built environment events … coming soon

News of up and coming events which in some way isite / fairsnape are involved or participating in. Information and contact links are included below but please feel free to leave comments or contact here for more information, or indeed for help on accessing the online events

(V indicates the event has virtual or online access elements, saving your travel and environmental footprint.)

Saturday 28th June. V

Open and Orientation day on the Public Works Island in Second Life. Your chance to pop into second life and see what all the fuss is about, get a guided tour around interesting construction activities, view environmental and education projects, talk to second life users and see how second life can help with your collaboration projects and meetings.

Details: Open Day register through the Public Works Group Web site,

July 1/2 V

Sustainability Now, Building‘s online conference organised by ZeroChampion blogger Phil Clark, is to take place from 8am to 8pm on the 1 and 2 July. From your home or office computer, visit this unique FREE online event and have the opportunity to Network with like-minded professionals; Hear from industry thought leaders; Visit the exhibition, and take part in Q&A sessions.

A series of live online seminar topics are planned  including “EPCs – Surviving Them Now and Assessing their Impact” and “The Cost of the Code for Sustainable Homes”.

Details: Sustainability Now virtual conference

July 10th

Best Practice Procurement and Support. A Lancashire Best Practice drop-in event hosted by UCLAN, (University of Central Lancashire)  in Preston. Find out the ‘best practice’ issues your customers are looking for in procurement and seek assistance from the ‘best practice’ support organisations. There will also be a series of mini presentations throughout the day and a chance to network and chat.

Details: Latest event news here

July 16th

Route to Zero improvement module as part of the Elevate Constructing the Future programme.  An early evening event to learn about starting out on a route towards low or zero carbon future for your organisation

Details: Route to Zero . Register through Constructing the Future here

October (date to be fixed but between 10-17) V

be2camp. A planned event to discuss and explore the use of web 2.0 technologies and applications for built environment activities.  The event is being organised on non-conference and bar-camp ideas, which means you can get involved in designing the event, speaking at the event, or providing support and sponsorship. This event is already attracting much interest in the UK, the USA and Australia.

Detailsbe2camp wiki, blogs

October 29th / 30th V

Elevate’s Constructing The Future national sustainability conference.  Details to follow but get the date into your diary now.

Note that it is planned to host a Best Practice Club Question Time Event on the evening of October 29th

Details: background competition contact for more info

Watch this space for more events and updates

on the zero carbon house

Barratt Developments has unveiled what it calls the first zero-carbon house developed by a volume housebuilder, built at the Buildings Research Establishment in Watford, packed with the latest technology, including solar panels, rainwater harvesting and an air source heat pump.

Its new kind of concrete walls and floors, combined with super insulation and triple-glazed windows, means its heat requirement will be minimal as it is airtight. Fresh air is brought into the building through a heat exchanger, which extracts the heat from outgoing stale air and puts it back into the house.

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt, said it would not be easy to reduce the cost of the prototype to commercial levels but he was confident it could be done. The important thing, he added, was to build houses that people would buy.

The public and builders still need to be convinced, according to the NHBC Foundation report, and it would seem todays kids – who will buy the homes – Kids dream homes – whose dream homes aren’t high on eco features.

The UK Green Building Council released a report this week defining what a zero-carbon house should be in practice. This is likely to form the basis of the legislation that the government is soon going to work on.

Housebuilders had been unhappy at the costs of going zero carbon and had wanted to be able to invest in off-site renewable energy such as wind turbines that would be cheaper for them. But the government is likely to endorse the GBC proposals that a zero-carbon house should produce almost all its energy on site or very near by in, say, a communal heat and power system.

Barratt plans rolling out its zero-carbon homes on the site of Hanham Hall hospital near Bristol. It will build 200 of them, a third of which will be affordable to lower-income buyers. All will be code level six and will completed in 2011, five years ahead of the deadline.

Source

a guide to zero carbon homes

Zero carbon homes in 100 words.

The UK Green Building Council released a report this week defining what a zero-carbon house should be in practice. Download from here

Still to read in detail but on first read appears to be a welcomed, considered and helpful guide, with a time-line to help organisations on a route to zero.

There would however appear to be little focus on the construction process, the actual building of zero carbon homes, (an estimated 3-4 years or 11% of the total carbons in the homes life cycle). This is the one issue we desperately need to address, to get buy in from builders. Many of whom may look at this and conclude it has nothing to do with them – other than install or assemble different bits of eco kit and / or materials. For example, construction waste, construction site impacts and considerate contractors scheme – all part of the Code 6 requirements isnt mentioned within the guide. (Site waste management planning is mandatory)

Others, and I know fellow bloggers will, soon comment on the renewable energy and technology aspect of the guide… watch this space…

Finally (for now) I hope that this definition is the same in the soon to be released UK Construction Strategy for Sustainability !!