Circularity: ‘Future of Construction’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Construction.

BAMB is on a mission: its goal is a systemic shift in sustainable building; its focus, construction waste and material consumption. As the name implies, Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB) reimagines a building as a dynamic repository of value, where tradable material assets can be deposited, data tracked, transferred and withdrawn. Three major changes support the BAMB vision for circular transition: change in design culture, value definition and collaboration. The question is, can a relatively traditional industry such as construction truly embrace the systemic change called for by a circular economy? What would such a shift mean in terms of technology, but more imporantly culture? Furthermore, how might it play out worldwide – across global development markets maturing at different speeds, with different histories of urbanisation? Getting down to project particulars, the article also includes a case study of an inner-city school in Swansea, Wales, which has just set new industry standards, achieving 99.87 per cent diversion from landfill. You can read more about both the scale of the material challenge and the exciting opportunities to close the circularity gap, here:

‘BAMB: Could this be the future for sustainable building?’.

The full 16-page Future of Construction & Development report is available to view/download here.

Building for climate resilience – from cold snap, to heatwave

New writing… My second piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles climate resilience in the built environment. It looks at how we can design, build and operate properties and places capable of coping with extreme weather – regardless of whether the forecast is for a Beast from the East, or a hosepipe-banning heatwave. Is it all just a question of adaptability? Should providing sustainable comfort in weather such as this sweltering summer actually be relatively straightforward? Is keeping cool only a matter of being adequately prepared? Well, not exactly… As cooling becomes the new heating, there is more to climate resilience than simply specifying extra kit, if we want ‘Buildings that won’t blow hot and cold’.

How does your workplace make you feel?

New writing… My first piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – explores the idea of the user experience (UX) driving the design of the built environment, particularly our workplaces. It discusses how differently commercial developers and their clients might do things if tenants and employees were to start rating the likes of their office environment in the same way as they rank hotels, or restaurants – scoring with stars and posting reviews. It considers what the implications would be for sustainability if happiness and wellbeing provided the prime metrics for post-occupancy evaluation and the key performance question to ask was simply: ‘How does your workplace make you feel?’

Future of Construction: Change is in the Air

New writing... Pleased to say I have another piece published in The Times newspaper today, as part of a special report on the Future of Construction, by Raconteur. It looks at how the construction sector stands accused as a polluter, but has an opportunity to clean up its act – not just on urban air quality, but environmental impacts and emissions in general, including carbon:

‘Change is in the air with city pollution’.

The full 16-page  report is available to view/download here.

PropTech: Why the Future Is Digital and Personal

New writing… My latest for Real Views looks at the emergence of the PropTech phenomenon in the built environment. Property technology, ‘PropTech’ for short, is a catch-all term for a disruptive new breed of data-based startups and intelligence innovators now applying their skills with analytics and algorithms to real estate.

It might be early days for the marriage of property and technology, but signs of a sector on the rise are already there, as seen in: ‘PropTech: Why the future is digital and personal’.

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