Tag Archives: Green Vision

Ready for a Circular Economy?

IMG_1100My recent talk at Green Vision Circular Economy event held at the Re:Center, University of Bradford, focused on Design for DeConstruction principles and raised a number of questions, for example;

  • The Circular Economy is not just simply new generation waste recycling – are we rethinking design and construction systems and processes. (slide 2)
  • How can we convert Site Waste Management Plans to Material Conservation Management Plans? (slide 3)
  • Is BIM ready to embrace design for (secondary) reuse, after the first design purpose?How well do we understand the difference between Material Passports and Product Data Sheets? (slide 5)
  • How can we remove toxic materials from buildings so that we do not build in more health problems for future use, future buildings and future generations? (slide 7)
  • Are we limiting circular economy potential through greater integrated Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing systems? (slide 15)
  • Is there really a place in construction 2016 for Substances that are Hazardous to Health? (slide 24)

Related Post: Circular Economy and the Built Environment

Advertisements

Circular Economy and the Built Environment

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Updated: Ready for a Circular Economy?

This coming week sees a number of circular economy events, for example Green Vision 10th Feb  (#GVis2016) in Bradford and ConstructCE 12 Feb (#cethinking) in London. Also see the Build Well 2016 Feb 10/11 event in the USA.  If you are at all interested in learning more about Circular Economy and its current popularity in construction, get along to at least one for these, and, engage via their twitter streams

This blog has mentioned and covered concepts of Circular Economy, Cradle to Cradle and related themes on many occasions, including the 2008 Constructing Excellence Lancashire Waste is Stupid event and presentation for that asked the question when did the construction Take Make Dump become acceptable, and why it remains so.

Whilst we see an increase in interest and a hunger to understand, an occasional interface with mainstream sustainability (as represented by BREEAM) and with BIM (GreenBIM), circular economy thinking struggles to gain any real traction within the built environment.

Research shows that the circular economy could be worth up to £29billion to the UK economy. It remains unclear how much of this would be construction related, but is this another area we can apply the rule of thumb 40% factor to, making a significant impact on the sector?

The Living Building Challenge provides a great framework for circular economy thinking, requiring for example, Conservation Plans not just Site Waste Management Plans, and pulls on the DfD (Design for Disassembly or Design for Deconstruction) principles as a guide for material selection and management within Living Building Challenge projects.

And it is DfD principles that will form the core of my talk at the Green Vision circular economy with examples from recent visits in the UK, Europe, Canada and the US.

Circular Economy and DfD principles present great opportunities and challenges for todays design and construction within the world of BIM. Can we for example design buildings with materials and components that have a secondary designed life after the first? and, how can we incorporate materials and components that are already insitu within existing buildings? The Alliander company ‘new’ HQ building in the Netherlands demonstrates it is possible, using concepts such as Material Passports to incorporate 80% raw materials from existing buildings and have designed re-use potential for 80% of the new building.

However, if we are serious in designing and constructing buildings with circular economy thinking, with a planned lifetimes reaching to 250 years, as for example in the case of Bullitt Centre, is it acceptable or responsible to specify or include unhealthy or toxic chemicals or materials?  We would be potentially locking risks into many years of use and potentially many future buildings. A good place to start is to ensure the buildings are LBC Red List compliant. The Bullitt Centre has demonstrated toxic material free buildings are possible in six-storey, city centre commercial buildings.

The era of just harm reduction should really be history, and, in an age of responsible construction, the Precautionary Principle (to do no harm where evidence of health or ecological risk exists), should be forefront in design. And if unhealthy or toxic materials are really unavoidable, then project Deconstruction Plan’s must detail the designed replacement rationale and methodology as soon as healthy alternatives become available.

FR_Visuals_FINAL

Circular thinking and DFD are explored within my upcoming RIBA publication FutuRestorative as inspirations and challenges for a new sustainability in the built environment.

Event Links:

Green Vision 10th Feb   Hashtag #GVIs2016 @lsigreenvision

CE Thinking 12 Feb  Hashtag #CEthinking @constructCE 

Build Well 2016 Feb 10/11 @BuildWELL_EBNet

WELL Building Institute launches pilot programs for new sectors.

Buildings should be developed with people’s health and wellness at the centre of design.

Untitled 5In a recent Press Release IWBI (International Well Building Institute) is calling for organisations to participate in its next stage of development and to pilot the Well Building Standard.  Invites are called for from the retail, multifamily residential, education, restaurant and commercial kitchen sectors.

IWBI Founder Paul Scialla  said “The pilot programs will help us spur innovation and bring us even closer to fully integrating WELL into all sectors of the built environment.”

“The WELL pilot programs will allow participants to be the first to engage at the cutting edge of the sustainability and healthy building movement. IWBI will collect information from participants and industry experts to further refine the standards prior to publication. Upon completion of the pilot program, each standard will move out of the pilot phase and become integrated into the core features of WELL.”

For information or to download the pilot standards, visit www.wellcertified.com/well. Once a project has officially applied to the pilot program through WELL Online, IWBI will contact the project team to arrange an initial evaluation of the project to ensure that it fits the specifications, and provide assistance throughout the pilot certification process.

The Well building standard has great alignment with the Living Building Challenge and was featured at our recent Green Vision / Living Building Challenge Health, Happiness and Mindfulness event in May with myself and  Vicki Lockhart, (@vicki572) Arup (WELL AP) See Healthy Buildings to Healthy Minds – joining the dots at Green Vision

More: The WELL pilot programs will allow participants to be the first to engage at the cutting edge of the sustainability and healthy building movement. IWBI will collect information from participants and industry experts to further refine the standards prior to publication. Upon completion of the pilot program, each standard will move out of the pilot phase and become integrated into the core features of WELL.

WELL is the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness. It marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing.

WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants.

The WELL Building Standard is the culmination of seven years of research, in partnership with leading scientists, doctors, architects and wellness thought leaders. Pilot programs are now available for projects in the following categories:

  1. Retail: Retail applies to locations where consumers can view and purchase merchandise onsite, and where staff are employed to assist in the sale of products. The Retail pilot standard is applicable to owner- and tenant-occupied projects, and to those in both stand-alone buildings and those integrated into larger structures.
  2. Multifamily Residential: Multifamily Residential applies specifically to projects with at least five dwelling units in a single building with common structural elements. Projects that qualify include apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and other residential complexes within all market thresholds – affordable housing, market-rate and luxury.
  3. Education: Educational Facilities applies to projects where dedicated staff is employed for instructional purposes, and students may be of any age. Courses may cover any range of topics, and facilities may be typified by fully scheduled days or distinct classes in which students enroll at will.
  4. Restaurant: Restaurants applies to locations where a consumer can purchase food and dine onsite, including indoor or outdoor seating. The establishment may be either self-serve or include wait staff that tend to consumers. The Restaurant pilot standard does not include take-out only establishments or establishments whose primary source of revenue derives from the sale of alcoholic beverages. Further, the Restaurant pilot standard only applies to dining spaces—it does not cover kitchens in which food is prepared.
  5. Commercial Kitchen: Commercial Kitchens applies to locations where cooks prepare food for other building users. It is not applicable to office kitchenettes or home kitchens. In general, spaces subject to local health inspection are likely to use this Pilot Addendum. Commercial Kitchen is always paired with another standard, such as Restaurant or Education.

All pilot programs were developed as an adaptation of WELL v1.0. Using v1.0 as a baseline, relevant features from v1.0 were incorporated into each pilot, while features that only apply to commercial and institutional spaces were removed. Certain features were also adapted, so that their intent remains the same but the details are different. Prior to being finalized, all pilots will complete a thorough and transparent peer review process with scientific, practitioner and medical experts. During this process, expert feedback from leading researchers and industry practitioners will help refine each pilot for its final release.

Pilot projects are eligible to achieve Silver, Gold or Platinum level pilot certification, following the same method as WELL v1.0. Through IWBI’s collaboration with the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), projects receive third-party certification by GBCI.

About the International WELL Building Institute™ The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation (B-Corp) whose mission is to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment. B-Corps like IWBI are an emerging U.S. structure for corporations committed to balancing public benefits with profitability – harnessing the power of private capital for greater good.

IWBI administers the WELL Building Standard® (WELL) – a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of buildings that impact the health and wellbeing of the people who live, work, and learn in them. Fulfilling the vision of IWBI Founder Paul Scialla, IWBI has a pioneering altruistic capitalism model that will address social responsibility and demonstrate a sustainable model for philanthropy.

IWBI has committed to direct 51 percent of net profits received from WELL Certification project fees toward charitable contributions and impact investment focused on health, wellness, and the built environment. IWBI was established by Delos in 2013 pursuant to a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhance occupant health and quality of life by sharing the WELL Building Standard globally. WELLcertified.com

About the WELL Building Standard® The WELL Building Standard® (WELL) is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact the health and wellbeing of the people who live, work, and learn in the buildings.

WELL focuses on seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Pioneered by Delos, the WELL Building Standard is grounded in evidence-based medical research that demonstrates the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time and health and wellness impacts on us as occupants.

The WELL Building Standard is administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ and third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). WELLcertified.com ### Press Contact: Taryn Holowka taryn.holowka@wellcertified.com 202.828.1144

RegenerativeBIM … moving the GreenBIM debate

green bimBuilding Information Management offers huge benefits to Sustainability and to GreenBuild, but needs to move from GreenBIM to RestorativeBIM

Bringing together the two most important themes of todays built environment, Sustainability and BIM, the ThinkBIM and Green Vision programmes at Leeds Beckett are setting the agenda for GreenBIM.

However we need to guard against GreenBIM falling into a trap of being Sustainability and BIM as usual, but to move GreenBIM into the visionary, Regenerative Sustainability arena, as adopted by Green Vision through their association with the Living Building Challenge.

Rethinking BIM for the Ecological Age

It does seems a waste that all the creative and innovative thinking and energy being put into BIM should only incrementally improve built environment sustainability, and that we will be a little less bad next year, a bit more less bad by 2018

Aligning the innovation of BIM and the forward thinking of Regenerative Sustainability provides an immense opportunity that could and should powerfully push the overall built environment agenda forward. And, through the intelligence of a RegenerativeBIM, ensure that each element, not just the building, contributes in a net-positive manner, doing more good, not just doing incrementally less bad.

Where GreenBIM is today and where Green BIM needs to be, RegenerativeBIM.

Where GreenBIM is today and where Green BIM needs to be, RegenerativeBIM.

Imagine then if every building, indeed every ‘facility’ was designed, constructed and operated through a RegenerativeBIM, that;

> is designed and constructed specifically in relation to its ‘place’, positively impacting and benefiting its immediate environment.

> becomes a provider of water, cleaning all that falls on the building and providing clean water to adjacent facilities.

> generates more energy than required and contributes the net positive difference to nearby homes, community buildings.

> contains no harmful materials. There should be no place in a GreenBIM for materials on Red Lists. An intelligent RestorativeBIM could not allow materials or products such as PVC, formaldehyde, or SPF’s. Every Product Data Sheet would include the elements of the Living Product Challenge, with every product having a net-positive Handprint

>  are based on biophilic and biomimic principles. RegenerativeBIM would constantly ask the question, How would nature approach this?

> focus on a positive, salutogenetic health principle – on making people healthy, not as present on the negative stopping people getting less ill. (Big difference!)

> cleans the air, emitting better quality than intaking.

> delights and encourages creativity …

> intelligently and digitally inspires and educate the next …. BIM.

Such an approach is not only possible but arguably the responsible approach we must take. An approach that in a short time could be the accepted way of designing, constructing and maintaining buildings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These ideas will be explored further in upcoming ‘GreenBIM’ events hosted through Green Vision, ThinkBIM and CE Yorkshire.

Watch this space.

Biomimicry: the tool to facilitate our transition to the ecological age

unnamedHaving just finished reading Michael Palwyn’s Biomimicry in Architecture as background reading  for upcoming book, Healing the Future, I am looking forward to the Green Vision session on Biomimicry and Biophilia with Richard James MacCowan (Director and Co-Founder,Biomimicry UK ), Yaniv Peer (Associate – Exploration) along with others TBC.  (This GreenVision event is key for anyone in the built environment with an interest in sustainability and looking to improve knowledge and awareness of biomimicry and biophilic developments, Registration and more detail here)

Richard James MacCowan, Re-thinking Nature The world that we live in faces enormous challenges such as climate change, food security, biosphere integrity and freshwater use. Nature can play a strong role to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Solutions are at our fingertips, they are cost effective and we know how to implement them. Richard’s talk will focus on developments, research, case studies and future opportunities that this vital strand of sustainability can offer our industry.

Yaniv Peer (Associate – Exploration): Radical Nature  At a time when architecture and society urgently need to reconsider their relationship to the natural world there are few more exciting and innovative ways to find solutions to our current and future challenges than the discipline known as Biomimicry. This field uses nature as a mentor, learning from its ingenious adaptations that have undergone 3.8 billion years of research and development to produce exceptionally well evolved solutions. This talk will explore three projects of the London based Exploration Architecture Ltd and how it is that they use biomimicry in their work to offer new solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face today. 

And it’s not just material innovation that can benefit here. We can learn from nature for construction process and improvement. Indeed nature works with small and continuous feedback loops, always learning, adopting and evolving to its changing environment. Through learning and applying such feedback loops to design, to construction and to management of facilities we will be able to achieve far better sustainable processes, buildings and facilities.

I was struck by a review comment from Peter Head @PeterHeadCBE (Chair, Global Consulting Planning at Arup) on the cover of Michael Palwyn’s book:

“Between now and 2050 I think Biomimicry is going to be one of the main tools that will facilitate the transition from the industrial age to the ecological age” 

Agree!

Untitled

Green BIM – a thinkBIM round table summary

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreen BIM is healthy, yet only just coming of age with a long way to go. Here is the outline and summary and the Green BIM round table I chaired at the brilliant ThinkBIM/Green Vision event in Leeds on 3rd Dec. More information, reports, blogs and videos from the event can be found through the ThinkBIM blog

Introduction:

The world of sustainability and green building is moving rapidly into the circular economy and health & wellness arena, not only for healthy buildings but also for healthy, ethical and just material inclusion. This round table explored how BIM relates to Restorative Sustainability, Red List and Healthy Materials and the Circular Economy:

  •      Can BIM assist in ‘restorative sustainability’ ie not just doing less bad, but doing more good.
  • What safeguards do we have to prevent unsustainable, unhealthy or toxic materials from inclusion into BIM Models.
  • How is BIM addressing increasing influence of bio-sustainability – biomimicry, biophilia, bio-urbanism.
  • What is the role for new thinking illustrated by the Well Building Standard and Living Building Challenge in BIM development? (and of course BREEAM, LEED, PH developments etc)
  • What data do we have, do we need relating to the impact of healthy / toxic materials on occupant health – or should we just follow the precautionary principle?
  • Deconstruction of buildings is increasingly a design consideration – how can BIM assist circular economy thinking as buildings as material banks

Summary 

Green BIM is coming of age, but has a lot of maturing to do to address the emerging wider sustainability thinking and agenda.

Material Passports can provide a good tracker for materials on source, ethics, health and more. With a Level 3 BIM thinking of linking databases, material passport datasets can link to / interigate health databases. Waiting for legislation may not be acceptable – we need to adopt the precautionary principle and act on known / identified risks to prevent or pre-empt another asbestos/lead paint scenario

Currently GreenBIM focus is on energy reduction issues, yet for many large organisations the well being of staff to minimise staff costs is a bigger driver. There is a space for BIM to incorporate wellness of building occupants in modelling. POE experiences and stories need to be channelled back into BIM development thinking. Is there a need for social / well bing knowledge or expertise within the early BIM development stages – identified within the BIM documentation for example?

BIM presents opportunities and options we haven’t seen before to really add value to the life cycle of buildings, including dis-assemble and re-use in the cradle to cradle sense, but also to add value to the well being of occupants. The 1:5:200 model can shape this thinking but there needs to be long term commitment of the project members to the whole life value ( the 200!) of the facility (and beyond)

There is exciting development within the worlds of BIM (digital tools) and sustainability (restorative) for example Google Flux, and the notion of the BIM being a seed that can be ‘planted’ to grow buildings which are respondent to the local conditions and local environment whilst being respondant to occupant and client requirements

A BIM could be seen as a operating system which comprises of a  number of apps that can be chosen and incorpated into the facilities, building or client portfolio, such apps could be cost, environmental, sustainability or all the way to restorative sustainability with net positive waste, energy and water.

Exciting times ….

The round table ran twice with excellent participation from all attending, thank you.

During the Green BIM round table we mentioned a good number of references:

Living Building Challenge  and UK Living Building Challenge Collaborative 

Well Build Standard

World Green Build Council – Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building

Delta Developments, in particular Cradle to Cradle biz park 2020

Google Flux see Randy Deutsch Blog 

Material Passports Cradle to Cradle application in Ship Building

EPD

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.