Tag Archives: Sustainability Now

Can social media drive built environment sustainability?

Can social media drive built environment sustainability?

Over the last few weeks I have been working with Ryan at the Construction Network and the team at Sustainability Now on an exciting project to bring social media discussions into the free to attend virtual online Sustainability Now event on the 9th and 10th November

There are two main linked themes to this initiative, a unique sustainability social media ‘list’ and an online social media lounge

The listing, in collaboration with Peerindex ranks UK sustainability twitter users on authority in sustainability and is derived from other lists recently curated by the Construction Network (eg Architecture with Su Butcher and Built Environment Paul Wilkinson for example). It includes all aspects of the built environment from civil engineering to FM to PR to architecture to products to construction and more.

Being ranked on authority in sustainability we will see some surprises when the list is launched at midday during the show. Those with low a Peerindex score, or low activity may well see themselves quite high on authority listing, whereas those with very high activity or Peerindex scores may not rank in the top 100 at all.  Quality not quantity perhaps?

Peerindex describe authority as the measure of trust; calculating how much others rely on your recommendations and opinion in (sustainability), and is one component of the overall PI score. ie, it is where people will go for sustainability information on twitter (At least to UK sources, we may well expand to a global list next time)

The second exciting initiative is the social media lounge. Over the two days of the show a number of social media practitioners and advocates will be in a virtual lounge discussing the use of social media in the built environment, and in particular how it can be used to drive sustainability.

Those in the lounge will include @gb_news and @greenbuildexpo, @EEPaul @CKEgroup, @SuButcher @KirstieColledge @priteshpatel9 @KLHSustain @carinawtweets, @DIEMltd.

Amanda Jones @Peerindex will also be online to answer questions on the sustainability list, alongside myself and Ryan (@fairsnape and @ryanbriggstcn)

For more background information see:

Sustainability Now Registration Page

Social Media Lounge Residents 

Sponsors and Supporters 

 

 

Green Build News Article

 

 

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using twitter in the built environment?

Next week, the 12 – 15th May, sees a series of built environment ‘events’ in the UK:

All of these will use twitter as a ‘backchannel’ to enable off line chat, discussion or commentary on the events.  Each of the events has a twitter hashtag   ( #be2campnorth   #sustnow and  #FACshow09 )

The use of twitter will also allow those not able to attend  to keep in touch with real time happenings within the events, and also enable input into sessions from more than just those attending.  All increasing the scope, reach and impact of the events

I did consider putting together a top 10 reasons and benefits of tweeting, why construction and facilities management should twitter, why managers should let their staff twitter and indeed why managers themselves should!.  

However, far better to get a collaborative list from built environment people who use twitter and realise its value (you know who you are!) 

So in preparation for the potentially unprecedented flurry of twitter use next week what are your reasons to use twitter? (add to comments below and I will compile)

sustainability now champion

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Phil Clarke at Building Mag @zerochamp has asked me to be a  champion for the forthcoming Building magazine’s Sustainability Now virtual event taking place 13 and 14 May.

Still awaiting details, but I will be online in the discussion lounge on the 14th May and look forward to chatting with you there (and hopefuly drinking virtual champagne with Mel and others?) 

 

I will be in great company with fellow green bloggers:

  • Lucy Pedler, an architect founder of the influential body The Green Register, which has a membership of 600 influential sustainable professionals
  • Principal at green consultancy Inbuilt and green blogger Mel Starrs, who writes at Elemental
  • One of the sector’s most popular figures on Twitter, blogger Su Butcher – a practice manager at architect Barefoot & Gilles who blogs at Just Practising.

A detailed agenda for the event should be available next week. In the meantime here’s a bit of a snapshot of the type of content at the show:

  •  Live seminar on refurbishing existing houses with the Energy Saving Trust
  • Discussions on issues such as PassivHaus design, the zero carbon definition and the CRC
  • Videos from Ecobuild 
  • Some content from Bioregional on their views on sustainable legislation and updates from their projects
  • A survey on BREEAM 2008 

More here 

To take part in the online event sign up here  Its Free ! with the benefits you’d get from major conferences without the travel and from your home / office computer.

Think maybe over but thinking goes on

It was disappointing to read Phils blog post yesterday that the Think sustainability conference and exhibition is to be discontinued by CMP, but the reasons given do make sense.

Having visited both Think 07 and Think 08, I would say that Think 07 made an important contribution to built environment sustainability, shaping agendas and providing a forum for discussion and innovation.  I am afraid I cannot say the same for Think 08.   Was it as Phil suggests the lack of ‘names’ (07 had Al Gore on video link for example), or was it the all too corporate feel of 08?  (see 08 thoughts from 08)

It should be noted the sterling job Phil did with Think, and it is a pity lessons cannot be learnt to have a Think 09. But whilst Think may be over the thinking goes on.

One of the topics this raises is the face to face event versus the virtual on line event. I have blogged many times on this, arguing for a mixture, and making real event material available online at the same time, either through closed streaming or through public streaming into second life. There is always the cost (and now carbon travel debate) of attending real events if you are not in the host city.

Paul (fellow Be2camp unorganiser) also comments on this at EvolutionExtranet noting from  Sustainability Now (also organised by Phil ), that pure online events are not the perfect alternative either. (see my comments on sustainability now)

So are large national exhibitions and conference days numbered?  Logic would say yes, maybe being replaced by smaller, regional and local events.  But then the Green Build and Eco City mega conferences in the USA tend to suggest otherwise as they attract tens of thousands to the event with many thousand others tuning in online. One noticeable aspect of these is the live blogging, podcasting the open approach to have a myriad of blogging media partners across the globe. This use of Web2, allows dialogue into and out of the events months before and months after the actual physical event, making them much more of a web presence than an event.  There is even the opportunity to twitter questions live into panel debates.

Looking ahead to upcoming sustainability events I am involved with actually gives comfort that we will / have avoided the issues Think may have fallen into.

Be2camp

The idea for an ‘event’ to explore web2 approaches within the built environment came from attending other barcamp and pecha kucha events. These have a unique buzz and vibrancy lacking at corporate feel events.

Be2Camp to be held on October 10th (London) is being organised on unconference or BarCamp principles, with a very open approach to determining the agenda, the attendees decide!  The organisers based in three continents communicate through twitter, skype and blogs, again very open, allowing anyone to contribute. Consequently it has the feel of being very much a peoples event, and grows in spirit and scope as more join the planning.  It is planned to stream happenings out from the event onto the web and possibly a parallel event within second life.

Constructing the Sustainable Way

The Elevate East Lancs sustainability conference scheduled for October organised through Creative Concern. This has been referred to as the eco build or green build of the north, but is much much more than that. Yes it will have names, but will also be the celebration of the local sustainable stars competition that  has been running for months. Care has been taken to ensure that the workshops are practical, learning and sharing sessions, there will be second life link ups and open mic pecha kucha question time evening events planned.  Again it is shaping up to be a peoples event.

(The website for this event is scheduled to go live today I am told – so watch this space)

on sustainability now

Last Tuesday I attended the Building Sustainability Now conference event, from my study, popping out from the event and discussions only to deal with phone calls and other work issues. I also made a good number of new contacts, either through email address exchange or social connections such as Linkedin. Oh and I didn’t use the car on that day.

Phil Clark has posted lessons learnt from the event, which as Paul Wilkinson points out must be seen as a success judging by the numbers registered and attended.  Phil has asked for ‘delegates’ feedback so here are my two pennies:

I loved the chat room in the lounge but would agree that there needed to be themed areas, as sometimes the debate was hard to follow.  The excellent moderator services of carbon coach Dave Hampton kept the discussion alive, particularly on the climate change debate with Brad, which must go as a classic on on-line forum debates.

However, being used to other forms of online events, I found the interface too static and became tiring too quickly.  For example compare with Second Life events where there is action, avatars moving, places to virtually visit, camp fires to sit around and discuss issues, the opportunity to talk in open chat or on a one to one or in a group, to pass information and links to others etc make it a more ‘live’ experience.

The question has been asked-  is the industry ready for Web 2.0 ?.  I would answer yes, but needs a little nudge and encouragement to join in. The increase in information that is communicated through web2 is increasing all the time, and the cost of attending real events (fees, travel and time away from office) will improve the take up I am sure.  And again I must plug the up and coming October Be2Camp event, which will have introduction sessions to web2.0 as well as exploring the leading edge of web2 and possibly web3 communications.

As to costs, I had a choice of event to attend last Tuesday – Sustainability Now – free and I could participate in my own time in my own office, or a Business in Virtual Worlds event – cost £599, travel to London, and a fixed agenda of speakers. Its a no brainer.

Outside of the event, I found it fascinating the twitter conversations that were taking place, on themes and discussions from within the event, illustrating the use of Web2. For example I was able to send a twitter message to Rob Annable, (who was online at the event, but not in the lounge when the discussion was praising his eco-terrace project), suggesting he pop back into the lounge.  Reinforcing my view Twitter stands to be the next email and texting killer application.

I did have technical problems in viewing the presentations – Real Player playing up this end – but question why recorded events where played at set times – maybe these should be available on demand

I like the exhibitors place but found a number of questions emailed to the stands still remain unanswered.

As to more international input, there has to be a programme that caters for international time zones to attract.  Nothing worst that turning up at an event real or virtual to find everyone has gone home.  In fact this may be one of the work-life balance issues that virtual events need to address.  I sometimes find myself on line in Second Life debates at 2 in the morning – because they are held in the sunny Californian afternoon time zone.

But saying all that it was an excellent event Phil, well done – and I hope that it will be repeated.

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

UK sustainability events

I seem to be on a conference theme this evening so I should give a plug for two important UK events, (or Phil will be after me)

Think 087 and 8 May 2008

Think08 is a free exhibition and high level conference about thinking through and delivering sustainability in the built environment. With over 100 exhibitors and 80 free seminars, Think provides free content, networking and learning from thought leaders, alongside vibrant social events such as the Think Ball and Regatta.

(and a bloggers convention is promised)

Sustainability Now 1 and 2 June 2008

Sustainability Now is a unique virtual event, highlighting the essential issues that matter right now for those creating a sustainable built environment.