Tag Archives: green build

The Brightest Greenest Buildings Europe 2015

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Brightest! Greenest! Buildings EUROPE Opens 10th June 2015 at 10am CET

The free-to-attend carbon neutral virtual exhibition dedicated to Europe’s most successful and greenest building projects and green building solutions opens on June 10th. 

Following on from the success of last years ExpoC21, (Sustainability Made Cool – my blog review here) the format for this year, under the title of Brightest! Greenest! Buildings, is very different.

UntitledThe Expo will run over a number of months with an evolving focus and a great Schedule of Events.

The launch of Brightest! Greenest! Buildings EUROPE 2015 on 10 June 2015  includes presentations by Delta Development Group, C.F. Møller, The Carbon Trust, MIPIM’s Innovation Forum, OVG Real Estate, Europe’s Green Building Councils, BUILD UPON: Co-Creating Europe’s National Renovation Strategies, launch of baseEUcities, and many more!

Brightest! Greenest! Buildings EUROPE 2015, as a virtual exhibition has been designed and organised an international team to promote the greenest building projects and associated solutions in Europe. Our exhibition and conference will reach 50+ countries in the European market in a very efficient manner. Last year, we had the participation of over 1500 of the greenest and most successful real estate investors, project developers, designers, green building consultants and rating tool assessors and other services as well as and technologies, products, and materials providers.

Organized under the patronage of the European Commission, Brightest! Greenest! Buildings EUROPE 2015 is very low cost for exhibitors, free for attendees, eliminates travel time and the associated carbon emissions, and benefits from the support Green Building Councils across Europe as well as other expert organisations. From our current partnerships and future efforts, we believe we will easily reach our target of 10000 high quality attendees and strong media coverage during the 12 month exhibition period.

Our introduction brochure and website – www.BrightestGreenestBuildings.eu – provides all the information about the event, the great organizing team, and the promotional plan and highlights from last year’s event. Booth features are described in the “Why Exhibit” section. Exhibitors can also configure their virtual booths in just a couple of hours using their existing promotional material.

We invite you to take a demonstration tour with our team of the virtual trade fair platform to see first hand how this works. Tours are scheduled at 3:30pm (Central European Time) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at 10:30am on Fridays. Please note, the deadline to register to exhibit for the 10 June launch event is 29 May 2015.

UK_collaborative_logoAs in 2014, the UK Living Building Challenge Collaborative will have a presence at Brightest! Greenest! Buildings EUROPE 2015, join us on the 10th June and throughout the exhibition!

Related: Why EXPOC21 is a vital event for the built environment

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Sustainability made Cool? Day one at #EXPOC21

Well, day one of the Virtual Green Build EXPO was fun – and a success.  From chats within the show, comments across twitter and elsewhere the comments from visitors have been very positive indeed.

BnmBaoYIAAEl1RDAnd importantly I sensed green build and sustainable construction had been made cool.

The EXPO hosted by Construction21 on the HyperFair platform has attracted just under 200 exhibitors from all corners of Europe and hopes to attract up to 20,000 visits to the show. Steve Borncamp, driving force behind the show commented  “it was exciting to see people interact in this new medium from so many countries & consBnltphoIEAAvTn2truction disciplines”

As soon as the doors opened at 7.30 this morning, visitors were taking snaps of their avatars and booths and sharing on twitter, claiming firsts and the virtual-selfie was born. (There is a photo comp with prizes being coordinated by our friends at Green Vision)

Observing the avatar arrivals to the EXPO,  there was a period where they customised appearance, read any notices and instruction notes and then zipped off into the Reception area, or vanished, teleporting to the stands or auditorium.

Visiting the stands was actually easier and more enjoyable than a real show, being able to chat and pick up brochures, watch videos and read posters with ease. I had numerous business card exchanges and agreements to get in touch after the show to discuss possible collaboration on Living Building Challenge, sustainability, green schools and social media, including a future discussion to be had on possible funding. I would have considered it a very good day at any real life show.

BnloKNQIMAIxn7oAside from the stands there was a brilliant programme of debates and expert videos running throughout the day. I watched a couple, impressed with the “Time for a sustainable buildings performance directive?” panel debate and learnt from  Coert Zachariasse CEO at Delta Developments who combined Cradle to Cradle with BIM and commented that “Buildings are just material banks” Brilliant Stuff!  WorldGBCEurope who coordinated the panel debate series observed We had some great debates as part of the first day. Speakers from industry, policy-makers and NGOs. Now looking forward to day two”

During the day I held a few in-show twitter chats which illustrated the enthusiasm of those attending This kind of event is definitely the future! Exhibitions are tiring & have not questioned their concept for ages” commented Philippa Rogers at InterfaceUK, adding ” I’ve immediately adopted this virtual concept as I have to admit I’m not a big fan of traditional exhibitions”

And that experience was shared by others as Elrond Burrell explains Attending the virtual expo was a novel experience. I visited virtual stands, browsed exhibitors brochures & exchanged virtual business cards & chatted with other attendees via the web interface. It’s a bit clunky to navigate but also kind of fun. I quickly resorted to teleporting rather than virtually walking around though! I think it is an interesting step to have a virtual expo but is still aiming to be a virtual representation of a real expo, rather than completely embracing web tech and rethinking what an expo actually is, if it takes place virtually”

And the show has a nice innovative sustainability touch beyond the virtual – Steve Borncamp again we want our virtual event to have a physical legacy in the form of a building project that will offset the c02 of this event and inspire a much higher level of ambition for our buildings and communities in Europe and for the world” (exhibitors have been able to offset the carbons they would have emitted in travelling to real shows).

Day Two opens at 7:30am UK time with sign up and log in here. And who knows, could  a post event virtual tweet up be on the cards?

 

Not a good day for Green Building

Not a good day for Green Building in the USA.

Lloyd Alter on TreeHugger reports that the Green Building Initiative, which runs the Green Globes building certification system has been recognised as a LEED alternative by the federal General Services Administration

I feel sad for friends, colleagues, advocates in the US who are passionate in defending real green building and real building product transparency that will restore the damage done by the built environment.

Lloyd writes: The lobby organization formed last year to kill LEED and counting among its members just about every toxic chemical manufacturer in the USA, is ecstatic, but pushing for more …

The US Green Building Council that runs the LEED program put on a brave face in a press release, saying “At this point, it is unassailable, LEED works. It has played a significant role in GSA’s achievement of its energy and sustainability goals.”

Dream on. Green Globes is now recognized as legit and will eat your lunch; it’s cheaper, it lets builders use all that plastic, and doesn’t give points for FSC certified lumber. In state after state, the politicians paid for by the plastics industry will insist upon it.

Unfortunately I see this as a discussion, then argument and battle waiting to happen here in the UK and Europe. As we push for deeper green standards such as the Living Building Challenge, for deeper product transparency, as Google and other clients will undoubtedly push for non toxic red list materials in their buildings, we will see the push from the power of the petro-chemical, plastics  and big lumber organisations, resisting change for healthy products.

And unfortunately I see our UK Greenest Government Ever likely to side with these giants, removing as they already are in numerous areas, environmental protection so as not to damage industry and growth, headed by an Environmental Minister who is taking  green policy back to the 70s

The UK green build fraternity, advocates, green build councils and accreditation organisations needs to hold strong in the coming years.

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Construction virtual trade show for Europe

60199455601729109971916966764nfSave money!  Reduce CO2 emissions!  and visit leading innovative sustainable construction solutions and projects from across the European continent.

UPDATE: Construction21 Chapters and Green Building Councils from France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia and Montenegro have joined Construction21EXPO, with many more to be announced shortly.

Construction21EXPO EUROPE be held the 18th & 19th of February 2014 and will bring together 500 exhibitors and 20,000 participants including architects, engineers, project managers, investors, and other essential stakeholders.

Exhibitors will be able to reach the most active green building professionals across Europe with a very small investment. Exhibitors can gather high quality sales leads from EXPO visitors from both existing and new markets for sustainable construction solutions.

Booth setup is very simple but will create very attractive exhibits with your desired branding. Review the website and watch the video at Construction21EXPO.eu to see the conversational features and rich interactive experience our virtual tradefair will provide.  Fees are explained in the Exhibitor section of the EXPO website.

Potential exhibitors will also want to visit the Construction21EXPO EUROPE Community to download theIntroduction document highlighting more details on the event plan.

Related on isite: Living Building Challenge UK is UK Partner for EXPO

Construction21EXPO – the first virtual tradeshow for Green Buildings for the whole of EUROPE!

Construction21EXPO.eu EUROPE - logo

The “business case” for green buildings is understood by many of Europe’s leading project developers. Now we need to quickly enable design, construction and management teams to deliver the expected results for green new construction and renovation projects.

Construction21EXPO will bring together, in a cost efficient manner, green building investors, designers, solution providers and the many other important stakeholders in a two day virtual expo; saving money and eliminating travel time and associated carbon emissions with physical meetings.

UK_collaborative_logoWe are delighted that the UK LBC COLLABORATIVE* is a key UK  partner in this exciting project that is  supported by Green Building Councils and Construction21 Chapters across Europe as well as many other expert organizations.

As such we can offer additional discounts on the Exhibitor fees, but be sure to obtain a discount code from us prior to registering.

Watch the promotional video here  and download the Construction21EXPO_ Introduction for more information,  and do not hesitate to contact the EXPO team listed in the introduction document with any questions.

The UK LBC COLLABORATIVE is driving Living Building Challenge awareness in the UK and is hosted by the Leeds Sustainability Institute, Green Vision, Fairsnape, CKE and Be2camp

Have we picked the low hanging fruit of Sustainable Construction?

low hanging fruitThe mid 90’s saw my first involvement with sustainable construction, as Business Improvement Manager, setting up strategy and awareness programmes for Mowlem Construction, driven it should be noted to address client bid requirements in PFI and Prime Contracting.

At that time Brundtland’s definition from 1987 was fresh and it made good sense to include it in strategies and as a definition.

In hindsight, one of the problems of this approach is that it reinforced the thinking of that time, that environmental management, and by default sustainable construction belonged firmly and squarely within the Health and Safety departments.  A misconception that many organisations still subscribe to, or struggle to move away from.

But, since then, sustainability thinking has moved on from environmental management as H&S add on, to a wider view of sustainability that includes social and business responsibility, ethical procurement and localism and is now heading for a challenging future greener and deeper agenda

It is encouraging to note the move away from what I have referred to as ‘accommodationalist‘ thinking – ie doing only what we are required to do by law, no more no less. In fact this  thinking is now being challenged by the Governments red tape initiative, proposing to remove certain sustainability related legislation

Over the last 7 years I have been supporting organisations map out and chart progress on their ‘Route to Zero‘, identifying actions necessary today, tomorrow and most likely into the future. We may be in the position of being able to say we have picked off the low hanging fruit from the sustainability tree.

Most construction companies now have a sustainability policy and project approaches that are ISO 14001 accredited, to deal with better management of waste,  recording transport construction miles, employing locally and so on.

But now the real work begins, reaching higher into the greener, more dense canopies of the tree, with a new, emerging set of challenging actions that will take us closer to our zero impact ambitions.

Amongst these new challenges we can see:

  • Collaborative and circular economy thinking. For example what if every building improved with age, improved in its function, its resilience, its performance.  Became more ‘durable‘?  Contracts would not only need to cover the design and construction of buildings, but a new form of collaboration between provider and user that included continuous improvement criteria.  Such Circular Economy thinking would force new collaborations across the supply chain, across discipline and with clients.
  • Convergence of data, information rich ICT environments, an Internet of Things linked to metering sensors that will provide real time feedback on performance of the buildings and of the construction process, driving improved and sustainable resource utilisation. Getting us closer to zero waste and  zero carbon emissions.
  • Responsible specification and procurement, that is not only local but considers ethical and most importantly the health impact of building product ingredients. (see the Healthy Product Declaration Standard)
  • Challenging standards, that bring new deep green philosophies and certifications for buildings and facilities, as we see with the Living Building Challenge
  • The inclusion of costing nature within construction projects. ‘Cheap’ buildings may only be cheap because the real social, environmental costs have been externalised for someone else, often society and the public purse to deal with. Time to bring those externalised costs back into the project costs?
  • A mindful built environment sector, or one that has mindfulness, ie ‘in the moment’ awareness of the impact the design, the construction, the maintenance, use and deconstruction of the building will have upon the environment and nature. Mindfulness is a huge and complex topic but an important sustainability concept we will hear far much more of in 2013.

The first Green Vision tweetchat for 2013 will explore some of these issues on the 28th January at 8pm using the hashtag #GVisChat, asking the question are we getting closer to ‘Zero’?

If you would like to know more on how the Fairsnape Route to Zero mapping and charting programme can help your business, please do make contact

Update – Presentation on this theme 

Built to Last – Designing Out Landfill

There has been an increase in circular economy thinking and the built environment recently, and no doubt we will see much more in the coming weeks and months.  It forms a core element behind the Green Vision half day conference in Leeds on the 12th Dec.

Whilst researching back ground information on “Designing Out Landfill” for a client I was struck by these useful paragraphs from Sophie Thomas  co-director of design at the RSA and published in a Guardian Sustainable Business article in September 2012

Built to last

Design sits at the heart of the challenge to create a circular economy. Approximately 80% of a product’s environmental impact is “locked in” at the design stage, so understanding production cycles and reconfiguring them for maximum effectiveness is key. We cannot simply substitute one material for another without understanding the consequences.

Designing in this way is complex. Gone are the days of “sustainable” or “eco” design, when a simple change of material to a recycled alternative would give a project environmental credibility. This system calls for investigation into materials at a molecular scale. It demands true co-creation, with all stakeholders involved in the lifecycle of a particular product. Finally, it requires a new logistical approach to capturing and recirculating materials.

This effort needs to be led by businesses. At the moment, it is rare to see a company setting a design brief that includes requirements to recover material. Now, however, the business model is changing and the economic imperative for recovery is growing stronger.

So…

How well is design, construction and facilities management prepared for such ‘deep green’ thinking to waste elimination?