Tag Archives: constructing excellence

Healthy Buildings and Wellness: 12 Insights

Alison Nicholls, Associate Director, Constructing Excellence, put together the following, excellent summary of the recent Heathy Buildings and Wellness event held on the 31st January 2017.  The event was hosted Aecom at their Aldgate Tower offices, designed to meet the very latest standards in healthy buildings and wellness.

The business case behind healthy buildings and investing in standards such as WELL, BREEAM and the Living Building Challenge, as well as the demand for healthy buildings and the practicalities of delivery in both new and existing buildings and future implications for regulations and law were explored.

Here are the top things learnt during the workshop:

  1. Changing buildings is a great opportunity to instigate healthy changes
    Dave Cheshire from Aecom looked at how making making healthier choices easier for employees could help make them healthier, more productive and more resilient to stressful life and work events. Aecom are implementing solutions to encourage people to live well, both for their own staff and on client projects.
  2. Take the investment conversations up a level
    Dave’s top tip for making the business case was to take the conversation up a tier to those who have a more holistic view of the business investments. Engaging the Human Resources department at can help justify expenditure that might add cost to the capital budget but will save significant amounts over the long term occupation of the building.
  3. Circadian rhythms – mimicking nature
    As part of the British Antarctic Survey project Aecom looked at how intelligent lighting solutions could mimic natural daylight patterns in order to trigger the hormones that set our natural body clock. This is particularly important in a building where it’s pretty dark for six months of the year, however this learning can equally be applied to night workers or office buildings where natural light doesn’t penetrate deep into the building floor plates.
  4. People don’t always understand the risks
    Isabella Myers gave a public health perspective on the link between buildings and health and wellbeing. She flagged up the risks of delivering interventions when occupants were often resistant to changes and not necessarily convinced of the risks to their health from problems such as leaky boilers and fuel combustion. This can come in many forms including deaths from carbon monoxide and neuropsychiatric symptoms from long term exposure to toxins.
  5. Our strategies to save carbon may have made it worse
    Isabella reminded us that some of the strategies that have been employed to save energy and carbon dioxide have led to more airtight homes and buildings have caused the build-up of toxins that can impact people’s health.
  6. Healthy Buildings attract premium tenants
    Anita Mitchell Head of Sustainability for Lendlease Europe spoke about increasing market demand for healthy buildings. On a recent project in Sydney major clients in the financial services and blue-chip companies were demanding high levels of WELL Buildings Standard. Eventually this could lead to devaluing property that does not support health and wellbeing.
  7. Speculative developments can still be healthy
    The strategy to deliver WELL-Ready core and shell schemes enables tenants to implement their own health and wellbeing strategies in order to meet the WELL Building Standard.
  8. Health & Wellbeing cuts across the political divide
    Health and wellbeing impacts on social and economic sustainability, therefore both sides of the political divide can support the agenda, on the one hand it benefits society and on the other it delivers bottom-line economic benefits.
  9. Don’t forget the construction process
    Martin Brown from Fairsnape reminded us that whilst the end product needs to support wellbeing there is a requirement not to forget how the built environment is constructed, the toxicity of materials used and the people who build them. While we have made huge progress in terms of onsite health and safety, the industry has one of the highest mental health and suicide rates after agriculture.
  10. Biomimicry
    There is a lot we can learn from nature and how it functions in order to reproduce natural patterns and deliver healthier and better performing buildings. For example the Living Building Challenge certified Bullitt Centre in Seattle mimics the effect of a tree canopy to limit exposure to overheating and solar glare.
  11. Data can help
    By mapping physical data sets from BIM with biological datasets from the health sector and fitness trackers etc. a really rich picture of how buildings and the built environment are impacting on people’s health and wellbeing is emerging, and providing data for health improvement. There are lots of ways in which existing buildings can be improved to increase the health and wellbeing of the occupants. BRE is carrying out a research project on a real life Biophilic office refurbishment assessing the health and wellbeing of occupants before and after various interventions.
  12. WELL & BREEAM setting the standard
    BREEAM and WELL have been working together to establish common factors and areas of mutual recognition for elements of their respective standards. Chris Ward provided an overview of progress including an initial mapping exercise that has been published in a technical guidance document.This will lead to further collaborative work to ensure that health and wellbeing are an even more integral part of the BREEAM standard going forward.

The group will meet again in April to look at how innovative, healthy and sustainable materials are being specified and how that process can be improved to ensure that clients and specifiers increase their understanding and demand innovative products and materials.

The original constructing excellence post and presentations can be viewed here 

Related:

FutuREstorative – Working Towards a New Sustainability

WELL & BREEAM announce alignment for credits: more good or less bad?

Mindfulness, Biophilia and Salutogenesis: a powerful triptych for improving construction health and happiness

 

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Lancashire Construction is Blooming

With the regions transformational City Deal now getting into swing there will be ‘blooming’ opportunities for those in the Lancashire built environment sector over the coming months and years. And Constructing Excellence, through its Lancashire and Regional Clubs is well placed to assist in the development and transfer of best practice knowledge and skills. These cover the core ingredients of successful built environment organisations – Productivity, BIM & Digital Construction, Sustainability and Continuous Improvement –  all geared to meeting the Construction 2025 Vision

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Whilst you are here: Supporting the Lancashire Club: We are looking for new steering group members to steer and drive the club over the coming years, a period that will be a busy, challenging but rewarding one for built environment organisations within the region. if you are interested please get in touch with our Chair, Martin Brown, our Sec, Andrea Atherton or Regional Club Coordinator Zoe Brooke 

Our … speak to us at our next event on 23rd Feb in Lancaster 

We Are Lancashire – The Place For Growth

Lancashire, Preston and South Ribble’s transformational City Deal pitched to over 100 developers, agents and investors at half-day Place North West business conference last week.

Entitled “We Are Lancashire – The Place For Growth”, the event was organised by the City Deal Partnership (including Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Council and the Homes & Communities Agency), Marketing Lancashire and the Lancashire LEP. It was run in partnership with leading property news and investment website Place North West, and hosted at the Preston headquarters of accountants RSM.

At the heart of the discussions was the impact and opportunities offered by the £434m City Deal programme. The City Deal is a key initiative of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s strategic plan to create 50,000 new jobs over the next 10 years across the county.  The City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across Preston and South Ribble, as well as new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population

  • Key themes which emerged throughout the sessions included how all of the Lancashire local authorities, both county and district, involved in City Deal were working closely together to ensure private investment can flourish. This included their pragmatic, joined-up approach to the planning process, and the substantial public sector support on offer to help private sector schemes get started, and completed, with a minimum of barriers.
  • Another important debate centred around the need to create a diverse mix of housing, and have different types of tenure, throughout Central Lancashire. This was to ensure families, young people, the elderly, students and recent graduates could all get access to affordable and desirable accommodation which suited their needs.
  • As well as providing suitable homes to encourage graduates to stay in the area, many of the speakers also touched on the need to retain graduate talent through a combination of suitable jobs in the region, and the creation of an attractive environment to live in. This included a need for an improved for an improved evening economy as well as strengthening its position as a visitor destination.
  • This led to a focus on the strengths and benefits of Central Lancashire’s existing regeneration and development schemes, and highlighted some of the major City Deal investments which have recently been announced.
  • These included Preston city-centre developments such as the new Harris Quarter cinema and leisure scheme, the potential for the re-development of an ‘HS2 ready’ Preston train station, the £200m UCLan masterplan, the regeneration of Winckley Square and the proposed Altus Grade A office project.
  • The major investment opportunities based around the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone site, which has now been designated as a specialist aerospace and advanced manufacturing hub as part of The Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster programme were discussed, including reference to the recently green-lighted Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre which will be based at Samlesbury.
  • The major mixed use logistics, retail and residential scheme at Cuerden, anchored by a new IKEA, was also held up as an example of how the City Deal is helping to unlock a series of complementary developments which are set to have a genuinely transformational effect on the Central Lancashire economy.

Threats and challenges to Lancashire’s growth were also debated, with issues like skill shortages, Brexit and Lancashire’s historic reputation for being a divided county all coming under discussion.

However, the general consensus from both private and public sector speakers was that Lancashire has made incredible progress over the last few years to speak with one voice showcasing its growing ambition and confidence, is looking to tackle the issue of vocational skills through a series of effective education and employer strategies, and is set to play a key role at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse initiative through a private-public partnership approach to stimulating economic growth.

More

Talking, Sharing, Launching

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My 2017 diary is shaping up with some great and exciting presentations & talks, sharing insights from FutuREstorative, introducing the Living Building Challenge, launching more collaboratives in the UK and launching RESTORE, our European COST restorative sustainability research programme. And more…

Jan 11th Preston
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative, Living Building Challenge along with healthy buildings topics such as biophilia and salutogenesis with the UCLan Healthy University Group in relation to the University Master Plan Development

Jan 25th Manchester
Book Talk. Sharing insights from FutuREstorative at Constructing Excellence Manchester, Breakfast Meeting
Archive

Jan 31st London
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative at Constructing Excellence Sustainability Working Group event: Healthy Buildings and Wellness
Archive

Feb 6th London
Intro to Living Building Challenge Talk and the Launch of a Living Building Challenge Collaborative for London in association with Mott MacDonald
Archive

Feb 23rd Lancaster
Lancashire Green Drinks
Book Talk. Green Build and Green Coffee. Sharing insights from FutuREstorative. With Ian Steel, Atkinsons Coffee at the Hall, Lancaster
Details and Registration

Feb 24th  Glasgow
Intro to Living Building Challenge Talk and the Launch of a Living Building Challenge Collaborative for Scotland in association with The Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA)
Details and Registration

March 9th Brussels
Kick Off Meeting: After 2 years writing submissions and developing the EU COST Action with EU colleagues Carlo Battisti and Emanuele Naboni, we finally kick off RESTORE, our EU COST Research Programme

March (tbc)
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative and Construction Carbon (with Carbon Trust) at Constructing Excellence Lancashire

April (tbc)
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative and Construction Carbon (with Carbon Trust) at Constructing Excellence Liverpool

April 26th  Trento, Italy
Supporting Regeneration Edition 3 Living Building Challenge Competition. Applications still open
Details and Registration

May, London Be2camp style book event with FutuREstorative contributors.

November 10th Leeds
Talking, a little way of yet but delighted to be a guest speaker for the CIBSE Yorkshire Awards Dinner in Leeds

More soon …

2008 KPI’s

Constructing Excellence issue 2008 KPI data

The latest UK Construction Industry KPI data is now available interactive and on-line at KPIzone (http://www.kpizone.com). Supported by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), KPIzone contains over 700 graphs and charts, together with industry standard KPI definitions and methods of measurement.

In the age of open source, and the fact that these KPI’s are a key measure behind the UK Sustainable Construction Strategy is it correct to charge for access to this data and KPI material? Surely if Constructing Excellence and the Government are serious about change in the sector then these should be open to all to encourage greater use. Of course the CE business model would be then around benchmarking and sharing, ie a support service rather than selling a product.

constructing excellence to restructure?

Paul at ExtranetEvolution carries the news that Constructing Excellence is to restructure, maybe even downsize to focus on delivering value to membership.

Constructing Excellence has announced an organisational restructure to enable a sharper focus on its core business of delivering value to its membership.

Over the last two years, Constructing Excellence has moved from its original Government grant funding to the leading industry membership body devoted to industry improvement. Throughout this transition period it has also won commercially-funded work and other government commissions. Following a review of the mission and objectives of the organisation, the Board of Constructing Excellence agreed that a clearer focus on membership was needed and that the emphasis of future work must be on our core business of performance measurement and knowledge sharing.

Chairman Bob White said: “At CE, we are committed to improving industry performance through working with our members who come from the entire built environment supply chain including clients. We have become increasingly aware during our transition period that performance measurement and demonstration is the vital ingredient to further industry improvement. However, it would be fair to say that, in our transition from government grant funding, some of the diversification into commercial areas such as ad hoc commissions or consultancy has proved an obstacle to focusing on our core mission.”

Don Ward, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence, added: “The starting point for our members is a conviction that integration and collaborative working is the foundation for industry change. Measurement and demonstration are how we best add value in this regard, and the restructure will enable us to deliver these better.”

Like Paul I have been involved with Constructing Excellence from Design Build Foundation, Movement for Innovation and BE. Circumstances (not having an employer anymore to pay my time for involvement) mean my involvement is limited to the Collaborative Working Champions group and the local Lancashire Best Practice Club.  I do sense though that the initial aims – based soundly on the Egan report, may have run their day and been lost in a now wider scope of CE, and as Don says – time to refocus on the key themes of collaboration and integration, themes that are essential to the success of all industry initiatives – including sustainability.

We will have to await what the changes will bring – but hope for a stronger CE, a CE to support the grass roots of the industry, to move forward to address the challenges of the the next ten years.

Which ties in nicely with the survey for your views on the next ten years – rethinking constructing ten years after

rethinking construction – ten years after

From Constructing Excellence:

Reviewing change in the UK construction industry and the next ten years, your chance to shape the future of the industry by learning from the past

CE are reviewing the last ten years of improvement and its impact, kick-started by John Egan‘s landmark report – Rethinking Construction – and before that the Latham Report – Constructing the Team, llooking forward to the next ten years as well, and seek your views as an opinion former in the UK construction sector.  Looking for your views, on how the projects you work on have changed over the last decade or so and what you think the drivers for change are, or should be, for the future.

We aim to discover what has been achieved; who has benefited, and how; and what now needs to change. Our findings will form part of the basis for a major new industry report which seeks to set the agenda for the next ten years, so in completing this survey you will be helping to set the future agenda. The survey can be found at: http://www.constructingexcellence.org.uk/survey/EganPlus10.jsp

You can register at the end of the survey to receive a copy of the report, so you can see how its findings may affect you and your company in the future. Thank you in advance for your help, in enabling us to continue the process of improvement essential for the future prosperity of the UK built environment sector.