Monthly Archives: November 2007


Mel over at Elemental posted an interesting and useful round up of BREEAM stuff. BREEAM and LEED (the US version) is certainly in the news at the moment, with both appearing to develop into specific sectors of construction. Rightly or wrongly BREAM and LEED will become central to achieving carbon neutrality and other sustainable targets in the coming years.

I am still not convinced of the benefits of these schemes over the life of a facility and contribution to the users business or organisational costs. (ie a focus on the 1, rather than the 5 or 200 from the 1:5:200 school of thinking)

My comments left in response to Mels article are copied below…would appreciate your thoughts…

…BREEAM and LEED tend to be taking off in all directions – much as the EFQM did 5 or so years ago – can this be a good thing or is it a watering down of a good original concept?

We are seeing more and more targets being set to achieve BREEAM Excellent for this or that sector, yet for the construction and fm sectors this means very little, so is ignored.

Even with the more eco aware construction organisations , their contribution to the whole process is sometimes seen as too limited, (patronising maybe?) ie around waste, transport etc, rather than making real contribution to the environmental life cycle of the facility, so again drops quickly to the bottom of the to do lists.


getting to zero

One of the excellent articles on the new Building Sustainability site is The Year to Zero.  putting many of the important targets and objectives being set for our industry in a chronoligical count down to carbon zero, neutral or ‘sustainability’. (or wherever its is deemed we need to be)
The article, in conjunction with Fulcron Consultaing will be updated as and when more targets are set, so definelty one to watch.

I use a similar approach, looking into the ‘planned future’ for our sector, helping organisations set their own strategies and targets, on green and other related topics.  How do your business or improvement plans map onto this timeline?  Will you be ahead of the game, prepared, or lagging and playing catchup? Do you even have a route-map to get you there?

New building sustainability site launch

Work has kept me from blogging for the last week or so … plenty to catch up with though.

First up is the welcome for Phil’s (he blogs at sustainability blog) new  Building Sustainability site project that launched this week.

Looks good Phil. One to bookmark, RSS etc

Integrated Project Delivery

ExtranetEvolution posted an in-depth review and commentary on the recently published Integrated Project Delivery guide, from the AIA in the US. Thinking this would be all IT and Technology I have given the guide a quick scan, but a few things caught my eye for a more in-depth read. As a Constructing Excellence‘s Collaborative Working Champion , I liked the opening…

Envision a new world where …

... facilities managers, end users, contractors and suppliers are all involved at the start of the design process
… processes are outcome-driven and decisions are not made solely on a first cost basis
… all communications throughout the process are clear, concise, open, transparent, and trusting
… designers fully understand the ramifications of their decisions at the time the decisions are made
… risk and reward are value-based and appropriately balanced among all team members over the life of a project
… the industry delivers a higher quality and sustainable built environment

Note the order of the first bullet point – facilities managers first. This resonates back to the early work between Constructing Excellence (then BE) and the Centre for Facilities Management, with a clever title of abecfm , where the future was envisaged as facilities managers as the process broker for the whole process, from user requirements to design to construction to building in use. This related to expressions such as the industry formerly known as construction (Richard Saxon) and the the industry formerly known as fm (yours truly)

Is this then the world of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)…. (It will be interesting to see if the rest of the paper delivers a route or road map this new world – watch this space – or Pauls blog at ExtranetEvolution )

lack of education on green finances a barrier to sustainability?

How do we deal with education of green financial benefits in eduction?

The recent and excellent copy of GetSust Issue 31 from Melanie Thompson carries a feature on the recent CIOB study:

A UK survey says the construction industry is poised to fully embrace sustainability, while two recent international studies have found that construction clients and tenants are putting ‘green’ buildings at the top of their shopping lists. All that’s lacking, it seems, is a leap of faith. Could post-occupancy evaluation (POE) push the two sides together?

A study commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) suggests that the vast majority of construction professionals believe that ‘green’ building is the future for the construction industry.

Of the 850 construction professionals questioned, 94 per cent believe that ‘green’ building is the future for construction, and 86 per cent believe that there are financial benefits to producing energy efficient buildings.

And contrary to expectation, 67 per cent of respondents felt that the current UK building regulations do not go far enough to create energy efficient buildings.

Commenting on the survey results, Michael Brown CIOB deputy chief executive put the lack of up-take of the green message down to “…a shortage of client awareness and education towards the financial benefits for building green projects”.

For more on this and the Get Sust service, and win a T Shirt go to Get Sust Continue reading

“Anatomy of a disaster” to reopen

I note that the Clissold Leisure Centre is to re-open next month .  It was described, when it closed in 2003, a year after it opened as a ‘landmark Millennium project’, as the wrong building in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The building became a case study in bad practice, in focusing on the building rather than the users needs, (on the 1, rather than the 5, or 200, if you follow the 1:5:200 concept), It has been used by many quality and technical managers across the country as a lessons learnt case study, and to reinforce the 1:5:200 thinking of relationships between design, construction, fm and (business) costs.

The project attracted a huge amount of industry,political and local – social – attention, including one of the early reports in the Guardian by Jonathan Clancy – Anatomy of Disaster:

Clissold leisure centre’s catalogue of problems is a frightening read. A local activist group, called Not the Clissold Leisure Centre, lists no fewer than 59 defects on its website. These include a “changing village”, which Orthodox Jews and Muslim women would be unable to use. The children’s changing areas, moreover, were located next to two-metre deep water. Shower drains have blocked. Dirty water from showers flowed into the pools. Tiles around these were slippery.

Yet these are relatively minor complaints compared with defects number 32, “roof leaking across whole centre”, 33, “roof sweating with condensation”, 34, “glass walls around pools retain fetid water”, 40, “inadequate ventilation to both pool areas”, 56, “significant cracking in squash-court walls” and, last and by no means least, 59, “water damage to sports-hall floor causing warping and lifting at less than 12 months, with injuries sustained by users.”

And, now ….

It reopens with a new toddler pool, improved disability access, reception area and new office space. Contractor Wates has installed a new roof, with a vapour control layer to prevent condensation, and new pool floors. The total cost of the centre, originally budgeted at £21 million, has risen to £45 million. bd online website