Tag Archives: benchmarking

REVEALed: a new initiative to showcase and compare the world’s most energy efficient buildings.

REVEALREVEAL – a new building energy performance nutrition label and benchmarking scheme to showcase and compare the world’s most energy efficient buildings. 

Reveal is the latest programme from the International Living Futures Institute (the Institute behind the Living Building Challenge, Living Product Challenge, Declare and JUST) to provide visible and benchmark-able energy data based on real, measurable data. Reveal is aimed at certified Living Buildings, net zero buildings, LEED buildings, BREEAM buildings, Passivehouse projects – or indeed any project with accurate measured energy data. It should be of great interest to the facilities Management and Property sectors

REVEAL taps into performance based reporting – an integral part of the Living Building Challenge and Net Positive Certification to provide a new platform for projects to showcase how efficient they are relative to other buildings.

Evidence for the Reveal using the EUI – Energy Use Intensity index – would be validated from utility provider data and audited by ILFI. Reveal Labels are date stamped and will be renewed on a two-year basis to essentially become ‘nutrition’ labels for building energy performance.

Organisations can use their label on their websites and marketing materials to tout their achievement in being one of the world’s most efficient buildings – and see how their project stacks up to other exemplary projects.

Energy Use Intensity (EUI) indicator: In the absence of a standard or benchmark it is difficult to benchmark energy uses between buildings. Simply measuring the amount of energy used per a chosen time period does not take into account building size, configuration or type of use. The use of an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) indicator provides a means to normalise the way that energy use is compared between various types of buildings, and evaluate the means of reducing overall energy consumption.

When using EUI, energy use is expressed as a function of a building’s total area or “footprint”. For Reveal, as is common in the US, EUI is expressed in energy used per square foot of building footprint per year. It is calculated by dividing the total gross energy consumed in a one-year period (kilowatt-hours or kilo-British Thermal Units) by the total gross square footage of the building ie KbTu/sqft/year  In the UK and elsewhere this would be KWh/m2/year. See Calculating a Building’s EUI

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) will begin issuing the new energy label, called “Reveal,” in late 2015 according to Eric Corey Freed, vice president for global outreach at ILFI.

30 CSR Pro’s to Follow in 2015 …

This is interesting. Triple Pundit have published their list of 30 CSR Pro’s to follow in 2015 authored by @Mary_Mazzoni

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Whilst being honoured to be included within such a great community, I was particular interested in the fact that all three of the UK people listed (Jim McClelland @SustMeme, Mike Barry @planamikebarry and myself @Fairsnape) are all connected with the property or built environment sector.

Is this indicative of the change in construction, property and built environment approach to CSR, moving away from a ‘donate and volunteer’ context to one of addressing the real social and environmental responsibilities of an organisation and of the industry. Further that we can and indeed should learn from other organisations and thought leaders within other sectors.

It also illustrates the power of social media and of twitter in particular to learn and share. Within the triple pundit list there are a number of tweet chats (for example #CSRChat hosted by @susanmcp1 and our #sustldrconv Sustainable Leadership Conversation* that I co-host monthly with @AndreaLearned who is also listed)

I have commented often that I see tweet chats as the new benchmarking. No longer do we need to go through ‘benchmarking protocols’ to understand innovations and improvements elsewhere, we simply find the chat appropriate to our needs, join in engage and learn.

To help in following the CSR accounts listed by Triple Pundit I have created a twitter list here – please do follow or subscribe – if you really want the leading edge thinking and commentary on CSR you couldn’t do much better!

* a good number of #sustldrconv guests and friends (for eg @PeggyatKC @KayakMediaTweet @costrike @AmanSinghCSRalso feature within this list, which reinforces the fact we are on target with our conversation series.

Are Tweetchats: the new digital benchmarking?

Twitter has come of age – we are seeing more mature, powerful, innovative and business focused use. In particular open tweetchats. Initially started as open brainstorms around a topic, tweetchats remain a powerful format, latterly they have matured into great learning/sharing conversations / interviews.

Tweet-chats generate great content, enable organisations or individuals to share and learn from others. An exemplar Tweetchat has to be the #CSRChat hosted by Susan McPherson (@susanmcp1) which can be seen as a digital version of the benchmarking visits that were the improvement tool for business back in the 90’s. These chats enable real insight to the CSR, Sustainability of leading organisations, and importantly the opportunity to engage, ask questions, get responses and add experience to the chat topic.

Good tweet chats creat a transcript record or report for future reading. I originally suggested that people just jump into the Tweetchat brainstorm, adding comment, holding small conversations with other attendees, and then … make sense of it afterwards and follow up on links, links and make face to face contact.

We have run some excellent tweetchats and built up a real body expertise, under the hashtags for example #GVisChat, #SustLdrsConv and #EXPOC21chat. In fact our first GVIsChat was way back in 2011. The reach of tweetchats can be impressive, with analytics from organisations such at @Tweetbinder.

What’s not to like? As with all good things there is a bandwagon approach that borders on spam- for example we have seen a rash of tweet-chats themed around a county or town, often tagged #anycountyhour these unstructured events offer little engagement and a free for all of promoting services or products.

#SustLdrConv – a monthly series of conversations around the topic of sustainability leadership, co hosted by Martin Brown @fairsnape in the UK and @AndreaLearned  in the USA. Every Tuesday at 7pm UK 2pm ET and 11am PT

#EXPOc21chat – a series if twitter conversations related to the first European Virtual Green Build expo in February 2014.

Background: #tweetchats … observations + how to

#GVisChat – a monthly conversation supporting the Leeds Sustainability Instiutue Green Vision programme (and host to the Living Building Challenge UK collaborative

Conducted properly tweetchats can be a powerful digital version of benchmarking exercises, of a white paper, enabling a structured interview to air your position, comments and developments whilst allowing for real time input from other topic experts, advocates and practitioners.

Having developed a track record in successful tweetchats, we would be delighted to discuss how these online conversations can greatly assist your wider social media, digital or PR efforts.

Innovation and inspiration in sustainability

This free ebook from Guardian Sustainability Business contains excellent, innovative and inspiring case studies that should be read by directors, senior and Untitledsustainability managers across construction.

“At a time when multiple social, environmental and economic challenges face the world, instances of true leadership and innovation can be game changing and offer a much-needed light in the dark.

However, ensuring these examples of excellence are shared, embraced and learnt from can often be a tricky feat when the business landscape is so innately complex”

Built Environment related case studies include:

  • BAM Nuttall: peer-led training unlock wealth of hidden talents
  • British Land: chain reaction in building design
  • Skanska: working with rivals for the greater good
  • Interface: net gains for poor coastal communities
  • M&S: proud to be the biggest – and the greenest
  • URS: how to build a big building with a small footprint
  • The Co-operative: landmark HQ designed with environment in mind
  • Kebony: hardwood alternative that’s soft on the environment
  • Royal Mail: LED lights the way to energy savings
  • Hastoe Group: lays the blueprint for sustainable communities

However …

“If a company wants to see a future then 80% of what it will have to learn will be from outside its own industry.” (Gary Hamel)

… real inspiration and innovation for those of us in construction and the built environment will come from learning from those outside of the sector, on themes of communications, carbon, employee engagement, biodiversity and more.

fairsnape: innovating and improving

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.

Innovation Voucher Provision

mb-m-and-c-1-blueThe Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is making Innovation Vouchers available worth up to £5000 for construction and built environment companies. Applications are due to open on the 10th of December and close on the 23rd of January 2013.

Fairsnape in association with IBE-Partnership is delighted to assist you  in preparing and submitting your application for Innovation Vouchers in the following topics that we offer as your innovation provider to improve your construction performance.

  1. Social Media – Awareness, Getting Started, Developing, Strategy and Policies, Measuring,
  2. CSR – Awareness, Developing Strategies, Integrating and aligning systems, Measuring.
  3. Sustainability (1) – Awareness, Strategy, Policies, Aligning / writing systems, Measuring
  4. Sustainability(2) – (Beyond Waste) – Awareness, circular economy, cradle to cradle thinking, healthy products innovation, measurement,
  5. Construction Carbon – Awareness, Strategies, Measuring and Improving, Application of wold class tools
  6. Benchmarking – (Beyond KPI’s) – Awareness, Strategy, Benchmarking Project, Measuring, Application of world class tools
  7. Business Strategy – (EFQM) Awareness, Improving overall and holistic strategy, facilitation, measurement
  8. Collaborative Planning / Last Planner – Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  9. Lean Construction Techniques – Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  10. Collaborative Working – Awareness, Strategy, Principles, Training, Facilitation, Preparation for BIM
  11. BIM – Awareness, Strategy, Policies, Preparation Plan, Facilitation,
  12. Customer Management– Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  13.  ISO14001 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing EM system + process, training, readiness for assessment
  14. ISO90001 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing QM, training, readiness for assessment system + process
  15. PAS 2030 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing Green Deal system + process, training, readiness for assessment
  16. Bidding – Awareness, Strategy, Process/Approach, Support,

mb-m-and-c-1-blueThis is a great opportunity for you to innovate and improve your effectiveness and efficiency, improve attractiveness to clients  and of course improve the bottom line at no cost to you. If you are interested in progressing further please call or get in touch to discuss.

00 44 7776 234702

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3 R’s for rethinking built environment sustainability

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Its over ten years since rethinking construction became the driving force for improving the construction industry. Back then, in 1998, sustainability wasn’t on the agenda for many construction organisations, and didnt feature in Egans influential report.

Now at the close of 2012, it is of course one of the key challenges for construction.

But is it now just a ‘must do, tick box’ matter, rather than a real agenda for improving, reducing costs and reducing our impact?

Earth2.0 Hub in an excellent blog post ( The Future of Business – inspired by and in harmony with nature.) provides a framework and the language of 3 R’s for future businesses working in harmony with the earth .  And its a framework we should learn from, borrow, adopt or adapt  at project and business level in rethinking built environment sustainability; Re-Design, Re-Connect and Re-Kindle.

Re-Design. Not only design of buildings, but to re-design the way we build. No longer are transactional efforts (reducing waste, conserving energy and recycling) enough.

How?: Take a look at Cradle to Cradle thinking, Circular Economy, Designing out toxic materialsDesigning out Landfill

Re-Connect. Time to rethink our relationship with nature. However just including nature as a natural capital to be costed is not meaningful approach. We need a relationship that is deeper, that is deep green thinking.

How?: take a look at Living Building Challenge – what if every building, like a flower, contributed to its environment. Or the One Planet Living ten principles

Re-Kindle. Time to rekindle the sustainability debate – moving away from the negative, harassment to doing less bad, to encouraging a move towards a positive new world of doing more good,  better. Resilience.

How?: Learning and benchmarking from other industries and sectors, for example Patagonia, or closer to the built environment, Interface Flooring

This blog, since 2005, has had as a tagline built environment improvement and its connectivity to the natural world . Since then, it has been a core philosophy within fairsnape.

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Since 2005 we have organised and facilitated benchmarkwalks, discussing sustainability issues , across and within sectors, whilst walking in the natural environment. Rather than in the conference of training room. You would be amazed how diffierent, how green, sustainability discussions when conducted in the great outdoors. Try it !

Cradle to Cradle, Circular Economy, Healthy Products Standard, Designing Out Landfill , Interface UK, and the UK Living Building Challenge all featured in our #GVis2012. Green Vision Conference in Leeds on the 12 Dec 2012.

>>> See Green Vision event material, links, blogs and more here  <<<<

<<< Read the Cradle to Cradle tweetchat transcript here <<<

The Living Building Challenge UK Collaborative will be ‘launched’ at this event on the 12th.

And, Cradle to Cradle is the book-topic for our Dec #GVisChat tweetchat on Dec 10th at 8pm.

UK’s first Best Practice Benchmarking Awards 2012

It was a real pleasure to sit on the judging panel for the UK’s first Best Practice Benchmarking Awards 2012, devised by the UK Benchmarking Institute in conjunction with The Best Practice Club and Ideas UK at the 2012 Ideas UK Conference on 8th November.

France Telecom Orange and HSBC received awards for their outstanding benchmarking projects.

France Telecom Orange for its “Broadband MTBA (Mean Time Between Assist)” project led by Thierry Denant, Senior Benchmarking Manager

HSBC, for its “When Social Media meets Business Strategy” project led by James Shewry, Best Place to Suggest Manager.

Ray Wilkinson, founding fellow of The Benchmarking Institute and director of the Best Practice Club explains:

“The Benchmarking Awards were set up to recognise examples of best practice in large organisations and raise awareness of benchmarking as THE most powerful business performance improvement technique around today.  Successful benchmarking requires organisations to identify clearly what performance they want to improve, understand it fully and then select, adapt and implement the most appropriate best practice available.  None of this is easy to do and many organisations have wasted lots of time, effort and money in benchmarking activities that have failed to deliver business benefits. Lack of awareness of how best to apply best practice is the root cause of this.

Benchmarking in its broadest definition remains the most popular performance improvement tool, although this claim would include the simple act of comparing performance with another organisation through KPI’s rather than structured benchmarking.

It was a pity that although interest was high there were no entrants from the built environment sector. Hopefully this will be corrected in 2013. Benchmarking remains an important business improvement tool for the sector, and as Paul Morrell commented recently, benchmarking should be driving construction costs.

“If a company wants to see a future, 80% of what it will have to learn will be from outside its own industry.”

As our improvement, communication and sustainability agenda has widened considerably with topics not traditionally found in construction, for example, social value, Corporate Social Responsibility  healthy materials and so on, it is arguably external benchmarking that will return maximum improvement to organisations and the industry.

The Benchmarking Awards is a judged competition, celebrating outstanding benchmarking at individual project level.  After all submissions were assessed, finalists were then selected and invited to present their submissions on the 8th November, at the Ideas UK Conference, where they were subjected to an in depth questioning process to explore the details of their benchmarking project.

The 2013 Awards will open for submissions from March next year.

The Benchmarking Institute consists of a wealth of unparalleled benchmarking experience. Check out the list of founding fellows and industries represented.

If you are interested in dramatically improving your business, looking to gain far much more value from KPI’s or just curious of how benchmarking can help reduce costs, the Benchmarking Institute can help.  Please do get in touch.

Awards reported in Project Manager

Eagle eyed observers will notice the Benchmarking Award is a replica of the Ordnance Survey trig column flush bracket plate. More here on wiki

Five questions to drive sustainable construction

Whilst being a great advocate for learning from others, sharing and benchmarking best practice, often it is essential to ask questions of our approaches to topics such as sustainable construction, before comparing.

In this mornings twitter fed reading stream was an article describing the five questions that Interface ask of themselves.  Interface are world leaders in design, production and sales of environmentally responsible modular carpets “Design is a mindset and sustainability is the journey of a lifetime”

Now whilst Interface’s responses in the article are inspiring, it struck me these are the questions we should all be asking of ourselves. Asking across the built environment, in design and specification, in product manufacture, in construction procurement and supply chains. Asking within project sustainability meetings, within company sustainability development and review sessions, at board level and even in ISO14001 audits.

Asking until we have answers and approaches we can live with.

1. How can we increase use of recycled and bio-based materials? 

2. How can we prevent our materials from ending up in landfill?

3. How can we reduce carbon and GHG emissions and at the same time increase our use of renewable energies?

4. How can we reduce water consumption?

5. How can our clients and customers make decisions about materials based upon trustworthy environmental facts? 

Once you have answers to these questions, you will want to take a look at Five Questions Businesses Must Answer to Advance Toward Sustainability According to Interface, Inc.

Join the discussion on these questions, share your responses and learn from others through twitter with @fairsnape and others, through leaving comments below or getting in touch.

Green Deal Thoughts: Is green deal missing the behaviour measure?

Could Green Deal fail it its core objective of reducing CO2?

Green Deal is a necessary and welcome approach to funding improvement to our built environment fabric, increasing the use of renewable energy, and importantly providing structure to eco-fit work via the awaited PAS 2030 standard.

Yet, could the Green Deal approach be seen as ‘too’ technical and not addressing user and occupant behaviour, increasingly recognised as the key ingredient to CO2 reduction in the built environment.

I was reminded at the recent Lancashire Best Practice Club green deal event that our comfort levels within homes and buildings has increased by around 7 degrees over the last two decades or so.

Those of us who grew up in the 60’s will recall the infamous morning frost on the inside of windows, since when, building insulation has improved, but at the same time we use more and more energy to improve our comfort levels.

There is a danger that, as Green Deal makes home and workplaces more energy efficient, users and occupiers, especially older and vulnerable tenants, will simply take advantage of the increased comfort level and keep their energy levels and costs as before. (And coupled with the Green Deal Loan charge could increase energy bills and repayments) There is also research that suggests what we save on heating bills we spend on other high CO2 emitting  gadgets or travel.

Alongside the measures within Green Deal we need user behaviour measures.

Perhaps one of the easiest would be the ability to openly benchmark our homes or offices against a CO2 league table of homes in the street, offices on a business park.

The technology and devices exist, see Pachube, the EPC iphone app I blogged on in 2010 and for example I can now easily and freely track my cycle rides against other riders on the same segment of road, on the Strava cycle app. Why not track my energy use against other homes and premises?

This behaviour approach now needs the promotion alongside Green Deal technical measures. And Green Deal Assessors have a prime opportunity to introduce such measures.

Related good reading

CIRS – Where occupants are seen as inhabitants and required to sign a sustainability charter

Tenant Behaviour: Five Keys to Meeting Environmental Performance Goals