Monthly Archives: October 2008

on low carbon existing homes

Currently reading around the greening of existing homes, the following links are of interest and indicate the way forward perhaps:

Rob ‘s Axis Design Architects award winning eco terrace in Newcastle-Under-Lyme that demonstrates how existing Victorian terrace properties can be refurbished to today’s housing standards.

ECD’s Terraced house refurbishment, Mottingham, London considered use of products should ensure that the retrofit of a social-housing property achieves an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

More to follow….

If you have further examples please add in the comments

on the future of sustainability standards

Last nights Lancashire Built Environment’s Pecha Kucha evening exploring the theme of affordability or sustainability mentioned the sustainability standards and codes more than once.  Listening to the other presentations brought back two items which I feel need much more publicity.

Firstly Phil Clark‘s (Zerochampion) Will There Be One Global Green Building Standard to Rule Them All? article which was carried on Jetson Green recently discussing the possibility of one global standard.  Is it already shaping up for world dominance of LEED (possible) or BREEAM (unlikely) or something similar (possible)?

Secondly Pam Broviaks pecha kucha presentation Greening the Globe to be2camp2008 last month. The presentations can be viewed here) Fittingly, delivered over the web (from Illinois into London) Pam’s presentation gives one of the most concise overviews of the many global sustainability or environmental standards out there.  Essential viewing to understand what is happening, and how all that best practice must surely start to come together into the global standard.

on zero carbon britain

Reading zerocarbonbritain that details how Britain can eliminate emissions from fossil fuels in 20 years and break our dependence on imported energy.

In relation to buildings it requires …

“changes to the building stock that may initially be unpalatable to traditional thinkers and environmentalists alike, due to the scale of demolition, new build, and refurbishment required”

Report can be downloaded here

on low-carbon existing homes

From the UKGBC website, will comment when I have time to digest!

UK-GBC Releases new report

Report submitted to Government 13/1008

After a summer of stakeholder engagement, including a ‘webinar’- an online seminar – which attracted around 100 participants, the report on Low Carbon Existing Homes has been submitted to Government this morning and is available to download here. The appendices are available here and the Executive Summary of the report is available here. This is a landmark report in terms of the number of organisations that have contributed to it and the importance Government attached to the process. It will go forward to inform Government’s energy efficiency consulta  ion later in the year, and the resulting Low Carbon Homes strategy next spring.

The report can also be downloaded directly from here low carbon existing housing

twitter and facility user feedback

Today at be2camp I will be discussing the use of twitter as an approach to post occupant evaluation and facility user feedback.

This discussion needs your input …. Tweet what you feel about your facilities, where you are now, and tweet as you think about how your office, your building, your ‘comfort’ environment, affects you …

Tweet to @postocc and lets see what happens ….  Thank you

And remember to follow @be2camp for today’s event – questions to @be2camp will be picked up by those in the Building Centre , London

be2camp link – wikitecture

Jon Brouchoud and Ryan Shultz will be presenting at be2camp (via second life or other web link) on Studio Wikitecture, which recently won Architecture for Humanity’s Founders Award in the 2007 AMD Open Architecture Challenge.

A very recent article in Architectural Record Wikitecture: From clicks to bricks, avatars to architects provides background this amazing project, perhaps summed up by a on the article:

What a provocative software concept…communal brainstorming of design iterations to form a cohesive union commensurate with compensation to each contributor.

be2camp count down – collaboration with web2.0

With three days to go. this post looks at one of the streams at be2camp. collaborating with web2.

More information and details of registration (its free to register) can be found at http://www.be2camp.com

From mid morning through to the close of the main session, the following topics will, may, be covered:

As with all unconference barcamps this will evolve and develop and allows for new topics and presentations to be set up on the day – what would you like to see or share to inspire others?

Keep in touch via twitter on @be2camp or the be2camp website

be2camp founders and un-organisers are: martin brown, paul wilkinson, jodie miners, pam broviak

Contact be2camp via be2camp@gmail.com

be2camp count down

With only four days until be2camp meets in London, this blog over the next few days will feature updates of what you can expect, and profile some of the events, speakers, and our sponsors.

More information and details of registration (its free to register) can be found at http://www.be2camp.com

OK, the initial ‘keynotes’ are shaping up like this, so far…

09:30 Registration and networking

10:00 Welcome, introductions, housekeeping, sponsors, be2camp story,

People, planet, productivity

Death to Email! (Suw Charman-Anderson)

Free our data (Charles Arthur, The Guardian)

Free our mapping response – data  (Live from Angus Scown, Australia)

11.00  Coffee then 3 streams of concurrent sessions

13:45 – AEC Design in Second Life, Aloft Hotels (Live from Second Life Jon Brouchoud)

14.00 then 3 streams of concurrent sessions, including live link ups from Second Life

17:30 Pecha Kucha

Remember be2camp is based upon the barcamp, unconference form of event, so things will evolve and change on the day – what would you like to see or share to inprire others?

Keep in touch via twitter on @be2camp or the be2camp website

be2camp founders and un-organisers are: martin brown, paul wilkinson, jodie miners, pam broviak

Contact be2camp via be2camp@gmail.com

Next blog will cover …. Stream One ….Collaborating through Web2.0

on public building epc’s

The UK Communities and Local Government government website states

Our buildings are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions.

October 1st marked the date by which UK public buildings have to display their energy performance for buildings and facilities as an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). Currently around 18,000 buildings, including town halls, museums, schools and job centres, are being tested.

The Guardian’s Hall of Shame lists a number of very prominent and public buildings that score G ( on the same A (good) to G (bad) as white goods). There is within the article a number of calls for refurbishment of these buildings – many less than 5 years old. So where was / is the sustainable design, construction and facilities management that everyone has claimed to be doing since ‘whenever‘?

a facilities management issue?

I question whether this is a design issue or the running of the building. Case studies indicate that Facilities Managers often lack the up to date eco-knowledge to manage complex building management systems, so manage all buildings ‘the same’.    In addition FM has largely been excluded from the debate, news and leading edge sustainability decision making, (at least publicly as a voice shaping our built environment sustainability future) and here we see the consequences.  (see my post on the UKGBC task group for example)

And the blame?

You can see the FM providers or managers from poor scoring buildings being called into board or chamber meetings or  to explain the low EPC score, and told to ‘do something about it’. After all no one wants to be associated with producing white goods that carry a G rating, so the same with buildings that carry a G rating.

and the costs

To be really meaningful, and easily understood the A – G ratings need to be converted into £ of wasted energy per building or per m2 for each building, to demonstrate the real cost to the tax payer of inefficient buildings or facilities.

and keep the focus on ….

It is necessary that focus remains on EPC, change will only come when the public, the building users and environmentalists (and bloggers) kept focus on EPC and displays, as with so many good initiatives this could easily fall away. Maybe the first fine for non display will sharpen minds.

google calls for tighter building code

Reported on the New Scientist website

Internet search giant Google – sometimes criticised for the amount of energy its servers use – now aims to do for the power grid what it did for the web and calls for stricter building codes

Google itself is improving its servers and their buildings, identifying $5 million in building efficiency investments that will pay for themselves in two and a half years. New efficiency standards for computers could US cut power consumption by the equivalent of 10 to 20 coal-fired plants by 2010, the company says.

More on the google blog