Tag Archives: best practice

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

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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.

free event – best practice procurement and support

UCLAN will host the free Lancashire Best Practice Clubs event this Thursday 10th July.  Visitors to the event will be able to discuss with their clients and supply chain what elements of best practice in todays construction industry are important to them.  There will also be the opportunity to discuss best practice support with leading regional and national support organisations.
Details:

VENUE: University of Central Lancashire, Foster Lounge, Foster Building, Preston PR1 2HE (car parking available on Foster Car Park and surrounding car parks)

Register to attend or for updates and further details contact 01772 893558 OR EMAIL

· Find out the best practice requirements of your clients

· Inform your suppliers and potential suppliers of your best practice requirements?

· Talk to organisations who can support your best practice activities and intentions

· Attend mini seminars on improvement topics throughout the day

· Discover the technical solutions and materials to achieve best practice

· Meet with some of the alternative and green solution providers

Details of participating organisations available here

(note this will be continually updated)

built environment events … coming soon

News of up and coming events which in some way isite / fairsnape are involved or participating in. Information and contact links are included below but please feel free to leave comments or contact here for more information, or indeed for help on accessing the online events

(V indicates the event has virtual or online access elements, saving your travel and environmental footprint.)

Saturday 28th June. V

Open and Orientation day on the Public Works Island in Second Life. Your chance to pop into second life and see what all the fuss is about, get a guided tour around interesting construction activities, view environmental and education projects, talk to second life users and see how second life can help with your collaboration projects and meetings.

Details: Open Day register through the Public Works Group Web site,

July 1/2 V

Sustainability Now, Building‘s online conference organised by ZeroChampion blogger Phil Clark, is to take place from 8am to 8pm on the 1 and 2 July. From your home or office computer, visit this unique FREE online event and have the opportunity to Network with like-minded professionals; Hear from industry thought leaders; Visit the exhibition, and take part in Q&A sessions.

A series of live online seminar topics are planned  including “EPCs – Surviving Them Now and Assessing their Impact” and “The Cost of the Code for Sustainable Homes”.

Details: Sustainability Now virtual conference

July 10th

Best Practice Procurement and Support. A Lancashire Best Practice drop-in event hosted by UCLAN, (University of Central Lancashire)  in Preston. Find out the ‘best practice’ issues your customers are looking for in procurement and seek assistance from the ‘best practice’ support organisations. There will also be a series of mini presentations throughout the day and a chance to network and chat.

Details: Latest event news here

July 16th

Route to Zero improvement module as part of the Elevate Constructing the Future programme.  An early evening event to learn about starting out on a route towards low or zero carbon future for your organisation

Details: Route to Zero . Register through Constructing the Future here

October (date to be fixed but between 10-17) V

be2camp. A planned event to discuss and explore the use of web 2.0 technologies and applications for built environment activities.  The event is being organised on non-conference and bar-camp ideas, which means you can get involved in designing the event, speaking at the event, or providing support and sponsorship. This event is already attracting much interest in the UK, the USA and Australia.

Detailsbe2camp wiki, blogs

October 29th / 30th V

Elevate’s Constructing The Future national sustainability conference.  Details to follow but get the date into your diary now.

Note that it is planned to host a Best Practice Club Question Time Event on the evening of October 29th

Details: background competition contact for more info

Watch this space for more events and updates

a real school for the future – without eco-bling

Education Guardian reports today on the development of Acharacle School on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Scotland.  The report by Tariq Tahir, should make ‘essential ‘ reading for those involved in school design, construction and in community assets. In addition the school childrens blog ‘they are building outside our class‘ illustrates how construction can be a real educational benefit.  One to RSS and watch develop.

And with no eco-bling, no greenwash, this is sustainable development…

The design, illustrating a sustainable future, for two or three generations is based on the use of mass-timber.  Architect Howard Liddel from Gaia comments … “the modern school does what it says on the tin but what it has on the tin is a skull and crossbones, and these are toxic fumes. Modern buildings have huge amounts of formaldehyde coming out of the floor coverings, seat coverings, the walls run with condensation.”

“What this project is doing is ticking a lot of boxes in a very subtle manner. There’s no covering the building in ‘eco-bling’ – the gimmicks people put on to make buildings green. It’s really quite liberating for an architect.”

He promised that the new building would provide a much healthier working environment for the staff and 50-odd pupils. “We have an immense problem with toxic materials in buildings – we have 55,000 chemicals we use in building and only 3% of them have been tested for their effects on humans.

“The timber is very good at dealing with indoor moisture passively. In other words, you don’t need a ventilation system when you’ve actually got a material that’s dealing with the moisture. Continue reading

on building school futures …

school things on my radar this weekend…

In May the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club will be held at Devonshire School, Blackpool an exemplar school that is a significant step forward in the design of learning environments for young children. Details of the event and site visit will be posted on the Events pages very soon

but … Building schools for the future is far too slow …. says the the NASUWT

Almost half of all teachers work in schools where water drips from the ceilings and windows do not fit properly, a study by the NASUWT concludes. A third complained of damp and slippery corridors, while one in five said lighting was poorly maintained. Most said they had to work in excessively hot or cold conditions and 30 per cent did not have easy access to drinking water.

Source: Scandal of Britain’s Crumbling Schools

What happened when Bright Green, an innovative green recruitment organisation brought together leaders from Britain’s top construction firms, sustainability consultancies, schools think-tanks with Kit Rogers, a teacher at Priestlands Secondary School, Hampshire, to discuss sustainability issues in schools?

Source: The Green School Dinner