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:
New writing… My piece for Real Views is now live, looking at the potential impact of ambitious targets for net zero buildings on the global property market between now and 2030, then on towards 2050. From energy generation and efficiency, to carbon cutting and offsetting, the drive is on to make green the new normal. Complete with links to real case study projects, the article asks: ‘How will the push for net zero buildings change real estate?’
More of my journalism and blogging has been published in the last few months and I have provided a brief update menu of Built Environment, Real Estate, Project Management and Supply Chain articles below, with links to original copy. (Additional writings on Energy, Environment and Education to follow.)
Summary: Times and tastes have changed. It is no longer enough to be a tall building with just a restaurant at the top offering a birds-eye view of the city: visitors want to walk, jump, even slide, high in the sky.
Summary: Most of us think of modern buildings as inert structures – the shell for all the activity that goes on inside. Advances in science and technology, however, are creating new types of biological and metabolic materials which are essentially turning a growing number of buildings into living, breathing organisms.
More of my journalism and blogging pieces have been published in the last few months and I have provided a brief update menu of Built Environment, Real Estate and Construction articles below, with links to original copy. (Additional writings on Environment, Energy and Education topics will follow.)
Summary: Enter a hotel room anywhere in the world and the chances are you’ll find a polite-but-prescriptive card by the bed or bath, advising of the benefits of ‘eco-friendly’ behaviors such as living with linen longer and reusing towels. Commendable as it may be, however, this consumer-facing front really represents only the tip of the iceberg for environmental impacts in the hospitality industry where fast-growing equates to resource-hungry.
Summary: For centuries, nature and the built environment have not been on good terms as humans build upwards, downwards and outwards. Now, however, a more harmonious relationship is developing – which benefits both sides, and, crucially, the health and wellbeing of the people in the middle. The belief system behind this shift is ‘biophilia’ and it’s changing the way we think about and design our buildings.
Summary: In many small ways, we are becoming accustomed to buildings responding to our physical presence, almost without realizing: doors open and lighting comes on in hallways, toilets flush automatically in restrooms and water flows into basins when our hands approach. Slowly but surely, we have entered a whole new wireless world of sensors.
A version of this article first appeared in a Special Report on ‘Future Cities’, published in The Times, 26 March, 2013.
According to data from the UN, in 2008, the proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas passed the 50% mark, heading for 70% by 2050. By 2030, the total for city dwellers globally is estimated to hit around five billion. These inhabitants already consume 75% of the planet’s natural resources and contribute to urban activities responsible for 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions. All this happens on a mere 2% of global land mass.