Tag Archives: Lancashire

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.

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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 …

Living Building volunteer opportunities …

The project team at Cuerdon Valley Park Visitor Centre have three offers out for summer volunteer / interns to support the Trust in pursuit of the Living Building Challenge standard.

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UK 1st Living Building Challenge project at Cuerdon Valley Park, Lancashire

These are unique opportunities for sustainability and environment students:

  • Participation with potentially the greenest building in the UK, the 1st UK Living Building Challenge project.
  • Working with the UK foremost advocates who are pushing the boundaries of green build towards a restorative, just and healthy sustainable future.
  • Discover, first hand, more about the Living Building Challenge, related programmes and topics such as biophilic design.

Role details and contact information are in the following outlines:

Carbon Tracking

Communications Support

Materials Tracking

Sustainability on the late radio show

I was delighted to be invited on to the Elizabeth Alker Sunday late radio show on BBC Lancashire / BBC Manchester and discuss sustainability and improving energy use in the home. Below is a precise of my comments, links and references:

My intro:

“Based in Inglewhite on the south western edge of the Forest of Bowland, a great part of Lancashire in which to live and to work from. I run a sustainability consultancy business, Fairsnape, supporting organisations in the built environment on sustainability issues. Typically this means working with construction organisations clients, contractors,architects as well as individuals. I am Chair of Constructing Excellence Lancashire and UK Ambassador for the Living Building Challenge”

As I followed inspiring sustainability sessions from Vincent Walsh (Biospheric Project Salford), Kerry Gormley (OnePlanet) and Jacqui Brocklehurst (Hungry Gardener) I continued the ‘green nature and plants’ theme with a quick intro to the Living Building Challenge: 

“The Living Building Challenge encourages us to look at buildings differently, and imagine buildings and indeed homes using the metaphor of a flower, one that is independent, self sufficient, using only the energy and water that falls on it. The Challenge covers  7 Petals; Place (location, relationship to nature and food) Water; Energy (100% sun!); Health and Happiness; Material; Equity and Beauty. It is based on the philosophy of doing more good, not just less bad. Regenerative Sustainability”  More at http://living-future.org/lbc

Why do we need to do this?

“Sustainability is often described as having three elements – Economic; we want to reduce the money we spend on fuel and services for the home, Social; we want to be healthy, happy and feel good in the home, and Environmental; we all want to play our bit in improving our local environment, reducing carbons and addressing climate change, And it is our buildings that have one of the biggest impacts on climate change” And we see the affect of climate change increasingly through extreme weather patterns.

What can we do in the home to improve energy sustainability?

Easy / Low Cost – Check energy and water wastage – gadgets left on or on standby for example. (Its is estimated that 8% of energy production goes just to keep our stuff on standby!) Switch to LED and low energy lighting. Get an electricity meter and find out exactly where you are using energy, and watch how that kettle boils!

Medium Cost: Ensure insulation and draughts – 43% of UK homes have serious energy leaks through ill-fitting windows and doors. Get an EPC ( an Energy Performance Certificate for your home – it will show you how energy-efficient your home actually is)

High Cost: Look at alternative energy supply – PV and Solar Panels are most appropriate, Ground Source/Air Source if you have the space. However the investment can be high and returns slow, so make sure you tackle any energy waste and home efficiency issues first!

For more tips and information check out the Energy Saving Trust via their informative web pages at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/ and follow on @EnergySvgTrust

Funding is available from time to time although initiatives like the green deal are a political football, and has been called the ‘green sub-prime’ For advice from approved Green Deal organisations see the Green Deal ORB site http://gdorb.decc.gov.uk/ 

And importantly for any builders and trades people you may use make sure they carry the TrustMark – find out more at http://www.trustmark.org.uk/ or via their twitter feed on @trustmarkUK

Other topics I mentioned included:

Healthy Materials – be sure that the materials used in any improvement scheme are healthy. There are some great materials for energy efficiency once they are in the place, but increasingly we should be concerned where the materials come from (is the manufacturing process harmful to the environment or workers) and where it goes (is the removal or demolition hazardous, can then be reused?) Note that PVC and other ‘Red List’ materials are the next harmful products to consider avoiding in this respect!

Circular Economy – moves us from our traditional Make, Buy, Dump linear thinking to a circular approach that keeps materials and products in use as long as possible, up-cycling and recycling in the home for other uses rather than put in the bin. Brings back the Make Do and Mend concepts!

Passive House – a standard that sets very stringent limits on how much energy for heat a house can use – requiring super levels of airtightness and insulation. Mechanical Ventilation is used to deal with air quality, fresh air and managing humidity levels.

The show is (still) on iplayer, with my session just after midnight (2.10.30 in) following Gypsy Tramps and Thieves up to just after Babooshka, Kate Bush around 12.30. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness for Construction Success

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMindfulness is fast gathering pace as a set of daily practices to manage stress, worry or to enhance daily living ‘in the present moment’. Organisations, large and small, including those in the construction sector are starting to explore how mindfulness can help with well being, sustainability and yes, improved organisational success. (For examples see articles listed below)

If you have read or heard about mindfulness and would like to come on a course to learn the techniques with others, then Anne Parker is running a course in Blackpool Lancashire. on the 5th October and 2nd November. The course will show you the techniques,  background information and then review your experiences and build on your practices further.

Perhaps you don’t know anything about Mindfulness at all and you would like to find out what it is all about then this is also for you. The content will allow for lots of questions and comments as well as being practical and highly participative.

More information is available from Anne Parker or view the event flyer here.

Anne will be presenting at the Be2Talks in London on the 25th Sept.

Articles:

Mindfulness: The Key to Long-term Business Success?

Upgrading the brains of global leaders 

Global technology CEOs seek out wisdom of zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

sustainable stars

Friend and colleague Liz Mutch at Creative Concern has sent over details of the Sustainable Stars programme:

Constructing The Future are looking for the best examples of sustainability from across the Pennine Lancashire area, in a new competition launched this month. The project aims to uncover the unsung green heroes of the region who are doing their bit to promote sustainable practices across wide range of activities.

From house builders, to technology providers, community groups to eco decorators Constructing The Future are searching out projects that can show others how it is done and to increase the awareness of sustainability across Pennine Lancashire towns.

The 13 categories within the Sustainable Stars include sections for the best heritage renovation, most innovative use of renewable technology, a waste management and recycling award and a prize for the best eco home builder. There are also categories for the general public and community groups including the best eco home renovation which includes any improvement made to a home from eco paints to a solar panel.

The competition is free to enter and every project will have the chance to be included in the Sustainable Stars exhibition and book. The culmination of the competition will be an awards ceremony at Elevate’s Constructing The Future national sustainability conference to be held at the end of October in Burnley.

If you are involved in a project or know of one that could be suitable for a Sustainable Star and you live in the Pennine Lancashire area, we want to hear from you!

Please contact catherine hackett Project Administrator, Constructing the Future Elevate East Lancashire for more information or download the application form here