Now is the future of construction

All too often I hear construction talk of how things will be better and back to normal when we emerge from the current tough environment, with a strategy of retrenching, waiting and picking up again in good times just around the corner.

Wrong – this is the future, right now, and only those who adapt and embrace change will find a better working environment, and turn the corner to find those good times. As Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over again hoping for better results is just plain insanity.

I was reminded at yesterdays Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Champions meeting that the Never Waste a Good Crisis  – Challenge to the UK Construction Industry is now three years old – and the message is still as viable and important as ever.

Embracing change across so many facets of business today is vital for future success, but particularly in the sustainability and responsibility arena. As Michael Townsend wrote only yesterday on the Guardian Sustainable Business blog, companies that prosper in future will be the ones that take action on sustainability now, and asks the question:

Should construction companies remain engaged in the net depletion of resources, or move towards becoming a zero-adverse impact facilities business within the circular economy?

Understanding change and adapting for the future is a big ask for many organisations within the built environment, and we have yet to see breakthrough case studies. However, many are now embarking on the first step of increasing awareness of change, and through the Fairsnape Route to Zero approach starting to map out a strategy.

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Celebrating social media in the built environment

Only two days left to our Be2Awards, 2012 Social Media awards event in London at the Building Centre,  kicking off at 1.30pm.  As with our 2011 awards, the event, part of Social Media London Week, will be an inspiring combination of TEDx style talks and a celebration of what is good in the world of built environment social media.

Recognition will be paid to the crowd-sourced winners from 12 categories, from best use of twitter, best sustainability blog, best use of media, and many many more. The Be2Talks presentations will cover BIM, Bikes, Social Hiking, Coffee, Green Deal and more.

The event will use the #be2awards  hashtag and will be live streamed, live blogged and tweeted. Check out our event page for more information.

Can there really be a better place to be on a wet Wednesday afternoon in London? Spaces still available here.

By the way, if you havent voted yet, you have under 12 hours left – so take a look at the excellent short-listings and be inspired as how social media is being used today.

And, if you are looking to make a day of social media in London – check out the Guardians Social Media for Sustainability event, taking place just up the road on the morning of the be2awards, with enough time to grab a drink and sandwiches you head over to the Building Center!

Be2Talks Presenters:

Richard Saxon CBE – “Growth through BIM”

Richard SaxonRichard Saxon is an architect and urban designer. He now works as a client adviser after a career at BDP (chairman 1996-2002), the RIBA (Vice-President 2002-8) and Be, Collaborating for the Built Environment (chairman, 1999-2005). He was made a CBE in 2001 for services to architecture and construction. He is on the board of the Construction Industry Council, is currently advising BIS on the growth potential of BIM and was recently appointed the CIC’s “BIM Ambassador”.

Carlton Reid – ”Cycling, the built environment and social media”

Carlton ReidCarlton Reid (@carltonreid) has been writing about bicycles and travel for 20 years. He has written for many cycling and travel magazines and UK newspapers including The Guardian and The Independent, and is the author of several books on travel and cycling. He is executive editor of BikeBiz.com, editor of Bikehub.co.ukQuickrelease.tv and iPayRoadTax.com. Author of the acclaimed Bike to Work Book, his latest project is Roads were not built for Cars. Carlton will present our Be2Bike Keynote on the growing application and importance of social media in the world of cycling.

Phil Sorrell – ”Geo-blogging”

Phil SorrellPhil Sorrell is the creator of Social Hiking – Share Your Adventure, a website for sharing outdoor adventures live using social media and GPS tracking. He is an experienced web developer, writes a blog about the outdoors and fundraises for Multiple Sclerosis charities. @daylightgambler

Liz Male – ”Why repair, maintenance and improvement is vital”

Liz MaleLiz Male (@LizMale) will talk about the rise of the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) sector – its new-found political, social, economic and environmental importance, and the opportunities and risks this creates for UK businesses in the built environment, including those linked to the imminent Green Deal initiative.

Liz is Chairman of TrustMark, a not-for-profit organisation licensed by Government and supported by consumer protection groups which helps people find reputable local tradesmen to do work on their homes. She is also a PR consultant with specialism in sustainability in the built environment.

Mark Stodgell – ”BIM, blogs, bikes and Pozzoni Architects”

Mark StodgellMark Stodgell was an early adopter of building information modelling and of social media, having used Twitter (he’s@Stodgeblog) and LinkedIn to raise the profile of Pozzoni in the BIM world. He will talk about how the technologies complement each other.

Mark works at Manchester-based architects’ practice Pozzoni Architects, and started using the internet to find about orienteering in Finland. In his spare time, he is a member of Great Britain’s mountain bike orienteering team.

Nick Katz – ”Honest Buildings”

Hear about Honest Buildings: a real estate network connecting professionals to new business opportunities and information for over 700,000 buildings across the US, and now with an office in London.

Honest Buildings was founded in 2011. Nick Katz (on Twitter, he’s @NicholasKatz), formerly at UK Green Building Council and then senior sustainability advisor for Colliers International, is associate director leading UK market development for Honest Buildings.  Nick believes that, through sharing information freely and showcasing great building projects delivered the world over, the bar for building performance will be raised globally.

BeAward Categories:

 

BE2 are the social media advocates behind the Be2camp movement. Since 2008, Be2camp has been championing the use of social media Web 2.0 in the Built Environment (hence Be2).

Since the first Be2camp unconference in London in October 2008, Be2camp people have organised more than 30 events focused on promoting collaboration and co-operation within a better, more sustainable built environment. Key topics have included education, building information modelling, property and real estate, facilities management, the Green Deal, marketing, and river basin management (among other things).

Founded by four practitioners (two in the UK, one in Australia and one in the US), the Be2camp online community is now nearly 700 strong with members around the world.

Leopold, Muir and Badger Cull

Thoughts and quotes that come to mind as the Badger Cull trial in Gloucester and Somerset approaches, and how we never listen to great wilderness and nature minds …

“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes – something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”
― Aldo Leopold Sand Country Alamanac

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir My First Summer in the Sierra

On changing culture …

This Wednesday, I attended, and was privileged to talk at, two seemingly unrelated events, one being Green Deal and the other Building Information Modelling (BIM). Both very topical with a common theme of real presenting challenges to the the way we work within our industry.

At both I heard the time-old concern that the industry needs a cultural change to address better ways of working. Couldnt agree more. But there is an expectation that someone else will do it for us – to us.  Somewhere, some organisation will wave a wand, mutter a few Harry Potter spell words and cultural change will sweep across us. It’s not going to happen that way.

Be the change we wish to see …

Changing the culture has to come from within us, as individuals and organisations, to stand up and challenge the accepted norms. When we see better ways of approaching projects and tasks, better ways of working together, better sustainability approaches we need to challenge. Much as in the way that last planner is giving voice to improved construction management from those at the construction sharp end, making the necessary changes to address Green Deal, the wider Sustainability, Green agendas and BIM has to come from those of us within the industry.

We can continue doing the same things day in day out knowing that there must be a better way, or actively seek better working and opportunities. It is worth (re)  reading Never Waste a Good Crisis  that promotes, amongst other actions, business models that promote behavioural change.

At both events I was reminded of Einstein definition of insanity – “doing the same things over and over and over, expecting them to have different results”