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International SEEDS Conference 2017: Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society – 13th & 14th September 2017

 

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS 

(maximum 300 words)

Healthy Environments,Buildings and Spaces: Current position and future models

Leeds Beckett University, UK 13th and 14th September 2017

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. 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.
You are invited to submit Abstracts under the themes listed below.
Please submit Abstracts by 20th February 2017 to:
You are encouraged to submit abstracts as early as possible in order to receive prompt feedback. Early acceptance will enable you to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ rate for the Conference and make a £60.00 saving.
Seeds LOGO
Some comments from those who attended the successful SEEDS Conference in 2015/2016 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
  • “Very well organised and focused in my area of research. Fantastic information gained and shared”. Irish Delegate
The conference has a strong reputation for working with established publishers. Papers will be put forward for publication with our publishing partners.

You are invited to submit Abstracts under the following themes:
 
Protecting nature and the natural environment
Building and environment design
Energy efficient modelling, simulation and BIM
Integrating urban and natural environment
Building performance, analysis and evaluation
Thermal comfort, air quality and overheating
Green spaces, enclosures and buildings
Green technologies and IT
Renewable energy
Energy flexibility
Energy behaviour and lifestyle
Dampness, water damage and flooding
Building surveys, thermography, building pathology
Water and air quality Education & Training
Planning and sculpturing positive change
Reducing consumption and waste
Sustainability, ethics and responsibility
Behaviour Change
Community 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
Edible urban landscape
Biomimicry and Biophilic Design
Other related fields will be considered.
 

 

SEEDS Conference 2016 – Call for Abstracts

SEEDSimage3

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

AbstractGuidanceThumbnail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Earth Day 2015 – Beyond Sustainability

martinbrown

Martin Brown is the Leeds Beckett Green Vision Ambassador, a Living Building Challenge Ambassador and through Fairsnape an innovative, leading consultant and advocate for built environment sustainability.

We are seeing the emergence of new sustainability thinking, one that is challenging our understanding of sustainability, one that uses expressions such as net positive, regenerative and restorative sustainability.

Patagonia company founder Yvonne Chounaird thinks we should not even use the term sustainability until we give the same or more back to nature than we take. 

At this free public EarthDay presentation Martin will provide an overview of EarthDay, from its origins back in the 70’s to its present day global celebration of the Earth, along with a backdrop for a new sustainability, focusing on how buildings and the built environment can deliver a restorative sustainability, starting to heal the future and to correct some of the sector’s past environmental damage.

We are limited to 70 places on this event so secure you place now at this FREE event by email to ckeevents@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

 

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

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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Heros and Texts for a Built Environment based on #CSR

“suddenly the air smells much greener now”

This post, written for Green Vision by Martin Brown @fairsnape was also published to his fairsnape blog 

Listening to ‘These Streets’, lyrics by Paolo Nutini summed up the brilliant, inspiring Green Vision conference in Leeds – exploring CSR within the built environment.

A mix of talks, presentations, round table discussions and pecha kuchas from Mel Starrs, Eden Brukman, Tamara Bergkamp, Eddie Murphy, Martin Brown, Faye Jenkins, Claire Walker, Rick Hamilton, Mark Warner, Pedro Pablo Cardoso-Castro, Andy Ainsworth, Paula Widdowson and many others showed that there is real emergence and a future for a Built Environment founded on social responsibility principles.

The air smells much greener …

We heard of excellent progress being made by individuals, projects and organisations on the CSR journey, and how behind these are great influential thinkers, often outside of the sector, many, unsurprisingly, related to the ‘outdoor’ sector.

Many of the speakers were enthusiastic in sharing CSR heros and recommended CSR reading. So here, as a summary, or reading list are those mentioned during the day.  I wonder how many of these are on the reading list within design, construction and fm education? (Book titles link to Amazon)

Yvon Chouinard

Rock climber, environmentalist and outdoor industry businessman, noted for his contributions to climbing, climbing equipment and the outdoor gear business. His company @Patagonia is widely acclaimed for its environmental and social focus. According to Fortune magazine, Chouinard is arguably the most successful outdoor industry businessman alive today.

The Responsible Company What we have learnt in the first 40 years at Patagonia by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley (see my blog)

 Let My People Go Surfing  Yvon Chouinard – Probably the ‘must read book’ to understand CSR in Business

(On my blog: How can construction learn from Patagonia?)

Ray Anderson

Founder of Interface Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of modular carpet for commercial and residential applications and a leading producer of commercial broadloom and commercial fabrics. He was known in environmental circles for his advanced and progressive stance on industrial ecology and sustainability.

Ray was was posthumously awarded an Outstanding Achievement award at this year’s Guardian Sustainable Business Awards in 2012. (There is a related, must watch, video here: John Elkington describing the work and legacy of Ray Anderson)

Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose: Doing Business by Respecting the Earth (2009) Later released in paperback as Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist in 2011.

Paul Hawken

 An environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. Ray Anderson of Interface credited The Ecology of Commerce with his environmental awakening. He described reading it as a “spear in the chest experience”, after which Anderson started crisscrossing the country with a near-evangelical fervor, telling fellow executives about the need to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Hawken’s book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (1999) coauthored with Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins, popularized the now-standard idea of natural capital and direct accounting for ecosystem services, a theme revisited by Rio +20 and likely to become more mainstream across the built environment.

Janine Benyus

Her 1997 book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature defines Biomimry as a “new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems”. Benyus suggests looking to Nature as a “Model, Measure, and Mentor” and emphasizes sustainability as an objective of biomimicry.  Key thinking in the Living Building Challenge principles, as is

E O Wilson 

Edward Osborne Wilson an American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author. In the mid 80’s developed the concept of Biophilia, the connection between humans and nature, which translates into architecture and the built environment as comfort, well being and productivity through exposure to natural light and natural surrondings or imagry.

Anita Roddick

Dame Anita Roddick, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products that shaped ethical consumerism The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries. Roddick was involved in activism and campaigning for environmental and social issues, including involvement with Greenpeace andThe Big Issue.

John Elkington

John Elkington @volansjohn is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. He is currently the Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans, a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation movements

His latest book The Zeronauts, Breaking the Sustainability Barrier  describes many of todays inspirational leaders : “Just as our species broke the Sound Barrier during the 1940s and 1950s, a new breed of innovator, entrepreneur, and investor is lining up to break the Sustainability Barrier”

Jorgen Randers

2052: What will the world look like in 2052 

Jeff Hollender, 

Jeffrey Hollender is an American businessperson, entrepreneur, author, and activist. He was well known for his roles as CEO, co-founder, and later Chief Inspired Protagonist and Executive Chairperson of Seventh Generation Inc., the country’s largest distributor of non-toxic, all-natural cleaning, paper and personal care products.

Gary Hirshberg, 

Gary Hirshberg is chairman and former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm, an organic yogurt producer, based in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Now part of the Danone group.

Published in January 2008, Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World is a book about socially minded business that calls on individuals to realize their power to make a difference in the marketplace, while doing business in ways that adhere to a multiple bottom line – one that takes into consideration not only finance, but the environment and health as well.

Jeffrey Swartz, 

Jeffrey Swartz is the president and CEO of The Timberland Company an organization that believes that doing well and doing good are inextricably linked. Timberland’s commitment is to reducing global warming and preserving the outdoor environment.

David and Claire Hieatt,

Founders of Howies a clothing company based in Cardigan Bay, Wales produces eco-friendly T-shirts, jeans and sportswear, and aims to have ethically correct practices. Howies use natural fabrics as alternatives to petrochemical-derived modern fabrics. Examples include organic cotton, Merino wool and recycled cotton. Howies T-shirts often have images or slogans with political or environmental themes

Dee Hock

Dee Ward Hock is the founder and former CEO of VISA , described systems that are both chaotic and ordered, and used for the first time the term “chard” and chaordic,combining the words chaos and order.

More?

Over to you –

Follow the discussion on twitter with the #GVis2012 hashtag.

Who are your CSR Heros and CSR Texts to add to this Built Environment inspirers list?

What additions or comments would you make to the entries above?

A full record (video, blog, tweets, presentations, storify) of the Building CSR Event is being curated on the be2camp event page here.

 

A Low Carb Diet for Construction?

This blog, through regular thought pieces from myself (Martin Brown) along with guest bloggers + thought leaders is aimed at generating discussions on moving towards a low carbon construction and built environment sector.

Setting the Scene

There is a buzz, and indeed confusion over carbon management in the built environment at the moment. We have the Zero Carbon Hub (as a quango) given a stay of execution to redefine ‘zero carbon’ albeit in the housing sector but will have implications for non domestic projects too.

We have Paul Morrell pushing the importance of carbon management, referring to cash as king but carbon must be the queen. (Introduction to the Construction and Innovation Growth Team final report.) (Note this report proposes a Low Carbon Construction Business Plan)

There is, according to  Sustain recent paper  embodied carbon, a look forward insight report much uncertainty over design predictions of carbon emissions from facilities and building in use.

The focus for carbon management has until recently been only concerned with the design and use of buildings, rather than the construction process of building or refurbishment.

But it is here that it makes sense to focus on carbon reduction, for if we do so we focus on waste in lean construction sense, but particularly wasted energy. Every kilogram of carbon saved on site has a corresponding saving, either to the contractor or to the project. No wonder then in a recent copy of APM Magazine article mentions carbon as one of the future key performance indicators for construction project management.

Understanding Construction Carbon

There is little evidence to date, or indeed little understanding of the level of carbon emissions from a construction project. Possibly leading the field is constructco2 which with over some 50 projects is showing a level of 96kg per £1000 project value. To put this into perspective one party balloon, I am told, would hold about 10 grammes of CO2. ( I tried to understand this in more detail on my own blog here)

Thats a lot of party balloons.

The Strategy for Sustainable Construction has set a target to reduce emissions by 15% based on 2008 levels. This is some tough call, meaning 15% reduction in material and waste transportation and in personel travel, along with a reduction, or improved performance of plant and energy use, and an holistic resource review.

In the words of Egan, we need a rethink on the way we build and refurb: a lean thinking approach. We cannot address a real reduction in carbon with the same thinking that created the current high energy situation we find ourselves in.

Over to you

What are you doing to measure or improve your construction based carbon emissions?

What innovations are you aware of to improve carbon performance though alternative energy or working methods.

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