Green Vision

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Category: Biomimicry

We RISE again! Joint awards for built environment industry and academia back for 2016

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We RISE again! We are pleased to announce that following on from last year’s highly successful ceremony at the Park Plaza in Leeds, the RISE awards are back for a second year, highlighting, celebrating and rewarding the most innovative and forward thinking research and development initiatives in the built environment across four key strands; Research, Innovation, Sustainability and Enterprise.

Across the built environment, talented groups and individuals are shaping the future of engineering and construction and our awards are unique in being the first in the region to bring academic, industry and third sector groups together to showcase their work. Our awards are truly diverse with previous winners coming from a vast range of working environments, specialisms, communities and backgrounds. What matters to us is that our entrants display the passion and dedication to do things better, pushing our industry forward.

Organised by the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University, the Rise Awards are completely free to enter and submissions are encouraged from both individuals and companies working in the built environment across 12 different categories. With awards for industry leaders in energy efficiency, new technologies, products and processes, research, design, behavioural change and more up for grabs we are sure there is a category for you!

The closing date for all entries is 1st September 2016. The winners will be judged by our panel of academic and industry experts and revealed on 15th September at a prestigious gala presentation evening at the Met Hotel in Leeds. Attended by leading sector figures, the event itself will be the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your initiative, maximising your exposure and helping you to bring your expertise to a new audience.

In addition there will be plenty of opportunities for entrants to have ongoing engagement with the University and its networks beyond the awards through our Leeds Sustainability Institute research hub initiatives and projects.

HOW TO ENTER

Entries can be made for a project, process, product or a service. In order to enter please produce a one or two page poster outlining your product, process, project or service which addresses one or more of the category themes detailed below. Your poster should include text, images and where possible facts and figures that will provide the judges with tangible evidence of performance & outcomes against your strategic aims. *Please note, shortlisted posters will be blown up to A1 size and displayed so please ensure your submitted PDF can be resized.

CATEGORIES / THEMES

For 2016 we have 12 different categories available for you to make your submission against. You can make as many submissions as you want and the same project/product or case study can be submitted into more than one category* Please indicate which categories you are applying for on submission.

Some key questions that you will need to address in your submission: 

  • What need did the product, process, project or service fill?
  • Why is it different/special/unique?
  • What challenges were faced and how were they overcome?
  • What did it achieve? What are the current and future benefits?

FOR FULL CRITERIA, CATEGORIES AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS PLEASE DOWNLOAD OUR OFFICIAL CALL FOR ENTRIES BOOKLET AT THE LINK BELOW.

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POSTER SAMPLES

For ideas of completing a poster, see the RISE 2015 poster set at the following link

FURTHER INFORMATION 

If you have any questions about the RISE awards please contact the CKE team on 0113 812 1902 or via email to riseawards@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

WITH THANKS TO OUR HEADLINE SPONSORKI

SEEDS Conference 2016 – Call for Abstracts

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International SEEDS Conference 2016:

Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS (maximum 300 words)

 Healthy, Energy Efficient Buildings and Spaces: Current position and future models

Leeds Beckett University, UK – 14th and 15th September 2016

The built environment has a greater impact on natural resources and produces more waste than any other industry.  However, beyond the green rhetoric research is being applied on the ground to address the balance between the built and natural environment.  The International SEEDS conference brings together experts from around the world focussing on the changes that are taking place and the benefits or consequences that are being predicted and measured regarding the built environment’s impacts.  As well as addressing technical issues, measuring energy efficiency and modelling energy performance, emphasis is placed on the health and wellbeing of the users of spaces occupied and enclosed.  As we are all guardians of nature and the environment, the Conference will also explore the areas we protect and preserve for greater natural environmental influence.  Understanding how buildings and spaces are designed and nurtured to obtain the optimal outcome will be a focus of much discussion and debate.  This holistic approach draws together the research themes of energy, building performance and physics while placing health, wellbeing and ecology at the heart of the conference.

Through research and proven practice, the aim of the SEEDS conference is to foster ideas on how to reduce negative impacts on the environment while providing for the health and wellbeing of the society. The professions and fields of research required to ensure buildings meet user demands and provide healthy enclosures are many and diverse.  The SEEDS conference addresses the interdependence of people, the built and natural environments, and recognises the interdisciplinary and international themes required to assemble the knowledge required for positive change.

You are invited to submit Abstracts under the following themes:

Protecting nature and the natural environmentBuilding and environment designEnergy efficient modelling, simulation and BIMIntegrating urban and natural environmentBuilding performance, analysis and evaluation

Thermal comfort, air quality and overheating

Green spaces, enclosures and buildings

Green technologies and IT

Renewable energy

Energy flexible buildings

Energy behaviour and lifestyle

Dampness, water damage and flooding

Building surveys, thermography, building pathology

Water quality

Air quality

 

Planning and sculpturing positive changeReducing consumption and wasteSustainability, ethics and responsibilityOccupant behavioural changeCommunity building and masterplanning

Health benefits of alternative and natural materials

Urban heat island and mitigation

Building resilience

Sustainable cities

Zero energy and energy plus buildings

Local producers and urban environments, edible

Trees and green city landscape

Designing edible urban landscape

Biomimicry and Biophilic Design

Other related fields will be considered

***IMPORTANT***

PLEASE PRINT OFF AND READ OUR ABSTRACT GUIDANCE DOCUMENTATION BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL

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Please submit Abstracts by 18th March 2016 to lsiconference@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

 Some comments from those who attended the successful SEEDS Conference in 2015 included the following:

  • “Personally I consider SEEDS Conference is an excellent educational and networking event. Latin America attendants as me, will find excellent information and initiatives in order to enhance our local processes.” Columbian Delegate
  • “I enjoyed the range of papers presented – it made for a really interesting couple of days. Good range of attendees from both industry and academia also.” UK Delegate
  • “Overall my experience was very positive. I especially liked the wide spectrum of papers presented. The organisation was very good at all stages and the venue was fantastic.” UK Delegate
  • “Sustainable development is crucial issue nowadays and I believe it’s rather an important matter to focus. Very well organized, very good quality of the presentation, very unique conference.” Russian Delegate

The conference has a strong reputation with Springer and Greenleaf Publishing, who have previously published our proceedings.  Papers will be put forward for publication with our publishing partners.

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.”

 

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It’s time to Learn from Nature

Last Wednesday, 11th February, we hosted the first in our Green Vision Construction & Assembly Series, a lively event focussing on Learning from Nature introducing the concepts of biomimicry and biophilic design which generated much debate and food for thought. I think it’s fair to say we all left having learnt something new… even it is was purely the existance of dog vomit slime mould as a building tool!

Our combined write-up & storify of the event is detailed below although we encourage anyone interested in this topic & themes around it to get in touch with the team to carry on the debate. Also follow the hashtag #gvis2015 to join in the discussion online.

Our next event on 11th March is entitled Net Positive Water where we will be continuing the discussions around the circular economy & “closing the loop”, in terms of water management strategies. Full details & booking here

 

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