Understanding the Living Building Challenge

Hoping to bring this course to the North West soon, but in the meanwhile check out the Leeds and London dates for Understanding the Living Building Challenge

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UK_collaborative_logoDiscover why we think that the restorative sustainability thinking of the Living Building Challenge, as a philosophy, advocacy platform and a certification tool is vital to the UK sustainable construction.

This spring we are holding two Understanding the Living Building Challenge workshops that provide a 6-hour in-depth introduction, in Leeds on the 5th Feb and in London on the 28th Feb 2014

The first, held in Leeds generated lots of debate on the principles and application of Living Building Challenge within the UK. Feedback from the course included:  ” great overview of LBC” – “clarified the US language” – “A comprehensive presentation with highly informed discussion with participants” and  “informative and educational”

Our next course is in London on 28th Feb: at the UKGBC Offices in the Building Centre (Registration details here)

See A Living Building Challenge Conversation (with @UKBC and @AmandaSturgeon @LivingBuilding)

The Living Building Challenge™ is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard…

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House of the Rising Sun Gets Passive Solar Heating

Meme Cloud

Interim Rhino model
Joe Cook

MArch students at UCLan in the #landscape futures atelier are making great progress in their responses to the complex brief for Midge Hole Mill.

Students presented their initial ideas at an interim review last week.  Their work demonstrated a diverse response to a difficult site with form and concepts derived from an interrogation of future domestic living in an architecture that seeks to go beyond current sustainable thinking which seeks to minimise harm, towards a restorative solution where architecture can create and solve the physical, social and aesthetic relationships between building, landscape and environment.

interim 3d
Keith Tasker

With the valued support of Martin Brown and his international colleagues at the Living Building Challenge (LBC), students have reconsidered indolent notions of sustainability, instead tackling the difficult LBC values and standards whilst upholding creative expression in their architectural form.  So far, the Challenge is presenting interesting debates relating to the…

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Is this the UK First Living Building Challenge project?

In what may well become the UK’s first Living Building Challenge Project, the Lancashire based Midge Hole project is currently an architectural student design competition at the Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment at UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire), within the Landscape Futures design studio, led by Jenni Barrett.

mdige holeThe client is seeking designs which offer innovative energy solutions for a domestic property on the site of a former textile mill.

Although the topography of the site is challenging, the watercourse that once provided energy to former mill operations will present opportunities for zero energy and even zero water solutions

Supported by the UK LBC Collaborative, Martin Brown introduced the students to the Challenge recently. Ongoing support with petal seminars, live links to other LBC projects and studio work will continue throughout the competition. The winning student design will be selected following presentations to a panel in January. It is then hoped the project will move into the formal planning stage and on to construction as a Living Building Challenge project.

It is anticipated that student designs will be promoted at a dedicated exhibition space at the prestigious virtual Construction21 Euro Expo for Green Build to be held February 18 and 19th

The student site analysis is illustrated in this design Prezzi 


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Could Google technology transform BIM and the built environment?

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Snapseed (2)Have Google developed the next era of Building Information Modelling (BIM Level 3?) or even an alternative?

Reports via GLOBES News from Google X , the company’s secret development unit, (the unit responsible for driverless cars and Google Glass) provides exciting but tantalising news of a new construction technology, known as Genie. Google X’s construction technology project had a budget of $5 million.

Genie is described as a ‘platform with online-based planning applications to help architects and engineers in the design process, especially for skyscrapers and large buildings. The platform includes planning tools of expert architects and engineers and advance analytics and simulation tools. Genie standardises and automates the design and construction processes with unlimited design options, enabling an architect to preserve the building’s uniqueness in the urban environment’

And, not surprisingly given Googles interest and activity in sustainability and healthy buildings, ‘Genie was presented as a revolutionary technology for the…

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Drawing Diversity

Meme Cloud

Architects draw.

By hand or using technology tools, they make representations of a world they propose.  Architects are also embracing site, context and landscape as essential parts of the architectural palette.  Yet, despite artistic skills, well-honed in architecture school, there remains a divide between representation of buildings and the spaces that connect them.  I remain unconvinced by out-of-scale, acid-green trees set in deeper-green, grass floor blankets.


Grand Central Terminal, New York (Foster&Partners)
Source:  http://www.dezeen.com/2012/10/19/foster-partners-present-vision-for-grand-central-terminal/ 

There is an ancient skill of deriving understanding of the natural world through artistic endeavour and we may be in danger of losing it.  The great scientific contributions of Linnaeus and Darwin would not have been possible without drawing.


Vienna Dioscurides, A.D.515
Source:  Design Squish

It’s through the art of diagram that we understand the temporal and dynamic relationships between flora and their ecosystems.


Phylogenetic Tree
A phylogeny-driven genomic encyclopaedia of bacteria…

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Construction virtual trade show for Europe

Save money! Reduce CO2 emissions! and visit leading innovative sustainable construction solutions and projects from across the European continent.

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60199455601729109971916966764nfSave money!  Reduce CO2 emissions!  and visit leading innovative sustainable construction solutions and projects from across the European continent.

UPDATE: Construction21 Chapters and Green Building Councils from France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia and Montenegro have joined Construction21EXPO, with many more to be announced shortly.

Construction21EXPO EUROPE be held the 18th & 19th of February 2014 and will bring together 500 exhibitors and 20,000 participants including architects, engineers, project managers, investors, and other essential stakeholders.

Exhibitors will be able to reach the most active green building professionals across Europe with a very small investment. Exhibitors can gather high quality sales leads from EXPO visitors from both existing and new markets for sustainable construction solutions.

Booth setup is very simple but will create very attractive exhibits with your desired branding. Review the website and watch the video at Construction21EXPO.eu to see the conversational features and rich interactive…

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Mindfulness for Construction Success

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMindfulness is fast gathering pace as a set of daily practices to manage stress, worry or to enhance daily living ‘in the present moment’. Organisations, large and small, including those in the construction sector are starting to explore how mindfulness can help with well being, sustainability and yes, improved organisational success. (For examples see articles listed below)

If you have read or heard about mindfulness and would like to come on a course to learn the techniques with others, then Anne Parker is running a course in Blackpool Lancashire. on the 5th October and 2nd November. The course will show you the techniques,  background information and then review your experiences and build on your practices further.

Perhaps you don’t know anything about Mindfulness at all and you would like to find out what it is all about then this is also for you. The content will allow for lots of questions and comments as well…

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