Tag Archives: martin brown

Introducing: Living Future Institute Europe

After many years in discussion and planning, the LIVING FUTURE INSTITUTE EUROPE was launched at a number of events in Berlin and London last week.

In December of 2015, world leaders came together to find a path down the greenhouse gas mountain on which the world continues to climb. Calling for new investments in clean energy and water efficiency, world leaders collaboratively succeeded in establishing a new era of climate awareness. The resulting Paris Accord committed national governments to ask for and accept bold private sector investment and action. Incremental change will not provide the solutions we need in the built environment within the timeframe established in Paris.

The Institute’s mission will hasten the change and provide needed direction towards a regenerative design transition in Europe. It is actively pursuing European market alignment and adaptations of the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This work is unfolding on multiple levels, including:

  • Forming partnerships with sponsors, organizations, and developers aligned with LBC principles
  • Identifying modifications to Declare program components so they meet European product testing and reporting conventions
  • Developing customized European zones for LBC Imperative 13, Living Economy Sourcing – See Example
  • Resolving critical issues in wood certification standards – FSC vs. PEFC
  • Building and supporting local Collaboratives

“Despite the introduction of many sustainability rating systems for green buildings and their development on the market, our progress towards EU goals has been minute and barely recordable, if compared with the rate of change that is required to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Incremental change is no longer sufficient. The Living Building Challenge fosters restorative sustainability and leads building projects to move beyond merely being ‘less bad’ and to become truly regenerative.”
Carlo Battisti, COST Action RESTORE, Italian Ambassador

CARLO BATTISTI
Interim Executive Director, ILFI Europe
Owner, Sustainable Innovations Managements & Consulting

EMMANUEL PAUWELS
Green Building Consultant, Green Living Projects

MARTIN BROWN
Sustainability Provocateur, Fairsnape

 

 

www.https://living-future.org/living-future-institute-europe/

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FutuREstorative: Working Towards a New Sustainability

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Publishing July 2016

Publication of FutuREstorative (set for Jul 2016) edges closer with the books product page going live on the RIBA Bookshop.

FutuREstorative: Working Towards a New Sustainability

Description

This book aims to further the debate on new sustainability thinking in the built environment, by bringing together a selection of short contributions from thought leaders in the UK and the rest of the world with an overarching narrative from Martin Brown.

Although progress in sustainable solutions has been made over the past decade, the trend is still one of a woefully wasteful construction industry. This book aims to show that being ‘less bad’ is no longer good enough.

The book also spotlights digital sharing and collaboration through social media and BIM as new tools in the ‘sustainability toolbox’ which provide unique and powerful opportunities to rapidly advance sustainability thinking, development and action.

  • Author: Martin Brown
  • Format: Book
  • Pages: 128
  • Publisher: RIBA Publishing
  • Date Published: Jul 2016
  • Stock Code: 85971
  • ISBN: 9781859466308
  • Binding: Paperback

On #tweetchats and future #sustldrconv conversations …

By Martin Brown and Andrea Learned

It has been huge fun co-hosting the sustainability leadership conversation since back in early 2013. This labor of love has introduced us to new ideas, leaders and friends, both in social media and in real life. However with emerging additional commitments (Martin with his forthcoming FutuREstorative book, Andrea in her new We Mean Business role) we have decided to scale back.

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What ambitiously started as monthly chats, then dropped to every two months or so. We now propose to drop to 3 or less per year, likely with Martin taking the lead and Andrea an occasional guest host.

Having given time freely to run the conversation series for a few years now, we have huge respect for others who run regular successful chats on twitter. They are time consuming and don’t happen overnight. Guests and topic are sought, questions and anticipated responses discussed, promotion and invites managed, in addition to the hosting and post chat transcripts … it all takes more time than the casual tweet-chat observer might realize.

Tweet chat hosts are by no means simply hosts. Instead, they need to be fairly knowledgeable in the topic and to know their way around, have experience in and be well known on across social media. They need to have developed a trusted reputation within their topic’s community, and thus, be able to persuade a fair number of people to take an hour from an already busy day to learn in an often very new-to-them way.

Through #sustldrconv we feel we have established a brand for sustainability conversations. We’ve held very successful conversations, connected many twitter users through excellent guests, and shared great content (see some of our Storify accounts). Perhaps most important to us, we know from feedback that we’ve moved the needle on sustainability awareness for many.

Keen to not lose that influence or brand, sustldrconv will continue, but on a less rigid footing, holding chats to meet demand, related to our own work or research and related themes. That said, the experience and skill we have developed should not go to waste. For example Martin will continue to be “for hire” as Tweetchat consultant and Andrea will be using her strengths, perhaps more behind the scenes, with her work the rest of this year.

In addition we would not be adverse for our great friends, guests and contributors to the series so far to ‘guest’ host future #sustldrconv from. If that interests you, please so get in touch.

Social media technology is changing fast. Martin has often commented that the tweet chat is the new benchmarking. No longer do we need to travel and spend to understand what others are doing. There is so much initial fact-finding that can be done from our offices or homes, with little more than an hour’s chat investment. It will be interesting to see how the tweet chat element of twitter develops or is eclipsed by new applications. (Will this year’s SXSW-emergent social media app Meerkat or twitters own Periscope replace some twitter sharing?)

We thank you for your interest in, and support of, #SustLdrConv these past years. We have enjoyed learning with you, and have felt so rewarded by perhaps getting even a handful of you more interested in the power of Twitter and sustainability.

Martin and Andrea

The UK Living Building Challenge Collaborative Report

The following was first published on the CKE blog:

The UK Living Building Challenge Collaborative met this week at Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds and saw construction professionals, architects, landscape architects, software vendors, sustainability experts and representatives from Leeds Beckett University discuss Standard V3 and the future of the UK Collaboratives.

Martin Brown gave an inspiring introduction to version 3.0, launched earlier in the year, covering the standards principles, petals and key imperatives. This was followed with a great discussion on the Living Building Challenge and relevance in the UK sector.

Martin emphasised that the Challenge is ‘A visionary path to a regenerative future’. Whereas other standards are focused on doing ‘less bad,’ the Living Building Challenge is based on the philosophy of doing more good, that is, restorative sustainability. We should no longer be satisfied with creating buildings that have negative impacts however small they may be, but look to create buildings, structures, and communities that contribute back to the environment and nature.

The Living Building Challenge uses a less technical, but more powerful, softer language than most standards, and puts topics such as beauty, education and biophilic design back into the equation.

Many present commented that a welcomed aspect was the inclusion of ‘health, happiness, beauty, nature’ within the standard.

Indeed the standard uses a metaphor of a flower, with seven petals, each of which comprises of several imperatives, 20 in total. All of these must be met in order to obtain full certification and the status of a Living Building.  We heard there are currently 201 registered projects worldwide.

2015 Plans

We are currently the only collaborative in the UK, however, we will be sharing this status with London due to launch in the spring and interest is growing elsewhere across the country.

During 2015 we will explore each of the Petals individually through workshops which will be held on the second Wednesday of each month, before the Green Vision evening and half day sessions. The timetable will be:

February 11th  – Place

March 11th –Water

April 22nd  –  Energy

May 13th – Health and Happiness

June 10th – Materials

July 8th – Equity

Aug – Beauty and Education

To drive these workshops, we are looking for ‘champions’ to head each ‘petal’. If you feel that you are an expert on any of the standard areas, or passionate about specific imperatives, or just want to get involved please send us an email at CKEEvents@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

We will also deepen the relationship with projects interested in registering and pursuing certification. And the exciting news here is that we have one potential project ready to register and other in development. Other activities will include design competitions, project charrette support, and a UK overlay to the International Standard with terminology, regulations and standards appropriate to the UK sector.

We are also compiling a library of UK building case studies that illustrate Living Building Challenge concepts. If you are aware of any projects, your own perhaps that addresses any of the standard imperatives or philosophies please do let us know for inclusion into our library.

We look forward to you joining our Collaboratives and getting involved, with your projects perhaps, in this exciting new era for built environment sustainability.

As Martin has said many times, ‘it’s time to heal the future’…

#SustLdrConv – Update to our autumn series.

Sustainability is moving into new territories, with new leaders and leadership styles. Social media is increasingly being used as a tool for engaging, learning and sharing to further the emerging collective of sustainability leadership and organizational development approaches.

Because we realized how much “socialising” sustainability leadership could impact our sustainable future, Andrea Learned  (Seattle based writer and social strategist for sustainable business and so much more)  and I decided to collaborate, across “the pond” and a continent to develop the #SustLdrConv (Sustainability Leadership Conversation) Twitter chat.

We know that our combined individual professional expertise and solid sustainability social networks results in a thoughtful and fun transfer of sustainability learning across sectors. Since we launched the chat in July of 2013, the built environment has been the root of our explorations, but our conversations since have also included organisational leadership authors, corporate sustainability directors and open forums on women in leadership, among other topics.

Our May chat with Denis Hayes of The Bullitt Foundation was incredibly rich.

We are excited for our fall schedule that includes:

BuOSfWeIUAAG1tHAugust 5: Alison Watson of Class Of Your Own discussed how she is inspiring and educating the next generation of sustainability leaders in construction and design and more, (see storify of the conversation from Andrea Learned here

September 2: Tabitha Crawford, SVP of sustainability and innovation for Balfour Beatty Investments, and the author of Five Epic Mistakes of Sustainability in Higher Education.

October 7: We go live from #SXSWEco (guests TBA) in Austin.

***

Select archived Storify summaries of past #SustLdrConv:

Aman Singh of CSRWire (April 1, 2014)

Peggy Ward of Kimberly-Clark (February 4, 2014)

#SustLdrConv happens the first Tuesday of the month at 11 am PT, 2 pm ET, 7 pm UK.

This article also appears on Andreas blog at http://learnedon.com/

Restorative Sustainability – Once something exists, no one can say it’s impossible

Insights from a Sustainability Leadership Conversation with Denis Hayes:

Martin Brown and Andrea Learned

As part of the Sustainability Leadership Conversation series we held a twitter conversation with Denis Hayes, founder of EarthDay and CEO of the Bullitt Center in Seattle – the worlds greenest commercial building. The full transcript from the conversation can be found on storify, with insights from others, but here is an summary of insights, compiled from Denis’ tweets

MB: What is inspiring you at the moment?

Denis: Big change happening, but is it fast enough? That’s the question. I’m inspired by huge amount of talent and money flowing to sustainability investment and by young people rolling up sleeves to make things better.

MB: What are your views on Effecting Change

Denis: Media plays big role, for example President Obama engaging meteorologists, trusted and relevant Best place to effect change is in City Hall – whether as employees, elected, NGO, advocate. I’m bullish on cities right now.

MB:  … and on Nature and Natural Laws?

Denis: We have been breaking lots of little laws in the built environment. Now the big law, Nature’s laws, are catching up with us. You can’t break Nature’s laws.  When you try, you wind up proving them.

We need to align human and natural laws, then economy will fall into place.

And yes I agree we need more circular  thinking, buildings only ‘borrow’  materials, we need to design with senescence in mind, the Building’s not mine. Biomimicry just makes good sense, nature has been beta testing ideas for millions of years, the least we can do is observe and learn.

 MB: What is the role of Big Data in sustainability?

Denis: Analysis of big data is key, living buildings need cerebral cortexes and Central Nervous System to function, big data helps see patterns, offers vast potential, but right now there is too much noise and not enough signal and analysis.

MB: How important is Equity within ‘Restorative Sustainability’?

Denis: For too many people, environmental performance is a luxury. Race or income shouldn’t determine whether your building is full of poison. Everyone deserves clean air to breathe.

MB: Why the Living Building Challenge as the standard for the Bullitt Centre?

Denis: The LBC is most ambitious metric for sustainability in built environment. It’s hugely challenging.  LBC Buildings sequester carbon, generate more energy than use, remove toxics from ecosystem and promote human health. LBC Buildings have no toxics, compost all waste, use only rainwater and sun, they put water back into soil to recharge aquifer. All are natural ideas.

“But the Bullitt Center is about opening a wedge into the future. Once something exists, no one can say it’s impossible”

MB:  why after 40 years of Earth Day are we still pessimistic?

Denis: 40 years happened. Still possible to mitigate worst impacts, but is now expensive and difficult instead of cheap and easy.   Not too early to think about Earth Day 2020, aka ED50, a month long Earth Celebration

MB:  where Next?

Denis: I’m writing a book – COWED – with my wife about the impacts of bovines on North America.   COWED is not anti-cow but “pro-cow but with limits.” 93 million cows in America are way too many.

MB: And finally your views on twitter and (sustldrconv) tweetchats?

Denis: This is an exciting day to be doing this with @fairsnape @AndreaLearned and with the new NCA out, the chatter class is talking climate change

This article was originally co-authored by Martin Brown and Andrea Learned with contributions from Denis Hayes and Brad Khan. 

Denis Hayes, founder of EarthDay and CEO of the Bullitt Center in Seattle – the worlds greenest commercial building. Brad Khan is Principal at GroundWork Stratries and communications consultant to the Bullitt Centre in Seattle

Martin Brown @fairsnape is a UK built environment sustainability and social media advocate, Andrea Learned @AndreaLearned is a US based social engagement and thought leadership strategist. Both are Guardian Sustainability Business contributors and are co-founders of Sustainability Leadership Conversations, a transatlantic and global twitter based social media programme that enables sustainability leadership sharing.

Contact us to discuss support in amplifying your messages, experiences and commitment within the sustainability leadership arena through our monthly #SustLdrConv series and other social media programmes.

BIM: Gaming Down Barriers

I had the opportunity to experience the gamers device, the Oculus Rift, at a recent Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club event on BIM, courtesy of Vin Sumners from Clicks and Links, taking a virtual tour through the Manchester Town Hall linked to the BIM model for that project.

Interesting to see then that Second Life friend, Jon Brouchoud at Arch Virtual is pushing commercial boundaries of BIM and Oculus Rift in his article BIM Goes Virtual: Oculus Rift and virtual reality are taking architectural visualization to the next level 

“The first thing people do when they put on the Rift is to reach out trying to touch the walls or furniture they see in the virtual model, even it doesn’t really exist,” said Jon Brouchoud, “It’s an almost involuntary reaction, which I think that says a lot about how immersed they are. They really do feel as if they’re occupying a completely different place.”

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(Jon presented live from the USA / Second Life at the first Be2Camp event way back in 2008, there is a link to Jon’s Be2camp presentation on slideshare here)

At the time I tried the Oculus Rift I commented that we can add much more data, augmented reality, into the virtual experience, for example when touching walls, if we could see for example the sustainability data of components, health data, manufacturing data, time to replacement and cost data.

But more importantly such gaming devices can make construction and BIM exciting for all generations, fostering greater collaboration across disciplines in both a virtual and real environment – Gaming Down Barriers.

Gaming Down Barriers is the title of a Innovation Voucher funded report produced by Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson for Clicks and Links which should be publicly available in the near future. The report makes the argument that BIM through gaming could break down collaborative working barriers as did the original Building Down Barriers programme.