Mel Starrs over at Elemental has a great and useful article on local resources as seen from the LEED and BREEAM perspectives. Local materials, for local people (or a review of LEED credit MR5.1) Essential reading for those using these standards and grapling with the concept of local resources.
And yet there is another local resource debate emerging that may well eclipse these standards:
The transition movement approach based on the concepts of peak oil and local resilience necessitates the use of local labour and resources. Rob Hopkins within the Transition Handbook includes building materials as one of the key products, along with food, that can be produced locally. Re-localisation calls for the production of the means to produce locally – something lost in the cheap transport, cheap oil economies.
A recent presentation from Tom Woolley advocating the use of hempcrete and other cropped based construction products as the material of the future, paints the picture of the hemp being grown fields local to the new housing project.
Within the UK regeneration projects there is often KPI requirements on the use of local resources and labour, as high as 70% in an attempt to keep spend local to regenerate the regional and local construction markets. It remains a key selection criteria on most if not all public procurement PQQ’s. Corporate organisations often have grand CSR statements on positive approaches to using local labour and organisations.
And yet a simple plotting of supplier / subcontractor locations on a google map can reveal to clients the visual distribution of spend away from the local area.
Re-localisation is a debate that will continue, driven by the drive for low or zero carbon, the economy, politics and concepts such as transition and peak oil. How the standards, LEED /BRREAM and the CSB / CSH influence or reflect this will be of great interest.
… off now to view the Hanham Hall sublitted application plans for their intentions for use of local labour and resources … part 2 to follow.