Leeds Sustainability Institute

Open Knowledge Exchange and Sharing

Author: fairsnape (page 1 of 7)

It’s time to “Learn from Nature” #gvis2015

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“Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything” Albert Einstein

Green Vision recommences with our Green Construction and Assembly Spring Series

Our Spring GreenVision series will explore sustainability issues relating to the Construction and Assembly processes within the Built Environment. Aligned to our Living Building Challenge UK collaborative, the topics in this series will consider innovative restorative sustainability and net positive approaches. Join us on our evening seminars with leading sustainability thinkers and our half day GreenBIM conference in association with thinkBIM in April.

Our first twilight event on 11th February will focus on learning from our natural environment & will feature presentations & discussions around biomimicry. Biomimicry seeks solutions from nature to address sustainability in the construction life cycle, not only for materials but also systems and processes. Hear from our leading UK speaker Richard James MacCowen (Co-Founder – Biomimicry UK) on developments, research, case studies and future opportunities that this vital strand of sustainability can offer our industry.

“Stimulating and open discussion make the events a must for construction professionals who wish to improve the performance of buildings”

Jonathan Lindh – Leda Ltd

Bookhere

Other dates for your diary

Water the new carbon

Wednesday 11th March 15, 17:30-19:30

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

 

GreenBIM Half-day Conference

Wednesday 1st April 15, 13:00-17:30

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

Free support available to help SMEs “go greener”

Green Gain are an environmental consultancy who have recently secured some ERDF funding enabling them to provide SMEs with free assistance to reduce their environmental impacts & save money. To find out more & to see how you can benefit see details from Green Gain below;

 

greengain

Green Gain – About us

Green Gain can provide support to Yorkshire-based ‘built environment’ sector SMEs for free.  An ERDF framework funds our expertise so that we can help you to take new initiatives forward to reduce both energy consumption and waste where you may lack the time, skills or resources in-house.

Our support is designed to be hassle free. We will handle all the paperwork and there is no match funding requirement.

Our support is therefore 100% risk free and can be tailored exactly to your needs. As way of example this support may help you to:

  • Improve your energy efficient
  • Minimise your waste generation;
  • Get better value from your waste contractors;
  • Find higher value end-markets for your waste materials;
  • Communicate on environmental issues within your business;
  • Increase profitability.

The funded support places are limited, so contact us now to secure your free support!

You can reach me on steven@greengain.co.uk or 07519 428475.

“We really couldn’t have done it without you so thank you for your expertise and time – it really is appreciated.” Abi Lawrence, Front of House Operations Manager, Chapter Arts Centre.

#GreenBIM – bringing the two concepts together

On Wednesday 3rd December, a full house of attendees joined us at WSP in Leeds for our inaugural GreenBIM event. The conference was extremely well recieved and we are delighted to be able to present you with our storify summary of the event below. Our storify includes tweets, images and PDFs of all the presentations from the event.

“It was such an amazing and informative #GreenBIM today! Thank you!”

“Brilliant experience – learnt a lot very quickly”

Our next ThinkBIM & Green Vision series start in February with twilight seminars on 4th February (ThinkBIM) and 11th February (Green Vision). Also look out for details our of first Constructing Excellence breakfast event of 2015 on 28th January.

BDE Podcast on Passivhaus with Elrond Burrell & Chris Herring

We are delighted to be able to share with you the podcast of a unique interview conducted by Mark Wilson from Building Design Expert at our recent Constructing Excellence YH Passivhaus breakfast seminar with Elrond Burrell from Architype Architects and Chris Herring from Green Building Store . This interview explored the entire design & build process of Passivhaus with some interesting insights from our two event speakers.

BDEPodcast

Architype Architects are based in Hereford and have a passion for sustainable architecture. Hand in glover with sustainable building design is the need to reduce energy use. Architype have achieved this by adopting the Passivhaus design and building standard; with a growing reputation for use of the standard on a commercial scale with offices and school buildings, in addition to large scale and one off housing projects.

The Green Building Store represents Passivhaus design development from the contracting side of the industry, and their reputation has grown around not only their on site attention to detail with their ability to successfully implement the Passivhaus standard, but their sourcing of products and technology that will meet the rigorous performance requirements that the standard demands.

Living Building Challenge UK

LBC_logo_clear_no2The UK Living Building Challenge Collaborative met this week at Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds and saw construction professionals, architects, landscape architects, software vendors, sustainability experts and representatives from Leeds Beckett University discuss Standard V3 and the future of the UK Collaboratives.

Martin Brown gave an inspiring introduction to version 3.0, launched earlier in the year, covering the standards principles, petals and key imperatives. This was followed with a great discussion on the Living Building Challenge and relevance in the UK sector.

Martin emphasised that the Challenge is ‘A visionary path to a regenerative future’. Whereas other standards are focused on doing ‘less bad,’ the Living Building Challenge is based on the philosophy of doing more good, that is, restorative sustainability. We should no longer be satisfied with creating buildings that have negative impacts however small they may be, but look to create buildings, structures, and communities that contribute back to the environment and nature.

The Living Building Challenge uses a less technical, but more powerful, softer language than most standards, and puts topics such as beauty, education and biophilic design back into the equation.

Many present commented that a welcomed aspect was the inclusion of ‘health, happiness, beauty, nature’ within the standard.

Indeed the standard uses a metaphor of a flower, with seven petals, each of which comprises of several imperatives, 20 in total. All of these must be met in order to obtain full certification and the status of a Living Building.  We heard there are currently 201 registered projects worldwide.

2015 Plans

We are currently the only collaborative in the UK, however, we will be sharing this status with London due to launch in the spring and interest is growing elsewhere across the country.

During 2015 we will explore each of the Petals individually through workshops which will be held on the second Wednesday of each month, before the Green Vision evening and half day sessions. The timetable will be:

February 11th – Place

March 11th – Water

April 15th – Energy

May 13th – Health & Happiness

June 10th – Materials

July 8th – Equity

August 5th – Beauty

To drive these workshops, we are looking for ‘champions’ to head each ‘petal’. If you feel that you are an expert on any of the standard areas, or passionate about specific imperatives, or just want to get involved please send us an email at CKEEvents@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

We will also deepen the relationship with projects interested in registering and pursuing certification. And the exciting news here is that we have one potential project ready to register and other in development. Other activities will include design competitions, project charrette support, and a UK overlay to the International Standard with terminology, regulations and standards appropriate to the UK sector.

We are also compiling a library of UK building case studies that illustrate Living Building Challenge concepts. If you are aware of any projects, your own perhaps that addresses any of the standard imperatives or philosophies please do let us know for inclusion into our library.

We look forward to you joining our Collaboratives and getting involved, with your projects perhaps, in this exciting new era for built environment sustainability.

As Martin has said many times, ‘it’s time to heal the future’…

Great healthy buildings & workplace productivity discussion at last night’s #gvis2014

GreenVision & thinkBIM Presents – GREENBIM Conference on the 3rd December 2014

This Conference pairs two revolutionary movements of Green Building and BIM to create environmentally friendly design through streamlined process.

Join thinkBIM & GreenVision at WSP Leeds on 3rd December 14. The day will include a range of Construction professional speakers and roundtables!

For more details and to book your place Click Here

UK-GBC City Conference: Apply to attend

DONT MISS THE CHANCE TO APPLY TO BE PART OF THE UKGBC INAUGURAL CITY CONFERENCE –  closing date Friday 7th November !!

As members of the UKGBC we are supporting and helping to promote the forthcoming Inaugural City Conference  in Manchester which will be of interest to you if you want to be part of an exclusive group, with the opportunity to shape a greener, more sustainable Manchester

The UK Green Building Council’s inaugural City Conference will, over two days, bring together 100 built environment business leaders, experts and officials from Manchester and the rest of the UK, to find solutions to future challenges and input into development opportunities for the city.

Date:      Wednesday 21 – Thursday 22 January 2015
Time:     10am start on Day 1, and a 4pm finish on Day 2
Venue:   Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP
Fee:       UK-GBC Member – £300 (+VAT), Non-member – £1000 (+VAT)

Click here to download the full conference overview.
Why should you attend?
Opportunity:

Working in partnership with the City Council, the conference has been timed to coincide with consultation on Manchester’s 10-year city strategy, offering delegates the chance to influence this long-term plan – and beyond. Delegates are then challenged to inspire and inform upcoming local developments, translating the long-term vision into real projects on the ground.

Programme: An engaging and innovative two-day programme featuring collaborative workshops, visits to development sites, great speakers (including Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council) and an exclusive networking dinner at Manchester Art Gallery (with Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council).

Delegates: The exclusive group of 100 delegates is being compiled by application only, to ensure a comprehensive mix of sectors and different areas of expertise. Attendees will include investors, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers and third sector organisations. It is deliberately designed for both those with an in-depth knowledge of Manchester and those completely new to the city.

Programme includes:
• The ‘big picture’ – Manchester in a global context of mega-trends and drivers
• Introduction to the city – past and present successes and challenges
• Council Leader’s keynote and panel discussion
• Sustainable place-making: case studies from around the world
• Collaborative workshop: creating a sustainable vision for Manchester
• Networking dinner with keynote from Council Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein
• City tour – viewing current and future development sites
• Collaborative workshop: Implementing the vision “on the ground”

 

Applications
The conference is aimed at everyone across UK-GBC’s network, including investors, developers, contractors, designers, consultants, manufacturers and third sector organisations. It is intended for both those with an in-depth knowledge of Manchester, and those who are completely new to the city.

If you’d like to attend, complete our online application form by Friday 7 November 2014 to stand the best chance of success. All applications will be reviewed and places allocated to delegates by the end of November. We cannot guarantee a conference place for all applicants. Please note, delegates must be able to attend the full two days.

 

Design for Building Performance: New Build and Retrofit

#gvis – Green Design and Preconstruction

A good array of construction professionals attended our GreenVision event on 8th October 2014.  This event focused on Design for Building Performance: New Build and Retrofit and 3 fantastic speakers had been secured to deliver presentations.

Mark Siddall (Principal at LEAP) started the evening by talking about how to avoid the seven major pitfalls that prevent buildings from performing properly.  Mark Warner (Sustainability Manager at Leeds Beckett University Estates) followed to talk about his experiences of integrating sustainability into building projects.  Finally we closed with a presentation from Dr James Parker (Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University) who talked about modelling and measuring the performance of a workplace retrofit natural ventilation strategy.

Mark Siddall talked about the projects he has worked on and, as a trustee of the Association of Environment Conscious Building, encouraged delegates to join the organisation – see here.   He explained there is a huge performance gap in domestic buildings right across the whole construction industry.  A Passivhaus project that Mark designed and managed has been studied by Leeds Beckett University. It was found that these were the First Homes that the researchers had ever found to actually close this aspect of the performance gap. (He noted that even the Passivhaus Standard did not directly address all of the technical requirements that were needed in order to achieve this.) Mark also talked about problems arising from poorly conceived natural ventilation strategies.  Why are people closing triple vents in winter he wondered?  He suggested that it may be related to comfort and the desire to avoid drafts.  Mark also questioned whether Part F of the building regulations are appropriate for noise standards.  He cited a literature review that he had undertaken with acoustician Jack Harvie-Clark (Apex Acoustics). They studied results from over 1000 homes. Their analysis highlighted that the Part F recommended household noise levels (for mechanical ventilation) will mean that every other person in the property will be dissatisfied i.e. one in two people. Significant steps are needed to address this not only in legislation but in design and construction processes also.  Mark then used the RIBA Plan of Work to help describe how redesigning the design process can assist with more effective and more affordable delivery of building projects. He noted that it is important to get the process right at the start of a project.  Mark encouraged delegates to think about good practice performance standards including the Passivhaus Standard, EnerPHit Standard, AECB Silver Standard, and the AECB Carbonlite Retrofit Standard.  Mark finished his presentation by explaining he is happy to host meetings with people that are interested in building performance and Passivhaus and desire to know more about these subjects. Additional information can be found on the LEAP practice website here 

Mark Warner began by saying these types of events are excellent opportunities for sharing experiences (positive or negative) and getting like-minded people together.  Mark explained how we (Leeds Beckett University) want to be the educated client, informing the design team with actual data.  Mark described how it has taken 8 years to get sustainability into the University’s corporate strategic plan and it’s important now to prove that it works.  Mark talked in detail about problems with specifying recycled content into tenders. He explained we ask for investment appraisals not ‘value engineering’ or cost cutting when looking at energy efficiency.  The University has a responsibility to be the social conscience and critic of society (New Zealand Education Act) and using recycled products is very important in closing the loop.  The University achieves 90%+ recycled rates on construction projects.  Mark explained that some of the supply chain cannot provide information on recycled content of products.  Mark’s plea is that everybody starts asking for recycled content in tenders so if lots of major organisations do this they will have to start to listen.  Mark confirmed there are 2 Passivhaus townhouses on the Headingley campus.  Mark works very closely with the research school when working on tenders.  The Portland building is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment to open up existing vents to naturally ventilate floors.  Mark explained it seems to be working well so far but further research is required by Dr James Parker (the next speaker) to validate our design and in use experience.  There are still another 7 floors to be refurbished and Mark agreed this echoes what Mark Siddall said previously about highlighting problems early on in a project.

James Parker began by praising Mark Sidall.  James talked about a case study on the University Calverley Building which has a 60s built concrete frame.  James explained it’s important to remember this building had been very well insulated.  Focus was on the top 3 floors to begin with.  James explained his department is keen to look at domestic buildings.  The study looks at what buildings are made of, internal heat gains and understanding what is inside.  Analysis was carried out on overheating and heat gain.  Occupancy levels are an important factor and extremes have to be considered such as maximum staff levels and all computers being switched on.  James talked about early design analysis and the impact of local shading and heat gain from the sun.  James joked that we should build really tall buildings in front of buildings that overheat!  James explained the study looks at overheating and different things that can be introduced such as blinds.  If you reduce heat gain then you also reduce electricity.  James described how an isolated study had taken place on room 1010 which is a busy office that is always occupied.  The study had looked at this office on one of the hottest weeks of the year.  James stated to be a more informed client you need to understand more.  It is really important to test, examine and monitor and to feedback to the design team.

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Q and A summary

Observations from the floor included:-

  • Concerns about the EPC on existing buildings. Is this still worth the paper it is written on?
  • EnerPHit standard uplift and not being comparable
  • Is the PH Quality Assurance the best standard?
  • How will the CIBSE comfort model affect things?
  • Has testing been done on fluid dyanmics?
  • You’ve transformed a building into a building that is performing better. It’s important to put your study into perspective.

Mark Warner agreed that the results of the study have been great and the information gleaned will be used in future design.  James agreed it is cheaper and easier to deal with issues at the start of a project.

Some slides from the presentation given by Mark Siddall can be found here.

LEAP_Focus Finder_CENE_Leeds [Compatibility Mode]

Our next Green Vision event will take place on 12th November 2014 and will focus on Workplace Productivity: The New Business Case for Sustainable Buildings.   To hear more about this event and to book your place see here

Author:  Donna Lee

Workplace Productivity: The New Business Case for Sustainable Buildings

Join us on 12th November 2014 from 17:30-19:30.

This twilight seminar will focus on discussion and knowledge sharing on the topic of workplace productivity and healthy buildings.  We have secured 3 fantastic speakers and this event promises to be very interesting and informative.

To read more about this event and to book your place see here

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