport and travel plans, procurement of local trades and appropriate sourcing of materials as a means to reducing Construction Carbons.

Next up to present the case for better, more competitive, carbon savvy construction firms was Tim Whitehill of Room4 Consulting Ltd who opened his presentation with an overview of the current economic gloom stating the case for ever increasing efficiency and continuous improvement within firms. Taking examples from leading sector (retail/ car manufacturing) Tim led us to think about the direction of the Construction sector and the absolute need to improve performance and innovate in order to overcome the margin squeeze and retain competitive advantage whilst improving environmental performance and reducing costs.

A lively Q and A covered topics such as Occupant behaviour , the real costs of doing nothing as a company, and the need for evaluation and measurement of Carbons in order to make improvements in Construction Carbons in the delivery process.

Slides from the presentations can be found here –

Lessons learnt from the “Greenest Building in The World” 29 March, Leeds

Taking the Sustainable Building and Sustainable Asset Management discussion global and building on the success of our Seminars in this series, we would like to invite you to a unique web enabled Cutting Costs and Carbon Conference event hosted by Leeds Metropolitan’s Centre for Knowledge Exchange and supported by the Carbon Control and Comfort project.

Delegates will:

  • Discover the lessons learnt on the Greenest Building in The World – the UBC Centre for Sustainable Research and learn several key lessons for carbon reduction in design.
  • Understand the relationship between Costs and Carbon and opportunities in Low Carbon Building design and operation
  • Participate in two hands-on expert roundtables of their choice on Occupant behaviour
  • Experience a lively Pecha Kucha presentation showcase covering different aspects of Carbon Reduction in Buildings (Historical Buildings, Low carbon design, case studies).

The event will be blogged and discussed live across social media to encourage perspectives from international individuals and organisations that may not be able to attend in person, to give Leeds businesses a wider business vision.

The hashtag for the event is #GVis2012


13.00 Registration and Welcome Chair David Shipworth UCL and CCC Introduction Prof Keith Jones

13.30 Keynote Speaker Janet Kidner, Head of Sustainability, Lend Lease (UK) Ltd

13.45 Roundtable Discussions

  • Sustainable Technologies: Anne Stafford, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Behaviour Change Initiatives: Dr Gesche Huebner, University of Greenwich
  • Role of the Landlord: Terry Philips, Senior development manager, Moat Housing
  • Controls Interventions: Tracy Gordon, Area Manager Sheffield City Region and the Humber HCA

16.00 International Keynote Speaker: The Greenest Building on Earth, UBC Centre for Sustainable Research Case study Max Richter, Perkins and Will Architects

16.30 Pecha Kucha Showcase: Presentations with a twist; presenters are allowed 20 slides and they are auto-advanced every 20 seconds. There is very little scope for ‘death by PowerPoint’ and provide a very engaging and creative presentations.

17.00 Question Panel

Green Vision at Leeds Metropolitan University is an open Knowledge Exchange Network focusing its 2012 networking series on Cutting Costs and carbon, to drive the Sustainable Building and Asset Management agenda and help shape government thinking.

To book your place at the conference, please register online or fill in the booking form. The cost to attend the conference is £40.


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