Monthly Archives: February 2013

Social media in construction – whats happening?

Towards the end of last year the Construction Marketing Association conducted a US national survey of construction professionals regarding their use of social media. Of note is that 90% of those surveyed used social media, and of those 91% managed social media internally. Also of interest is the % use of Social Media platforms used, along with the most effective (linkedin) and least effective (facebook) social media platforms.

Also take a look at my article feature in the Guardian last year Why the construction sector should engage with social media, our Be2Camp Social Media Framework for GreenDeal, and Pauley Creative’s 2011  How are the top 15 UK Construction Companies using Social Media

What do you think? What do you use in your business?

Social Media in Construction

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#PPPConf2013 – Industry Day to Explore Public Private Partnerships

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Cover it Live blog for Days 1 and 2 now live here

Are PPP’s the way forward for construction, energy, health, education, infrastructure and wellbeing projects?

UCLAN are hosting an industry day with industry and academic thought leaders on the 20th March to address this question. This will form the third day of the three day PPP International Conference in Preston

In addition to hearing from keynote speakers John Lorimer (ex MCC now JLO Innovations) and Dr. Sheila Farrell (Port Consultant and Visiting Professor,
Imperial College London) there will be the opportunity to explore and discuss local, national and international PPP topics on a series of round tables.

Industry Day Programme Join in live with the online PPP discussions using the #PPPConf2013 hashtag

The four discusion Round Table groups have been identified as:

Group 1: PPPs in general – Identifying projects suitable for structuring, financing and sustaining PPPs – to deliver superior value

Chair: Prof. Pekka Leviakangas, Finland; Note taking by: Martijn Van Den Hurk, University of Antwerp, Belgium; Live Blogging by: Renuka Takore, UCLAN, UK.

Group 2: Education, Health and other ‘Social Infrastructure’ PPP Projects

Chair: Mike Yarwood, Director, Navigant Consulting, Leeds, UK; Note taking by: Adrienne Yarwood, Lecturer, UCLAN, UK; Live Blogging by: Dr. Sachie Gunatilake, UCLAN, UK.

Group 3: Transport and other ‘Economic/ Physical Infrastructure’ PPP development

Chair: Prof. Rosario Macario, Lisbon Technical University, Portgal, Note taking by: Robert Argen, Lund University, Sweden; Live Blogging by: Jennifer Barrett, UCLAN, UK. @meme_cloud

Group 4: Nuclear and other specialised PPPs

Chair: David Atherton, Project Manager, WDA Project Limited, UK; Note taking by: Angela Vodden, Senior Solicitor at Barnsley MBC, UK; Live Blogging by: Ann Vanner, UCLAN, UK @annvanner

Virtual Roundtable Discussion: Current Position and Future of PPP

For those participating online – engage in an online discussion from 9.15. Comments will be feed back into the room along with the other round table group discussions. Use the #pppconf2013 hashtag. Facilitator: Dr, Jennifer Doyle, UCLAN, UK @JDoyleCSD

The PPP International Conference Website is here

Conference Programme Days 1 and 2

Ecologically Rethinking Construction

Jonathan Dawson, head of economics at Schumacher College, writing on Guardian Sustainable Business asked “How do we redesign a new economic theory framed by ecological systems?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA question we need to ask and start addressing within the built environment.

We are seeing a new vocabulary emerging with concepts such as biomimicry, zero or net energy, water and environmental impact, Living Buildings, biophillia, circular economy … and more … As the interest and importance of these concepts influence in the way we design, build and use buildings, do we need a new paradigm?  Some 15 years after Egan, do we need to again rethink construction to address these emergent sustainability themes. approaches and skills that once again the sector is lacking, engaging the economists, surveyors and accountants? As Jonathan Dawson comments:

Ecology offers the insight that the economy is best understood as a complex adaptive system, more a garden to be lovingly observed and tended than a machine to be regulated by mathematically calculable formulae.

A comment that makes a nice resonance with the Living Building Challenge philosophy

And of course a key element in this new thinking is the internet, web 2.0 and the power of social media.

Enabled by the growing power of information technology, whole new ways of doing business and organising society are emerging, whose strength lies not in economies of scale but in economies of co-operation and symbiosis

Over the weekend , via twitter I caught a slide via Rachel Armstrong illustrating the difference and need to move from 20th century Cartesian or Newtonian thinking into 21st complexity, emergent thinking …

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Jonathan Dawson: “This moment of history calls on us to rewrite the dictionary and create new stories, much as the generations following on from Copernicus did to reflect the new world-view that emerged from his astronomical insights”

Construction Localism – how do you compare against benchmark?

Construction ‘localism’ is currently high on the agenda. And set to grow in importance.

There is, rightly, much talk and focus on localism within construction projects and frameworks at the moment, based on the principle of keeping project spend local. And of course realising other benefits such as reduced travel and transport distances, reduced carbon emission, improved productivity and more.

But how do we compare and benchmark ‘localism’? How local is your project? As a client how can you know if your contractor is addressing your ‘localism’ requirements?

The benchmark being set through ConstructCO2 can provide a starting point. How do you compare? Do you know your project stats?

Construction Localism by Zone

Measuring and understanding your localism (and CO2) footprint must be a key measure, a KPI, as part of your sustainability and CSR programme. Going beyond the measuring it’s essential we monitor trends, make the comparisons, understand the causes and, take action.

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It is one of the more important impact and influence areas your construction project has on sustainability and the environment.

For more on measuring your construction project carbons and project localism check out constructco2 or please do get in touch.

Sustainability beyond the low hanging fruit

My sustainability lecture to UCLAN SNBE and CSD 31/1/2013
Links referred to in presentation:
Please share your thoughts? Have we picked the low hanging options, what next for built environment sustainability?
For any clarifications or more information on the topics raised, or to keep in touch with UK developments on Living Building Challenge and HPD Standard, please get in touch (email or twitter) or subscribe to this blog