Tweetchat Week: w/c 4th Feb 2014

images (1)Next week is shaping up to be a brilliant week of tweetchats and twitter based conversations.

Checkout:

European Green Build

First up on Tuesday 4th Feb I will be interviewing  Building the Future (based in Catalonia, Romania and Brazil) with @C21EXPO_Europe as part of the Construction21 Euro Green Build virtual Expo tweetchat series. We will be discussing sustainability communities in the built environment.

>>> Join this conversation on this chat at 11am UK, 12 CET using the hashtag #ExpoC21Chat

Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement

Later the same day at 7 pmUK (11am PT and 2pm ET)  I am delighted to be in conversation with Peggy Ward, sustainability officer at Kimberley Clark. Peggy, based in Appleton WI, USA will be explaining how Kimberly Clark engage with and learn from their stakeholder groups. This conversation is part of the monthly Sustainable Leadership Conversations series created by Andrea Learned and Martin Brown (see our Google+ community pages)

>>> Join with this conversation on the 4th Feb at 11am PST, 2pm ET and 7pm UK using the #sustldrconv hashtag

Living Building Challenge with the UKGBC PinPoint

And then, on the 6th February, as part of the UKGBC’s Pinpoint programme taking place 3-7 Feb to increase awareness of The Living Building Challenge in the UK with UKGBC members, we will be hosting, with @UKGBC Pinpoint, a conversation with Amanda Sturgeon, VP of the Living Building Challenge at the International Living Futures Institute in Seattle.

>>> Join this conversation at 11am PST, 2pm ET and 7pm UK using the #GVischat hashtag.

All of the above tweetchats will run for 60mins and provide ample opportunity to post questions to guests, share your experiences and comment on the subject matter.

We look forward to seeing you there, and if you would like to discuss how tweetchats can promote your organisation or sustainability initiatives please do get in touch.

Also of note next week is the #CSRChat with Susan McPherson on 6th Feb at 5pm UK

iSite Links:

Records of tweetchats and conversations

Are Tweetchats: the new digital benchmarking?

#tweetchats … observations + how to

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Understanding the Living Building Challenge

UK_collaborative_logoDiscover why we think that the restorative sustainability thinking of the Living Building Challenge, as a philosophy, advocacy platform and a certification tool is vital to the UK sustainable construction.

This spring we are holding two Understanding the Living Building Challenge workshops that provide a 6-hour in-depth introduction, in Leeds on the 5th Feb and in London on the 28th Feb 2014

The first, held in Leeds generated lots of debate on the principles and application of Living Building Challenge within the UK. Feedback from the course included:  ” great overview of LBC” – “clarified the US language” – “A comprehensive presentation with highly informed discussion with participants” and  “informative and educational”

Our next course is in London on 28th Feb: at the UKGBC Offices in the Building Centre (Registration details here)

See A Living Building Challenge Conversation (with @UKBC and @AmandaSturgeon @LivingBuilding)

The Living Building Challenge™ is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy.

A Full Day Course: Understanding the Living Building Challenge provides a 6-hour in-depth introduction to the Living Building Challenge. Attendees are green building leaders in their community: design professionals, contractors, developers, owners, government officials and employees of public agencies. In short, anyone and everyone who can impact the development of the built environment. This course will be in English without translation available. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of course completion.

Living Building Challenge related post here on iSite

BIM: Gaming Down Barriers

I had the opportunity to experience the gamers device, the Oculus Rift, at a recent Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club event on BIM, courtesy of Vin Sumners from Clicks and Links, taking a virtual tour through the Manchester Town Hall linked to the BIM model for that project.

Interesting to see then that Second Life friend, Jon Brouchoud at Arch Virtual is pushing commercial boundaries of BIM and Oculus Rift in his article BIM Goes Virtual: Oculus Rift and virtual reality are taking architectural visualization to the next level 

“The first thing people do when they put on the Rift is to reach out trying to touch the walls or furniture they see in the virtual model, even it doesn’t really exist,” said Jon Brouchoud, “It’s an almost involuntary reaction, which I think that says a lot about how immersed they are. They really do feel as if they’re occupying a completely different place.”

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(Jon presented live from the USA / Second Life at the first Be2Camp event way back in 2008, there is a link to Jon’s Be2camp presentation on slideshare here)

At the time I tried the Oculus Rift I commented that we can add much more data, augmented reality, into the virtual experience, for example when touching walls, if we could see for example the sustainability data of components, health data, manufacturing data, time to replacement and cost data.

But more importantly such gaming devices can make construction and BIM exciting for all generations, fostering greater collaboration across disciplines in both a virtual and real environment – Gaming Down Barriers.

Gaming Down Barriers is the title of a Innovation Voucher funded report produced by Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson for Clicks and Links which should be publicly available in the near future. The report makes the argument that BIM through gaming could break down collaborative working barriers as did the original Building Down Barriers programme.

Entering the The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards could be good for you

SustainBus_460x276Business is evolving, organisations big and small are taking new approaches to embedding sustainability and seeing results. The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards celebrates innovation and impact in corporate sustainability and the people who are making business better.

Categories include the Built Environment but also the current themes important to innovation and impact of the built environment sustainability agenda, and regularly covered by blogs such as this: collaboration, communication, net positive, restorative sustainability, natural capital, social impact, supply chain, waste, carbon and energy and more.

Why you should enter the awards

How to enter  Entries close on 7 February 2014

The Categories …

Communicating sustainability Inspiring action on sustainability issues is key. We’re looking for stand-out examples of campaigns that have engaged and entertained. Eliciting action and leading to tangible shifts in behaviour

Net positive It is no longer enough to do less bad. Progressive businesses are seeking ways to be regenerative in their activity, this award is for those businesses that are taking tangible steps towards making a net positive contribution to communities, society and the environment.

Work Is your organisation a great place to work? Creating healthy, happy working environments is part of being a sustainable business. This award will go to an organisation that seeks to foster a culture of health and happiness for all employees.

Natural capital  From water to healthy soil, pollinators to forests, nature underpins 100% of economic activity. This is an award for an organisation that is trailblazing a strategy to appropriately account for the value nature provides it with.

Social impact Business’ has huge potential to contribute positively to society. This award is for a project or initiative that seeks to solve a challenging social issue whilst simultaneously creating shared value for the business.

Collaboration An award for a project or initiative that breaks down traditional barriers. We are looking for examples of several partners working together in non-traditional ways towards a goal that delivers truly sustainable outcomes.

Supply chain – sponsored by WRAP Global supply chains are vast and complex. This award is for initiatives that embed a respect for human, economic and environmental rights across a business or product’s supply chain.

Carbon & energy management Reducing business’ scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions is key to meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. This is an award for initiatives that take a holistic approach to measuring, managing and reducing emissions.

Waste From circular principles applied to design to projects achieving zero waste and re-manufacturing initiatives, rethinking waste is vital and this award is for projects or products that are at the leading-edge of that rethinking.

Built Environment – sponsored by Aecom An award for innovative re-developments or new-build projects that are at the leading-edge of approaches to reducing the built environment’s negative environmental impacts and raising its positive social impact.

Fairsnape is a media partner for The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 

Improving key elements in SME sustainability practices

Environmental Leader reports on a new guide from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants that sets out 10 best practices to help SME’s use sustainability to benefit the environment, their bottom line, customers and society.

Each tip is backed up with case studies and links for further information. Built Environment case studies include the likes of Billington Structures.

The tips are very apt and useful for construction SME’s moving beyond environmental issues and a sustainability approach that still rests within the health and safety arrangements.

  1. Take a broad view of sustainability.  SME’s should look beyond environmental issues.
  2. Define in detail what sustainability means to your company. This will help your company focus on the right goals.
  3. Engage all stakeholders. Include customers, suppliers, investors and employees in the discussion.
  4. Remember that you are not alone. National, international and industry-wide initiatives exist that help businesses become more sustainable.
  5. Establish responsibility and communicate widely. Make sure senior management drives the policy, appoints sustainability champions and communicates the importance of sustainability to every level of the company.
  6. Take it step by step. This is an evolution.
  7. Walk the talk. Back up your company’s intent with meaningful actions. Never make the mistake of seeing sustainability as a marketing exercise.
  8. Tie sustainability to profit. Make the link between consuming less water and electricity or producing less waste and improving profits clear within your business.
  9. Measure, monitor and review. Develop clear metrics to track your progress and review them regularly.
  10. Invest in the future. Many SMEs say the biggest investment is management time.

Sustainable Construction 10 years on – plus ca change?

Sorting through old papers over the holiday break, I came across this call to action from 2004

So why is the construction industry so slow in adopting sustainability principles?  There is more than enough sustainability knowledge in the marketplace to help organisations become more innovative, save costs and deliver a better product for their customers.

Business leaders and individuals are just not sufficiently engaged or enthused.

New entrants to our industry are beginning to expect high levels of ethical environmental and social performance. Clients are also beginning to expect higher standards and suppliers too are waking up to a better way of working. Organisations that do not adopt a sustainable approach will find it increasingly difficult to attract employees, clients and suppliers.

Now is the time to make the change and become more sustainable in everything we do.

The 2004 drivers for sustainability were based on risk management, driven in the main from client requirements (recall for example the influential MaSC – Managing Sustainable Construction programme launched that year) and we still ask the question if Business leaders and individuals are sufficiently engaged or enthused.

We have seen many strategies, targets and new drivers in the world of sustainable construction, the significance and danger of carbon wasn’t on the agenda back in 2004, the climate change wasn’t the issue as it is now, we barely understood CSR and social sustainability and we didn’t have social media as the powerful communication, learning and sharing tool.

And yet the approach to sustainable construction from contracting organisations remains the same. All too often I hear that “we only do it when the client or project demands it” And I notice increasingly that BREEAM (Very Good) projects seem to be losing the drive to change the way we sustainably construct – its business as usual for many working on such projects.

Going into 2014  we need to remain optimistic. Over the holiday period I have also been browsing some of the works of Richard Buckminster Fuller and struck by his quote

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

we need that new model now in construction, not one that challenges the existing – but makes a new way of doing things far more attractive and compelling on all counts. We can see a hint of this new model within the Living Building Challenge, Circular Economy and Restorative Sustainability thinking. For many reasons the built environment is known as the 40% sector, consuming 40% raw materials, producing 40% of total waste, contributing 40% traffic on roads, using 40% energy generated and so on.

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Lets flip these negatives into positives and heal the future.

We can only describe what we do as sustainable when we take less from the environment and when we contribute more to society than we take.

(We will be discussing this theme in our monthly Sustainable Leadership Conversation tweetchat on Tuesday 7th Jan at 7pm UK / 11am PST – follow the #sustldrconv hashtag on twitter)