#Greendeal and the @LCBPC balanced view

The following great article written by David at DIEMLtd appeared on his blog (well worth reading, liking and subscribing to by the way)

The impending Green Deal is really whipping some people up into a frenzy, but I’ve been here before.  Without naming names and these people should have had some professional responsibility, many years ago I attended a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) and Home Information Packs (HIPs) briefing where these persons were saying you could earn £150 per energy assessment and do up to 8 a day.

I knew at the time that these fees were way off the mark and qualified as a DEA expecting a sensible rate, in line with other work I do. Well, lots of people were whipped into a frenzy and bitterly disappointed when there was little work, which was down to the housing market’s problems and the disgraceful management of and dithering with the scheme of the last government.  People got trained, then it was delayed by the politicians, but wages needed to be paid. In the meantime, until some more stringent quality approval arrangement were brought in, which actually penalises the ones who do things properly, there were people doing a DEA for as low as £30 (minus about £7 lodgement fee for the report, travel etc which doesn’t leave much profit) and stories about people doing them over the telephone and Google maps.

That wasn’t meant to be a rant, but set the scene to where we are today with Green Deal.  As someone thinking of applying to be a assessor, it’s difficult to write a business plan as nobody knows how much certificaiton will cost, or will the market be swamped by people looking for a fast profit, or assessments being done as a loss leader, making the small firm or sole practictioner be cast adrift.

I was very pleased that RICS addressed some key problems of impartiality of assessors and other factors in their consultation response to DECC (available from www.rics.org and a very good read), but it is an unknown and people do feel slightly lost.

Yes there are Green Deal web domains registered, but the quality of content varies greatly and some could be deemed to lack transparancy on some websites in terms of ownership and professional standards. 

I’m most encouraged about an initiative launching locally to me in the North West by Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club who are looking at setting up a Green Deal Club which will bring interested parties together at UCLan in Preston on 22 February 2012. More details can be found at:

http://greendealclublcbpc.eventbrite.com

I’m very enthusiatic about this Green Deal Club as it’s not suggesting any immediate answers, but are going to address the unknowns and the solutions as they happen in an open, balanced and honest environment.

The only certainty the club is offering is that Green Deal will happen and Construction organisations wanting to become involved in this, and maybe other eco refurbishment schemes, will need accredited certification to PAS 2030, which the club will be looking into giving support.

So, there are more questions than answers with Green Deal, but I’m convinced that we can seek the answers more effectively working together rathern than in isolation.

Can social media drive built environment sustainability?

Can social media drive built environment sustainability?

Over the last few weeks I have been working with Ryan at the Construction Network and the team at Sustainability Now on an exciting project to bring social media discussions into the free to attend virtual online Sustainability Now event on the 9th and 10th November

There are two main linked themes to this initiative, a unique sustainability social media ‘list’ and an online social media lounge

The listing, in collaboration with Peerindex ranks UK sustainability twitter users on authority in sustainability and is derived from other lists recently curated by the Construction Network (eg Architecture with Su Butcher and Built Environment Paul Wilkinson for example). It includes all aspects of the built environment from civil engineering to FM to PR to architecture to products to construction and more.

Being ranked on authority in sustainability we will see some surprises when the list is launched at midday during the show. Those with low a Peerindex score, or low activity may well see themselves quite high on authority listing, whereas those with very high activity or Peerindex scores may not rank in the top 100 at all.  Quality not quantity perhaps?

Peerindex describe authority as the measure of trust; calculating how much others rely on your recommendations and opinion in (sustainability), and is one component of the overall PI score. ie, it is where people will go for sustainability information on twitter (At least to UK sources, we may well expand to a global list next time)

The second exciting initiative is the social media lounge. Over the two days of the show a number of social media practitioners and advocates will be in a virtual lounge discussing the use of social media in the built environment, and in particular how it can be used to drive sustainability.

Those in the lounge will include @gb_news and @greenbuildexpo, @EEPaul @CKEgroup, @SuButcher @KirstieColledge @priteshpatel9 @KLHSustain @carinawtweets, @DIEMltd.

Amanda Jones @Peerindex will also be online to answer questions on the sustainability list, alongside myself and Ryan (@fairsnape and @ryanbriggstcn)

For more background information see:

Sustainability Now Registration Page

Social Media Lounge Residents 

Sponsors and Supporters 

 

 

Green Build News Article