Tag Archives: Research

Restorative Sustainability Research Visit Opportunities

RESTORE STSMs

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APPLY for a RESTORE Short Term Scientific Mission !

Interested in bringing Restorative Sustainability expertise to your country? Then apply for STSM within a Specific Areas of Interest.

Short Term Scientific Missions in RESTORE

STSMs are research visits to a host institution where the applicant will perform research activities that advance the objectives of RESTORE. STSMs must be between 5 and 90 days (although, they may exceed that duration in specific instances for Early Career Investigators). STSMs are financially supported by the Action with a fixed contribution of up to 2500 EUR.

  • Propose a related STSM area of interest related to the RESTORE Cost Action
  • Select a Host Institution that has the knowledge you seek to receive
  • Make your innovative proposal to study what you cannot in your country
  • Make your case, why is your study important, how will you use it to expand understanding in your country and abroad and GO!
    • Applications Open 01 June 2017
    • Applications Close 30th June 2017
    • STSM can begin in July 2017
    • STSM and reporting must be completed by February 28, 2018

** Download the Application Details and Form from here **

 

STSM Areas of Interest

You may apply for an STSM related to the following areas of interest, or alternatively for an STSM related to the working group descriptions and key themes.

  1. Historical evolution and changing paradigms of “Sustainability” since 1987 / Brundtland (mapping and evaluating objectives, key themes and topics in WG1, see Appendix A)
  2. Challenges and Opportunities identified by a) existing and b) emerging built environment sustainability standards, and c) the Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Influencing factors & frameworks for Restorative Sustainability
  4. Outdoor Space Comfort Performances Design. New Processes and Emerging Tools to Adapt to Climate Change.
  5. Processes and Tools for Building Up-cycling Design and Circular Economy.

Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) committee lead:  

Michael Burnard: michael.burnard@iam.upr.si.

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What does good ‘Facilities Management Sustainability’ look like? And why aren’t we doing it now?

I was honoured to be invited to the EuroFM ReseCGb8As1WsAA4i1varch Symposium as a guest of EuroFM, held at the recently completed Technology Innovation Centre at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

As promised, here are my thoughts from the day, and further links to the issues I raised during the day, in conversation or in the panel presentation/debate:

  • We do not have luxury to continue being incrementally less bad, and with the built environment’s 40% negative impact, the facilities Management sector, (led by the research community) has a huge opportunity and responsibility to flip to being more good.
  • We have been talking about Sustainable FM for at least a couple of decades, but still we haven’t made any real progress. The environmental impact of how we manage facilities is huge,FM Restorative Sustainability but remains something we struggle to fully understand, to measure and to address.
  • It was good to see Restorative Sustainability language within Keith Alexander’s opening presentation – laying down a challenge to the sector to adopt different thinking for sustainable FM
  • However it was disappointing to see FM research updates or proposals that start from a very dated perspective. Starting from Brundtland’s definition is last decades thinking – and has an odd message, perhaps giving licence to do nothing …. far better to adopt Yvon Chouinard’s (Patagonia) approach – ‘ Sustainability means we give back more than we take” – Restorative or Net Positive FM!
  • I did question the “in depth studies into sustainable building schemes” that have not picked up on the relatively new thinking standards such as Living Building Challenge, Well Building Standard, Cradle to Cradle, Circular Economy and so on. FM research has to be credible and leading edge for practice to listen and adopt.
  • Research proposals presented missed the huge opportunities for FM to engage with the wider sustainability agendas, in particular on people and health issues. (Note: the days theme being People Make FM)
  • Indeed the claim that FM contributes to the health and wellbeing of people needs to be backed up with evidence. Anecdotally, it is possible that FM ( and the wider built environment) could be putting people’s health at risk – through continued inclusion of toxic materials in buildings, (PVC? Formaldehyde glues?), a lack of biophilic thinking, promoting lifts over stairways, standing desks, poor air quality, lighting quality and so on. It is on these ‘health’ issues that the Well Building Standard should be a fundamental part of the sustainable FM agenda.
  • I did note that on the tour of the 3 month old BREEAM Excellent TIC Building, prior to the symposium, many of the FM delegates commented on the ‘new building smell’ – unfortunately now an indicator that chemicals may have been used in the finishes and adhesives.CGa3mDhWgAAPrZI
  • It was good to see the work in development on Smart Cities and Internet of Things from Prof Keith Jones at Ruskin University, showing the collaborative joined up research necessary to address complex (as in complexity theory) and wicked problems of sustainable smart cities.
  • Research to Practice was the theme for the end of day panel session where access to research by FM practice was discussed. I still wonder why research is blind to social media? As an example there were only two of us tweeting (myself @fairsnape and Iain @IainMurray) – but still our tweets reached approx 20k accounts, all researchers, would I am sure, like to have seen their research message reach 20k accounts.
  • It was, as ever, a real delight to introduce Living Building Challenge thinking and the Bullitt Centre to the EuroFM Research to Practice panel session. This is where sustainable EuroFM Sustainability FM thinking needs to be, driving a wedge into the future, demonstrating what is possible, not wrestling with a dated definition of sustainability.
  • the World FM Day on 10th June celebrates Building Resilience for the Future as an online debate throughout the day – a great opportunity for the FM Research community to engage and share their work.
  • Also on the 10th June the Brightest Greenest Buildings Europe virtual expo opens – again a free to attend event giving an opportunity to learn, share and engage with others across Europe.UK_collaborative_logo
  • And, also on 10th June, (a busy day!) our Living Building Challenge UK Collaborative meets at Leeds Beckett to explore the issue of healthy and materials.

If any of the above comments seem a little negative and critical, forgive me, but the intention is to be constructively so, and after all, one of the Living Building Challenge advocacy messages is to ‘stir the pot’, … o challenge current thinking.

Related Links:

Living Building Challenge

Well Building Standard (see also Vicki Lockhart Well Building presentation here)

Bullitt Centre  @bullittcentre  and (see also my interview with Denis Hayes)

Bullitt Centre added value report: Optimizing Urban Ecosystem Services: The Bullitt Center Case Study

Bullitt Centre – From Roots to Canopy

Cradle to Cradle

Circular Economy – Circulate

Responsible Business – Yvon Chouinard

Research and Social Media: Rethinking Sustainability Research: Eight Global Challenges and  my presentation to UCLan CSD 

Restorative Sustainability: Future Restorative

Living Building Challenge UK follow @livingbldgUK

Brightest Greenest Buildings EU  – the EU Virtual Expo for Built Environment (opens 10th June)

World FM Day – 10th June – Building Resilience for the Future

Rethinking Sustainability Research: Eight Global Challenges

mb-m-and-c-1-blue“We must start to envision what a positive future looks like and work to make this happen”  Bob Watson, Chair of Future Earth’s Interim Engagement Committee.

Further reinforcement that good or best practice may not be enough, with the need to identify the ‘required practice’ to enable us to address big sustainability issues is central to Future Earth’s recently published Strategic Research Agenda 2014  .  This concept, (mentioned many times by myself in presentations, seminars and on this blog) resonates well with the Living Building Challenge and restorative sustainability thinking or forward visioning.

The Strategic Research Agenda 2014 publication, result of a year-long global consultation on priorities for global change research, calls for a rethink  in research to address serious environmental, social and economic threats.

The Strategic Research Agenda 2014 focuses on three themes: firstly, on understanding how the planet is changing; secondly, on deploying integrated, interdisciplinary science to address urgent sustainable development needs; and thirdly, on transforming development to be more sustainable in the long term, through eight global sustainability challenges;

  1. Delivering water, energy, and food for all.
  2. Decoupling carbon emissions from economic growth.
  3. Safeguarding land, freshwater and marine natural assets.
  4. Building healthy, resilient and productive cities.
  5. Promoting sustainable rural futures.
  6. Improving human health by incorporating global change concerns.
  7. Encouraging sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  8. Improving governance and early warning systems to respond to complex future threats.

‘The Strategic Research Agenda 2014 advocates not just a set of research priorities, but also a novel way of doing science. This approach is detailed in the Future Earth 2025 Vision and includes a strong emphasis on full integration among scientific disciplines, on engagement with societal partners in co-designing and co-producing knowledge, on international collaboration, on producing knowledge that is valuable to decision-makers, and on generating the solutions that society needs’ Strategic Research Agenda 2014

Download: strategic_research_agenda_2014.pdf

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