Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Great Transition: How it all turned out OK in 2050. (nef Report)

“This report, by the new economics foundation, sketches out how, in the light of the challenges we face both nationally and globally – consuming beyond our planetary limits, untenable inequality, growing economic instability, and a breakdown in the relationship between ‘more’ and ‘better – things could ‘turn out right’ by 2050 through the process of a ‘Great Transition’. 

Initially presenting the case for change, the report goes on to discuss some of the steps required for such a transition, including a Great Revaluing, Redistribution, Rebalancing, Localisation, Reskilling, Economic Irrigation, and Great Interdependence. 

It concludes with a discussion of two big challenges that need to be addressed before such a transition can be achieved, but also sets out steps that can be taken straight away to start the journey”

And the built environment features throughout the report in respect of how we recovered our lack of traditional skills, succeeded in addressing the localism issue and turned energy ineffective buildings into models of zero carbon. 

Download now or preview on posterous

Great_Transition_0.pdf (847 KB)

Removing the hoardings – Making education projects learning projects

I have visited many school construction projects of late, for a number of contracting organisations across the UK, and have notice they all have one thing in common, a hoarding or barrier between them and the school. Most have received credit (from considerate constructor scheme, health and safety, ISO14001 auditors etc) for the effectiveness of the barrier.

These hoardings represent a barrier between school and project, removing the children and teaching staff from what should be viewed as a unique learning opportunity. If the school is lucky they will have a chained section or peep hole to look through or perhaps a PR’d site tour, all badged by the contractors as evidence of engagement with schools.

Further, in the current risk adverse environment,  advice from consultants is Complete segregation of site from the school wherever possible. 

Should we not be looking to remove barriers, not create more?

All education projects should be learning projects.
Construction projects in schools and other educational establishments present learning opportunity on a wide range of themes, from project management to crafts and skills, from technology and science to sustainability. They also present a fantastic opportunity for designers and contracts to harness student environmental and sustainability thinking on future school facilities. And yet we isolate them. 

Real Engagement
There are win-wins for both. Those in the construction or maintenance sector can really engage with school users, improving their own and the industry image, developing relationships for future work and future recruitment, whilst the educational sector can benefit from real time learning of curriculum subjects.

 There obviously has to be a considered approach to such sharing. CRB checks are not seen as enough, token even. Safeguarding awareness must become a mandatory induction aspect for all working on educational construction/refurb/maintenance/fm projects.

Through Classofyourown projects we have been working to remove these barriers for a few years now, and in association with The Athena Programme have started to roll out a certified safeguarding awareness programme for those in the built environment


Be2camp: be2awards BE2’s and construcTALKS

It is well over 2 years ago that a small like minded group of us* (in the UK, USA and Australia) started be2camp as a means of exploring the use of social media, web 2 applications and virtual worlds within the built environment sector. Since then we have grown to a community of over 500 members and received recognition as the Best Social Media Community in the Sustainability Now social media awards 2010
Hence it is with a real sense of pride and achievement that we can now organise, promote and host the worlds first social media awards, the BE2’s aimed specifically at the built environment.

Those of us who read and write blogs, use twitter, facebook and other ‘tools’ regularly come across the wow site, the wow application and occasionally the wow individual. Our be2camp awards will enable these ‘wows’ to be recognised, by nomination and ultimately by award winning.

Be2camp started out with a view to improving collaboration and sustainability through social media, so it is only fitting that the award categories reflect these themes.

Our site be2awards is now open for nomination, so please pay it a visit, register and nominate your favourite. Or indeed if your favourite has been nominated then endorse that nomination. From 18th Jan the nominations will close and voting commences.

Our awards event is on the 9th February at the Building Centre in London (and as with all be2camp events streamed live). Not only will we be announcing the award winners we will also hold ConstrucTALKS, a TEDx style set of presentations from high profile thought leaders. not to be missed.

  • Built environment blogger of the Year
  • Best sustainability blog
  • Best AEC social media blog
  • Best use of Twitter
  • Best AEC collaboration platform
  • Best AEC community, network or community application
  • Best use of Web 2.0 for construction products
  • Best location-based AEC application
  • Best ‘internet of things’ application
  • Best mobile application
  • Best virtual or hybrid event
  • ‘Old media/new media’ award
  • Best AEC PR campaign
  • Best AEC marketing campaign
  • Best education and learning award

*Be2camp Founders:
Jodie Miners Australia @jodiem
Pam Broviak USA @pbroviak 
Paul Wilkinson UK @EEPaul
Martin Brown UK @fairsnape 

Three reasons to give your PQQ and Bids an independent Health Check


One: Many PQQ’s and Bids ‘deselect’ themselves through errors and omissions. It is obviously far better for errors, omissions, questions not (fully) answered or formatting issues to be picked up by independent review rather than your client. Don’t throw away valuable points…


Two: Make your bid content the best it can be. Make sure your PQQ response is a killer, with compelling evidence, sparkling innovation and best practice awareness.


Three: Learning gained with one independent health check can be transferred to future bids, ensuring increased success potential


Independent reviews of your PQQ and Bids can be conducted through Fairsnape


Simply forward your responses prior to submitting to your client, giving enough time for review and your updating of the bid. In addition to Health Checks, other bid services are available, for example reviews of failed bids, PQQ training and coaching, bid writing and support, along with interview and presentation skills support. Get in touch to discuss more.