Monthly Archives: April 2012

Green Deal Opportunities for Industry

At last a good, readable and comprehensive guide to Green Deal from the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Buildings (EEPB) and the Construction Products Association

The Guide is aimed at manufacturers, distributors, main contractors and installers, from individuals to SMEs to large organisations, wanting to work within the Green Deal. It provides an introduction to the Green Deal and ECO programme, highlights opportunities arising from it, sets out the requirements, including a checklist, and gives examples of area-based approaches and combinations of measures. It includes 10 case studies, with many more available at eepb.org.uk/resources

Although not unsurprisingly the pdf guide does focus on the housing sector (because thats where the green deal debate is at the moment) there are also useful guidelines, references and case studies for commercial green deal applications and opportunities. 

I guess its in light of the forthcoming debate around green deal in the commercial section that the EEPB have renamed from the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes.

The guide should be available from the EEPB website or newsletter following simple subscription or membership process.

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ISO14051: Turning waste to gold with ISO standard for environmental management accounting

With the proposed demise of Site Waste Management Plans SWMP under the ‘Greenest Government Ever’ red tape plans, could a new-ish ISO standard that puts costs to the impacts identified under ISO 14001 provide direction, guidance or framework for construction to measure and improve material and energy waste?

The standard, ISO 14051:2011, Environmental management — Material flow cost accounting — assists organizations to better understand the environmental and financial consequences of their material and energy use practices, so that they can identify opportunities for improvement.

The standard uses MFCA, Material flow cost accounting,  which is “applicable to any organisation that uses materials and energy, regardless of their products, services, size, structure, location, and existing management and accounting systems”

MFCA could be applied on a business wide basis across all projects, understanding material, energy and resource inputs, processing and outputs, as well as on a project basis adopting a SWMP format combined with a Carbon plan driven by ConstructCO2 could indeed turn waste into gold.

Background Reading:

Constructing Excellence SWMP position

ISO turn waste into gold  

Measure, Understand and Improve Construction Carbons www.constructco2.com

Could built environment leaders cut it in a digital world?

An excellent Communique newsfeed from Nancy Settle-Murphy this morning, at looking at effectiveness of leaders in a virtual world.  It strikes me this is a lesson perhaps for built environment and construction leaders as we move into a communication era that is increasingly digital, web based, social media enabled and BIM (Building Information Model) focused:

Even the most experienced team leaders can make us weep with boredom. They torture us with their monotone narrations of 10-Mb slide decks. They regale us with irrelevant minutiae, while sidestepping the really important stuff. Their meetings are more like monologues, with everyone else listening from the sidelines. And for the most part, they probably imagine they’re pretty interesting people!

When we experience boring leaders face-to-face, we have to at least pretend to be somewhat interested. We might take notes (even if it’s a shopping list!), throwing in a few occasional nods so we won’t be called on to replay key points. Copious amounts of caffeine help to some degree, as do the many bio breaks we’ll inevitably need as a result. And who hasn’t had a colleague place an “emergency” phone call in extreme cases of ennui?

Tuning out boring virtual leaders is far easier. Once you put yourself on mute, there’s no end to the more important things you can do, like responding to emails, writing up your latest status report, or finding the best price on that new digital camera you’ve been pining for. (If you work from home, this “important” work can extend to laundry, dinner prep, weight-lifting and more.) As long as you’re within earshot of the conversation, your team leader may assume you’re present while in fact you are completely absent.

So, how can boring virtual leaders learn to become more captivating? (And no, it is not an inherent skill that some are just born with!) In this issue, I take a look at some steps even the blandest leader can take to evolve into an engaging, stimulating and captivating leader, from near or far.

No one actively aspires to be boring. And yet regrettably, few leaders actively attempt to be interesting.

Read on … from Nancy Settle-Murphy on Commique