Urban design can make people less likely to use public spaces

Urban design can make people less likely to use public spaces

urban designUrban design campaigns are usually sold to local residents as a way to improve their daily lives. Design elements – from lighting systems to signs, benches, bollards, fountains and planters, and sometimes even surveillance equipment – are used to refurbish and embellish public spaces. Designers refer to these elements as “urban furniture”. And the projects they’re used in are usually aimed at increasing social interaction, heightening safety, improving accessibility and generally making life in the city better. More →

Circular economy accelerator launched to address role of built environment in climate change

Circular economy accelerator launched to address role of built environment in climate change

circular economyThe World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 70 Green Building Councils have launched a Circularity Accelerator — a global programme that sets out to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles in the building and construction sector. Last week, the United Nations (UN) reported we have a 50 percent chance of exceeding 1.5°C of global heating in the next five years. Between the UN Climate Summit of COP21 in Paris and COP26 in Glasgow, the global economy consumed 70 percent more raw materials than the Earth can safely replenish. More →

Nature based solutions have the potential to transform cities and buildings

Nature based solutions have the potential to transform cities and buildings

nature based solutionsThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched a new framework to help organisations and planners to recognise the significant value and benefit of nature-based solutions across urban developments. The report claims to reveal the scale of positive outcomes which Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) can deliver, as well as the wide range of stakeholders who can benefit from their implementation across cities and urban areas. More →

Sustainability doesn’t have to depend on high-tech solutions

Sustainability doesn’t have to depend on high-tech solutions

sustainability and low tech solutionsIt’s a popular idea that the path to sustainability lies in high-tech solutions. By making everyday items like cars electric, and installing smart systems to monitor and reduce energy use, it seems we’ll still be able to enjoy the comforts to which we’ve become accustomed while doing our bit for the planet – a state known as “green growth”. But the risks of this approach are becoming ever clearer. Many modern technologies use materials like copper, cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements. These metals are in devices like cell phones, televisions and motors. Not only is their supply finite, but large amounts of energy are required for their extraction and processing – producing significant emissions. More →

Amazon unveils latest plans for new US headquarters campus

Amazon unveils latest plans for new US headquarters campus

Amazon has submitted plans for its new $2.5 billion headquarters campus, known as HQ2, in Arlington County. Virginia. The NBBJ designed proposal for the PenPlace campus includes a 350 ft glass tower,  three 22-story towers offering 2.8 million sq. ft of office space, a 250-seat outdoor amphitheatre, public green space, and several other buildings. The centre piece tower, officially dubbed The Helix, is a plant covered structure to emphasize the firm’s commitment to the environment and biophilic design.  More →

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

The enduring struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through the design and management of workplaces carries more than a whiff of the Enlightenment, a period in which pure reason was seen by its proponents as more than enough to convince the world of the ways in which we could improve the human condition. It’s a battle that was won in some ways but which endures. More →

Using nature based solutions in buildings will help address climate change

Using nature based solutions in buildings will help address climate change

The IGNITION project from the UK Green Building Council has published its first report for businesses, titled ‘Nature-based solutions to the climate emergency: The benefits to business and society’  The report claims to provide organisations with the data they need to make informed decisions about the types of urban nature-based solutions (NBS) available to them and how these can help meet sustainability objectives to benefit business, society and the environment. It sets out to highlight the benefits of using NBS across the built environment and aims to inspire confidence in business leaders and investors to increase the use of NBS. More →

BBP and BSRIA publish new soft landings report for property owners

BBP and BSRIA publish new soft landings report for property owners

Better Buildings Partnership, together with BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association), has today published the joint report: Soft Landings: The Benefits to Commercial Property Owners. The commercial property sector is waking up to the fact that it needs to take responsibility on climate change and there is a broad recognition that a significant gap exists between the design expectations and operational performance of buildings. Part of taking climate action involves minimising this gap, the report’s authors claim. More →

What Baloo can teach us about our suspicion of tall buildings

What Baloo can teach us about our suspicion of tall buildings

tall buildings“What Baloo had said about the monkeys was perfectly true. They belonged to the tree-tops, and as beasts very seldom look up, there was no occasion for the monkeys and the Jungle-People to cross each other’s path.” Of course, Rudyard Kipling meant this figuratively but there is a clear link between ‘up’ in the figurative sense and ‘up’ in the physical sense. The executives at Omnicorp don’t lease the most expensive offices in a tower in so they can sit around on the ground floor watching the hoi polloi pass by at street level. They need to be at the top of the building looking down on them. More →

Growing number of major firms commit to net zero carbon buildings

Growing number of major firms commit to net zero carbon buildings

Today, seven major global private sector companies including Goldman Sachs and Lendlease have announced pledges to slash emissions from their buildings to net zero, by signing up to the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment). The organisations have pledged to take urgent action to ensure their own portfolios of buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 or sooner. More →

World Green Building council launches case study library of best practice

World Green Building council launches case study library of best practice

Green Building

The World Green Building Council has launched a new digital case study library showcasing what it claims is excellence in sustainable development globally, featuring buildings that are net zero carbon and/or enhance human health. According to the WGBC, claims are verified by established certification schemes, rating tools or other third-party systems. Buildings and construction together account for 36 percent of global final energy use and 39 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions when upstream power generation is included. Additionally, people spend 90 percent of their time in buildings, and there is a consistent association between unhealthy indoor environments and negative human health impacts. More →

BCO issues final call for 2020 Awards

BCO issues final call for 2020 Awards

BCO AwardsSome things in life come around quickly, the changing of the clocks, birthdays, Christmas music in supermarkets – and the British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards deadline. Just four weeks remain for wannabe winners to submit their applications, with the call for entry closing at 5pm on Friday 29th November 2019. The BCO claims that its National Awards sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK, attracting over 1,300 property professionals on the evening, as they hope to take home the National Award for their category. Entrants will be judged by a regional panel of judges in the Spring, with each local winner going on to compete for the National title in October. More →

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