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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.
 

 

Thoughts from Greenvision Flood Risk and Community Engagement Event

GreenVisionFlooding

The major flooding experienced on 26th December impacted upon many communities in the North of England.  What was taken for granted, traffic, Internet, power, food and shelter, were lost for many within a matter of hours, over the Christmas holidays.

The university under its Greenvision project has initiated a consultation project to investigate how communities have responded and what they have learned in response to the flood events.

This study culminated in the flood risk and community engagement event which was held at old broadcasting house on Monday 23rd May.  Our three Keynote speakers included Mike Potter from the Pickering civic society who presented an excellent examination of an integrated community project integrating passive natural systems such as leaky dams, forestry management and uplands management.  Dr Frances MacGuire who has extensive experience in environmental risk analysis provided a personal account of the immediate clean up and recovery in Hebden Bridge.  The immediate impact and how community centres play a focal role in disaster recovery was presented by Phil Marken, a volunteer and owner at the Open Source Arts Centre in Kirkstall.  Phil was involved in providing local community support using the arts centre and Facebook to coordinate the clean-up and reopening of local businesses.

Each of the key note speakers chaired a series of round table sessions and were joined by Gillian Darbyshire, president of the Whalley Lions club in Lancashire, proving we can work across borders and recognise the interconnection of our communities.

The round table sessions summarised good practice and considered the next steps.  We concluded that community, communications and the coordination of vital information are important.  Knowing who is where and who are the most vulnerable was critical.  Social media is seen as an invaluable tool.  Everyone is now planning for the next time, where to meet, what to store and how to replan and refurbish housing and shops to overcome the inevitable damage from future flooding events.

Through the event, everyone wished to keep in touch, particularly on learning how to apply for grant aid or simple hard cash.  We hope our Greenvision event can provide a means of linking communities.

The presentations can be viewed at the link below along with our storify collating the best images and tweets from the event.

 

Implementing ISO55000; challenges and lessons learnt

8thJUNE2016

 

Wednesday 8th June 2016, 17:30 – 20:30

Old Broadcasting House, Leeds

ISO55000 was originally known as PAS55 and applied only to physical assets, but the scope has been broadened and some organisations are applying it to the non-physical assets that they manage to good effect.

Sodexo are winning work and recognition for being the first FM company to adopt the new ISO55000 Standard in Asset Management globally and this event is being presented by Keith Hamer, Group VP Asset Management and Engineering, Sodexo. As Keith puts it: “The launch of the ISO55k set of Standards is triggering a major shift by public and private sector organisations towards ‘whole life, whole systems’ thinking.”

To learn about ISO55000, the wins that Sodexo have achieved for themselves, their clients and their people join us for an informative evening looking beyond the life of the building and towards the life it’s users.

This is a joint event between CIBSE, Green Vision (at Leeds Beckett University) and IHEEM Yorkshire.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK

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

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!!

Closer to Zero – Green Vision Seminar 13 February

The recent snow, disruptive weather and congested roads turned the planned Green Vision seminar into an intimate evening at Squires Sanders last Wednesday evening.  Sue Riddlestone , OBE, founder and CEO of Bioregional, along with Dr Craig Jones principal sustainability consultant at Sustain Ltd, shared their experience and learning from the Olympics Games 2012 .

Sue described the meaning concepts behind the One Planet Living ten principles, based on the need to re-address the balance of consumption behaviour on our planet. The OPL is focused on making sustainability simple – through addressing ecological footprints – leading to a more informed holistic approach based around the ten principles

Sue currently lives and works in the bedzed zero carbon development which has achieved excellent results although at an above average build cost. The One Brighton project however was built on the OPL principles  at normal build costs and sold twice as fast a BedZed. It has also created a vibrant hub where people are happy with their sustainable lifestyles, proving that it is possible to build sustainable developments  with much improved health and community benefits without additional costs.

The ‘One Planet Olympics ‘ is an excellent example that led to huge savings in material costs through recycle and reuse strategies alongside the purchasing of materials & systems ‘on lease’ and returning them after the Olympic Games. A demonstration of Circular Economy thinking!

As the London Sustainable development commissioner , Sue was given access to the consultants on the Olympics project thanks to Ken Livingstone who provided the leadership for Bioregional influence with their ambitious sustainability strategy – the Greenest Games Ever – at the bidding  stage.  Of course , no one ever really thought the UK would win the Olympics , but when we did, the ambitious strategy became a legally binding document of the ‘One Planet Olympics’

Sue stressed the importance of contracts , strict guidance over reuse of buildings and materials from dismantled buildings on the site . Whilst there were no embodied carbon targets for the games there were strict reuse targets as there was a huge drive to dematerialise buildings. Innovative novation approaches were used such as take back schemes for air conditioning systems .

Sue summarised by giving two take away key principles:

  1. leadership and commitment to a sustainable project no matter how big ,
  2. embodied carbon must also be considered alongside health and well being.

Sue described the current environment as a clunky gear change into a more resource efficient environment.

Next, Dr. Craig Jones gave a detailed account of embodied carbon, its meaning and its impact at this time of huge growth of GHG emissions explaining the difference between embodied carbon and whole life carbon.

Embodied carbon mainly comes from energy and is also known as the carbon footprint of a material. It considers energy consumed to process, transport and fabricate a product. Taking us through the ‘cradle to gate’ approach and then further to ‘cradle to site’ including powering onsite, assembly equipment and construction waste. Managing construction waste is effective but buying less materials would be the most efficient saving to be made.

Craig indicated a few culprits such as bricks and cement in concrete as materials that could be replaced by lower carbon alternatives. In particular he drilled down into the detail of the cement low carbon substitute products (Ggbs and pfa) which were used in the Olympic Park and some of the resistance to using such materials n construction projects being down to lack of understanding and the impact on schedule of a longer curing time.

The key message from Craig was that Embodied carbon, once it’s emitted, it’s gone and we can never go back and improve the embodied carbon, its irrecoverable.

GVis members posed some interesting questions around the WRAP net waste tool which has a lack of up to date data and the open access nature of the university o f Bath embodied Carbon materials database (which is currently seeking funding to sustain maintenance and upkeep)Recommended resources from the event:

Best foot forward report 

Bath Embodied  Carbon Database 

SKA rating guidance 

Better Buildings Partnerships Guidance 

Notes from Claire Bowles Green Vision and Martin Brown Fairsnape

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.

 

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