Tag Archives: greenbuild

Why EXPOC21 is a vital event for the built environment

Time was, to uncover the latest thinking and developments in the world of sustainability meant a lot of travel and time investment. I recall, whilst developing and driving the Mowlem Sustainability Strategy for Prime Contracting at the end of the 90’s, having to trundle to conferences in London, or to Defence Estates in the Midlands, spending a whole day in conference mode, only to pick up a few nuggets of intelligence or inspiration.

Today we can pick up most intelligence via the web and social media. We use webinars and online events to share. Physical events such as Eco Build, now wrapped in social media and web applications, certainly have their place. But mainstream trade fairs haven’t as yet really embraced the potential of the online world, by going completely virtual.

One organisation driving the emerging virtual expo space is HyperFair – and it is their technology, that allows visitors to attend exhibition as an avatar, that the forthcoming Construction21 virtual trade fair will be using.

Construction21EXPO.eu EUROPE - logo

Over two days, 14th and 15th May, EXPOC21, will enable you to visit a number of greenbuild product stands, talk to leading sustainability organisations on their stands, be inspired and talk with a number of leading greenbuild  thoughtleaders, engage in panel debates and network with construction and sustainability professionals across Europe and Globally.  All with a vastly reduce commitment on your time, and on your carbon emission, without leaving the office or your kitchen table!

And, I think there is another important reason visiting EXPOC21 – to experience and interact with others within a virtual environment.  One of the great drivers for todays industry is BIM, information management and modelling, and the associated emergence with 3D environments.

60199455601729109971916966764nfEngaging with others in virtual environments, discussing proposed designs with clients and contractors and end users, whilst moving through the design itself, will become an established aspect of our industry – and a key skill to hone now. Those who have experience of Second Life, Minecraft or even Sims will feel at home, but for others, this is an experience not to be missed, and attendance as a delegate is free.

See you there!

Links for the show:

To register go here

Check out the Thought Leader Presentation series

Green Build Panel Debate hosted by World GBC Europe, covering topics such as Economics of Green Building projects, Scaling up for Retofit, Green Responsibilities and Sustainability performance Directives

Follow the show via Twitter #EXPOC21 #EXPOC21chat and @C21EXPO_EUROPE

Tweetchats and Twitterviews held leading up to the show, with more in show interviews to come.

Construction21EXPO Background and Team (pdf)

 

Disclosure: I have been supporting and advising the Construction21 team on social media and related sustainability aspects.
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Europe’s Brightest and Greenest

From the Construction21 Community blog:C21_home

The Construction21EXPO.eu Europe will bring together the brightest and greenest across the European Green Build sector in February, as exhibitors, speakers or as visiting attendees.  As part of our social media programme running alongside the Expo we are compiling a directory of twitter accounts that we should all be following into 2014. A listing of twitter people and organisations that will enable us all to keep a pulse on the green build development and in particular the emerging restorative sustainability across Europe: The Brightest Greenest 50

The listing, to be compiled by Construction21 staff based on tweeted nominations will not be a ranking but more of a community of leading thinkers, do-ers and amplifiers.

Calls for nomination opened on the 11 December via twitter using the hashtag #BrightestGreenest50. Nominations will close on 24th Dec with the listing to be published on the 6th Jan.

To inspire into 2014, and as a reward for both those nominating and those nominated we have a number of books from the ILFI Living Building Eco Tone bookstore to give away. Check them out here –  http://bit.ly/1bilwp2

Nominate by tweeting 

“I nominate @XXXXX to #BrightestGreenest50 because … “

Powering the Green Deal

How social media can help drive the Green Deal programme.

Great to see our interview article in latest issue of GreenBuildNews. (Page 16, special report)

The original interview with Stephen Kennet can be found on 2DegreesNetwork

The Be2 Social Media Guide to Green Deal (wiki) can be found here

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Ten tips: building green for contractors on a budget

Ever-changing regulations surrounding environmental policy require contractors to re-examine business practices on a regular basis. Unfortunately, contractors are left to interpret a great deal of industry regulations on their own. Among these confounding regulations are those concerning environmental protection.

Guest blogger, Kirsten Bradleyworking to educate professionals and their lawyers about construction industry regulations in the USA has the following advice … and although USA focused, these tips make good sense elsewhere … 

Once contractors have worked their way through the legal jargon found in many environmental policies, they might feel overwhelmed about what exactly their responsibilities are. Fortunately, however, a number of services and products have been created to help eco-friendly contractors.

The National Association of Home Builders plans to roll out the first and only national ratings standard for remodeled homes this year. Contact them for more information on how green products will affect ratings. (In the UK we wait for the Green Deal installers’ Code of Practice and a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for the retrofitting of energy efficiency measures in domestic and non-domestic buildings)

  • Taking advantage of tax credits and other applicable programs, contractors can offset some of the additional costs they might incur by using eco-efficient approaches to building.
  • Enroll in green building event, training seminars and/or certification programs. (For example, the U.S. Green Building Council backs the LEEDHomes Raters program Home Raters are qualified to assess the degree to which a home has been constructed according to accepted standards of environmental sustainability)
  • Educate yourselves. Sign up for REGREEN, a program that distributes information about how to build green on a smaller scale. The U.S. Green Building Council partnered with The American Society of Interior Designers Foundation to create REGREEN, the first countrywide green residential remodeling manual for existing homes
  • If you think your customers don’t know or care about green building initiatives, think again. A February 2011 poll of Angie’s List members found that 50% of respondents plan to include green building elements in their home this year, but first they want to learn more. Educate yourself so that you will be able to educate your customer and market your services better.
  • According to some estimates, existing homes account for 94% of buildings in the U.S. The average age of these homes is 30 years, which means they often have drafty doors and windows as well as poorly insulated walls, attics and crawl spaces. Additionally, these properties are responsible for 21% of the nation’s carbon emissions. Herein lies a huge profit opportunity for contractors who educate themselves on green remodeling and market themselves to the right crowd.
  • Look at purchasing a green performance bond for your projects in addition to required contractor license bonds . Clients prefer working with professional contractors who are licensed and bonded because they appreciate the extra layer of financial protection
  • For smaller projects, check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore as a resource. ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials to the public at low costs. Merchandise at the restore is especially good for home remodeling projects
  • Draw up window plans that take full advantage of passive solar energy and help maintain proper indoor temperature. Contractors should always verify that all windows are strategically placed in beneficial locations. This is a great example of implementing inexpensive, eco-conscious design that has a real impact on sustainability.
  • The cost of renewable products like solar platforms decreases as the technology gains traction with the buying public. Installing new products in today’s construction projects will play a large role in increasing eco-friendly building and, in turn, drive down costs.
  • Consider that building a completely new structure using eco-friendly processes might be easier and cheaper than retro-fitting an existing structure that has inherent design flaws.

Contractors who take advantage of green building will not only save money over the long haul, but also promote health benefits from building structures without toxic, energy-wasting materials.

What do you do – do you have any tips for improving green build?

 Kirsten Bradley is working to educate professionals and their lawyers about construction industry regulations through SuretyBonds with a special interest in helping contractors access more green building resources. Follow Kirsten on twitter @suretybond

US Green building may follow EU model …

Heres an interesting article that Google alerts brought to my attention:  Future green construction may follow European models in the Portand Journal of Commerce.

As the building industry searches for the next big thing, the likelihood increases that builders, developers, architects and engineers will continue pushing the boundaries of what constitutes sustainable design – and they may look to Europeans for leadership.

But as the article unfolds it does mean Europe… ie Germany, Serbia, and Scandavia …. but not the UK ?

“Because of the energy prices (in Europe), they are building tighter envelopes,”

It is hard to see how these comments sit with the current UK industry opposition to zero carbon and improved airtightness requirements.  Could UK designers loose out to EU designers on the international stage?

affordability and sustainability

As I was delivering a bid to win workshop yesterday we covered the issue of project prices and costs, and as usual had the debate about the high cost of low price.  The trick is to break the cycle of lowest cost tendering of course, but when we consider the amount of waste in the industry, waste in all of its forms, what used to be called MUDA in TQM days:

1/3 of all hard materials arriving at the site gate not used for intended purpose

skips cost £1500 not £100 each time when real and actual costs are taken into account

there is 35% wasted time in the industry – time from rework, waiting for detail, waiting for material, for preceding trades, etc etc

there is the assumed material wastage figure of 30% for our sector

…. the list goes on

Add into this debate the cost of green build, the perceived added cost of building sustainability (not only in design but also in local labour, local materials) and there starts to appear a no brainer.  I use the word perceived on purpose – there are affordable new homes being built to good sustainability standards at next to no additional costs – such as the GreenGuage homes at Lingwood .

But why do we waste 30% on one hand and complain about additional costs to build green on the other?

So a suggestion for comment:

Tackle the waste (MUDA) in our sector, by selecting on ability to recover these waste costs,  taking us away from the need to compete on lowest cost, compete (on sustainability issues – wow there is a thought)

…the savings generated will cover the profits of the supply side, AND cover the costs of green build AND allow for us to deal with social and diversity issues

…and of course lead to lower construction cost ,  a resilient and better fit for purpose, people and planet  sector.

Green build goes big in San Jose

Over 13000 delegates, 100 speakers and 380 exhibitors are expected at West Coast Green, the world’s largest residential green building conference, in San José this September.

The event, that will be a green zero-waste conference, will also include live blogging, live broadcasting and plenty of pre-conference previews and profiles through the online San Fransisco Chronicle.

From the West Coast Green site:

We live in an exciting time in the green and healthy building movement.  At no other time in history has the profound effect of the built environment gained so much public prominence. Now its time to discover what is emerging, envision the future and take the next bold steps.

isite has highlighted the green build movement in the USA many times, attempting to draw comparisons and lessons for the UK built environment sustainability agendas, and will follow the build up to this one and hopefully relay live blogs and webcasts during the event itself to UK isite readers.