Leeds Sustainability Institute

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Category: Green Vision (page 1 of 3)

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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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

 

#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.

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

UKGBC to host 5-day online Living Building Challenge discussion

The UKGBC have announced that as part of this year’s pinpoint discussion series they will be running a number of sessions on the Living Building Challenge

The discussion will start on 3 February with a look at the Living Building Challenge (LBC) accreditation and performance standard for sustainable buildings. Members will be weighing in with their opinions on this progressive rating system that has an underlying sustainability philosophy which incorporates advocacy and governance. Members are also welcome to join in a tweet chat on Thursday 6 February with Amanda Sturgeon, VP of the International Living Futures Institute, developers of the LBC as well as Martin Brown and Claire Bowles of the LBC UK Collaborative. For those interested in learning more about the LBC, check out the supported events section for training days in Leeds (5 February) and London (28 February). UK-GBC members can take advantage of a substantial discount. 

 About the Living Building Challenge

 The Living Building Challenge is a green building certification programme that defines measures of sustainability in the built environment.

The Challenge is comprised of seven performance areas, or ‘Petals’: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. This compilation of Imperatives can be applied to almost every conceivable Typology, or project type, be it a building (both renovation of an existing structure, or new construction), infrastructure, landscape or community development.

Constructing Excellence – why you should get involved

By Duncan Reed, Tekla & Green Vision Ambassador

I missed the Green Vision December conference as I was attending a Constructing Excellence meeting.

Firstly I have to admit that I wasn’t really aware of Constructing Excellence until about a year or so ago – is that just another example of how many organisations there are that exist to ‘support’ construction so that it can be hard to see the wood for the trees? But that is another blog all of its own I suspect.

From the ‘About Us’ Constructing Excellence webpage:

Constructing Excellence http://www.constructingexcellence.org.uk/ is the single organisation charged with driving the change agenda in construction. We exist to improve industry performance in order to produce a better built environment. We are a cross-sector, cross-supply chain, member led organisation operating for the good of industry and its stakeholders.

Our Pedigree

In the mid-nineties a wide spread recognition arose of the need for the construction industry to improve the service it provided to its clients while also ensuring future viability for the wide range of organisations that operated in the industry.

In response to Sir Michael Latham’s 1994 report ‘Constructing the Team’ and Sir John Egan’s 1998 report ‘Rethinking Construction’ a number of cross industry bodies were formed to drive change. These included:

  • Reading Construction Forum
  • Design Build Foundation
  • Construction Best Practice Programme
  • Movement for Innovation
  • Local Government Task Force
  • Rethinking Construction
  • Be
  • Constructing Excellence
  • Construction Clients’ Group

Significant progress has been made in driving these initiatives into the practicing industry with many examples of projects that have been run in accordance with the fundamental principles.

In order to streamline the effort involved, all the above cross industry bodies were united as Constructing Excellence in 2003 to form a powerful, influential voice for improvement in the built environment sector.

Anyway, the meeting I attended – the CE Sustainability Group – was my second and another really interesting event with a very wide range of construction professionals present – the Highways Agency, an architect from Faulkner Brown, contractors Balfour Beatty and Skanska, manufacturers Knauf and Polypipe, myself representing Tekla, WRAP and the BRE and this is the key reason why CE events are so successful. Each person brought their own sustainability experiences and shared these in an open and wide ranging day’s discussion. Amongst other subjects we discussed were

  • Feedback from the CE National Convention held on 15th November 2013 including how CE is responding the Government Industrial Strategy Construction 2025
  • How the G4C – Generation for Collaboration group can realise change in businesses – and, yes, another new construction group for me
  • Strategies for linking this CE group to the regional CE Best Practice clubs – now these I had heard of thanks to Green Vision
  • The debate currently underway as to whether the UK housing market has the appetite to actually deliver housing that can achieve Code 5 or 6 certification.
  • The future of WRAP
  • The ICR – Infrastructure Carbon Review – and how the HA are responding to this
  • BS 8895-1:2013 Designing for material efficiency in building projects. Code of practice for Strategic Definition and Preparation and Brief. An invitation from WRAP for CE members to join the committee developing this standard
  • PAS 2070:2012 Specification for the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions of a city by direct plus supply chain, and consumption-based approaches. A document, developed by the Greater London Authority, to assess scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions
  • An embodied carbon database, produced by Arup and being developed as a tool by WRAP

As you can see, a huge amount of information was shared and discussed, from specific details to national strategies and lots of internet searches and further reading for me.

The meeting was rounded off with a lively Pecha Kucha session with myself, Lorna Stork of Knauf, Sandy Mackay from the BRE and Geri Smith of Balfour Beatty all talking ‘against the clock’ on the subject “What does sustainability mean to me/my organisation”.

So why this blog? Well quite simply as a sales pitch for everyone involved in construction to find out more about Constructing Excellence and to get involved. There are numerous specialist groups within CE looking at Construction Clients Group, G4C (Generation for Change), International, Asset Management, BIM, Collaborative Working Champions, Funding & Finance , Housing, Infrastructure, Nuclear, Social Media, Sustainability, Water Sector benchmarking and Clients’ Health & Safety so something for everyone to get involved with.

The next CE Sustainability Group meeting, on 20th March, will be all around the subject of Green BIM. See you there!!

#GVis Sustainable Materials: Healthy Buildings

Over 40 construction professionals gathered at Green Vision as we kick started our autumn series at Squires Sanders, 2 Park Lane in Leeds yesterday evening, in collaboration with the regional Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers. ‘Healthy Buildings’ was the focus, with an excellent panel of speakers covering the health drivers for sustainable material selection, importance of material selection in driving health improvements in hospitals, schools and offices and some startling research findings presented on evidence of health issues as a result of VOCs in building materials.

Chris Hayes of Skanska presented their ‘Color Palette’ and its application as a tool for one of their projects; the Karolinska Hosptial. Eddie Murphy of Mott MacDonald made a plea for engaging the User and Evidence Based Design as a means to creating better, healthy workplaces and environments. Dejan Mumovic presented a compelling case for an increase in air quality research.

Chris Hayes gave an overview of Skanska’s approach to green building introducing their ‘Color Palette’ and highlighting some impressive materials vetting from toxicity to life cycle impacts being used on the Karolinska Hospital project in Sweden. Chris stressed the importance of an intelligent client and supply chains in reaching ‘deep green’, and indicated that Skanska had pulled out of the USA Chamber of Commerce due to a clash of ethics with their stance on LEED materials, certainly evidence of an organisation standing by its green values.

Eddie shared his experience on Vulcan House and 2 St. Pauls as to the satisfaction levels of the end users of the building and advocated putting the user at the centre of design to over come the User performance gap. Reference was made to the work by Dr. Kerstin Sailor on ‘The generative Building’ and how a building can generate better social exchanges and more productive workplaces as well as enhance and improve the organization working within it. The key message was that in order to understand a building it is necessary to understand the clients, their business and the way in which the building will be used… Perhaps clients would pay more for POE’s if they could see the direct benefit in terms of improved business for them.

Last, but by no means least, was Dejan Mumovic from UCL who shared some of his research findings on air quality within schools in central London.
Schools pose a complex design challenge as they need to perform well over wide range of environmental issues and as children are much more vulnerable to air born pollutants. Dejan showed some striking European figures where the UK is ranked as one of the highest for Asthma in school across Europe. Dejan presented evidence emerging from the European SINPHONIE project, (Schools Indoor Pollution and Health: Observatory Network in Europe) across 22 countries; a complex research project covering the areas of health, environment, transport and climate change, aimed at improving air quality in schools and kindergartens. Evidence captured on two urban London schools (Victorian vs. Modern) linked building design and performance in terms of air quality, to health issues in children. In the heating season, temp ranges from 20-25 indicating overheating in schools, and were also identified as being linked to increases in dermal symptoms and oral symptoms in children.  One key design tip for designers was not to put carpets over under-floor heating, as this results in a breeding ground for bacteria.

A lively Q and A followed covering a variety of issues such as lack of VOC standards, a need for designers to move away from using BREEAM as a design guide, evidence of a growing interest in this area by the Healthcare industry and a need to demonstrate cost savings to Heathcare organizations through designing and delivering healthy buildings, all relevant and topical to construction and the healthy buildings agenda.

Construction21EXPO – the first virtual tradeshow for Green Buildings for the whole of EUROPE!

The “business case” for green buildings is understood by many of Europe’s leading project developers. Now we need to quickly enable design, construction and management teams to deliver the expected results for green new construction and renovation projects.

Construction21EXPO will bring together, in a cost efficient manner, green building investors, designers, solution providers and the many other important stakeholders in a two day virtual expo; saving money and eliminating travel time and associated carbon emissions with physical meetings.

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We are delighted that the UK LBC COLLABORATIVE* is a key UK  partner in this exciting project that is  supported by Green Building Councils and Construction21 Chapters across Europe as well as many other expert organizations.

As such we can offer additional discounts on the Exhibitor fees, but be sure to obtain a discount code from us prior to registering.

Watch the promotional video here  and download the Construction21EXPO_ Introduction for more information,  and do not hesitate to contact the EXPO team listed in the introduction document with any questions.

The UK LBC COLLABORATIVE is driving Living Building Challenge awareness in the UK and is hosted by the Leeds Sustainability Institute, Green Vision, Fairsnape, CKE and Be2camp.

Exciting New Collaboration Announced

We’re delighted to announce a new collaboration with John Pike, founder and Managing Director of 40 Percent Symposium, the conference that is making sustainability mainstream in Commercial Real Estate.

Green Vision, our Leeds Sustainability Institute Knowledge Exchange Network is delighted to be working with John Pike who will be chairing our ‘Building Transparency’ event at Squires Sanders in Leeds next week.

40 Percent Symposium are a conference to be reckoned who provide an insight into the issues, legislation and what the best companies are doing to make their commercial building stock more sustainable with fantastic industry speakers who are owners of large property portfolios, property investors, retailers ,pension funds and developers. A perfect match for our Green Vision Network who continue to update, inform and connect construction professionals sharing case studies, practical experience and knowledge of Sustainability in the Built Environment.

John will be our formidable chair for our evening event on Wednesday 12th June in Leeds which is inspired by the topic of ‘Transparency’ of products, processes, data and buildings and will feature Nick Katz of Honest Buildings, Paul Wilkinson of PWCom and Stella Kenway of Reprisk. We expect a good turnout and the usual excellent hospitality of our hosts Squires Sanders and look forward to an enjoyable evening of discussion, debate and networking. See booking information here

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