Green Vision

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Category: Living Building Challenge

Buildings are a climate change problem … and also part of the solution

Buildings are a climate change problem … and also part of the solution. With buildings responsible for an estimated 40% of all carbon emissions and having a huge influence of lifestyle, commerce and industry carbon reduction efforts, we can now longer afford to incrementally be less bad. And this year, 2015, being a significant year for climate change action, with the COP21 in Paris in December and the imminent release of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is time to recognise the role of buildings as a climate change solution.

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Beyond Sustainability, as you may have seen in the media, via social media or by invite, is our significant event in London on the 5th Oct. The event highlight will be Jason McLennan’s (CEO International Living Futures Institute) first UK keynote, which promises to be an inspiring call to do more good, as being less bad is not just enough anymore

The event will also include an overview of Living Building Challenge and Well Building Standard activity in the UK from Martin Brown, Fairsnape, and Ann Marie Aguilar, Arup Associates.  Hattie Hartman (Sustainability Editor at AJ) will chair a panel debate, featuring regenerative and well being sustainability activity in the UK from a range of presenters.  In addition John Alker UKGBC will introduce the UKGBC’s new campaign ‘Better Places for People‘ 

There will, of course, be opportunity for Q and A panel debates with speakers.

Please take this as your invite to attend. The event will held appropriately, in the wonderful Royal College of Physicians building on Regents Park. More details and how you can you can still register here.

Jason F. McLennan Keynote speaker:

Considered one of the most influential individuals in the green building movement today and the recipient of prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize (the planet’s top prize for socially responsible design), Jason F. McLennan’s work has made a pivotal impact on the shape and direction of green building in the United States and Canada and he is a much sought after designer, presenter and consultant on a wide variety of green building and sustainability topics around the world.

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.

 

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.

water@leeds

 

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

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