Asta La Blackpool Baby

Many of the news items this week covering Arnold Schwarzenegger attendance at the Tory Conference at Blackpool,to speak on climate change issues posed the question – what can the Californian Governor tell us about environmental issues? (What can Arnie Teach Cameron?)

As Blackpool is on the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club ‘patch’, I also asked the question what can the Californian construction and facilities industry teach us?

Well, plenty – from a quick search through web sites and on line case studies

Long regarded as leader in environmental issues in the states, adopting such programmes as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – promoting a ‘whole building design’) and California Title 24 standards, the State of California has an impressive web presence to inform and educate on Green Buildings.

In Dec 2004, as Governor, Arnie issued an order to take aggresive action to …reduce environmental impact of construction and facilities… (I am guessing when Arnold Schwarzenegger issues an aggressive order people take notice!)

The Green Building approach recognises that ‘Buildings account for one-sixth of the world’s fresh water withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two-fifths of its material and energy flows’ and sees building green as an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier buildings, providing cost savings to all Californians through improvedhuman health and productivity, lower cost building operations, andresource efficiency–and it moves us closer to a sustainable future.

Check out Green Building Design and Construction site, it contains a wealth of information, tool kits, overview of training programmes and case studies illustrating the benefits gained through building green (a cost saving of 1$ per sq foot in one case)

And with Californian temperatures probably close to what we can expect here if climate change predictions materialise, can we learn for example how they address school buildings that work in summer? For example CHPS, the the Collaborative
for High Performance Schools
programme offers a BestPractices Manual to assist architects, engineers, and school
administrators in designing and building schools to provide an enhanced learning environment for children. In 2006 Californian voters allocated $100 million dollars to fund the designand construction of energy efficient, healthy school facilities for theCalifornia public school system.

So – over to you Roger to invite Arnie along to the LBPC rescheduled sustainability meeting at Blackpool’s Solarus Building !!!!

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