Spec Finish

Sustainability The urban landscape is forever changing and buildings are demolished or refurbished before the useful life of the space has been reached. Much of the focus to date has been on the reduction of the operational impact of buildings, but the net zero approach puts more emphasis on the measurement of whole life carbon, which includes embodied carbon. In our interview on page 20, Darren Ross-Dreher of Gensler, talks about the main challenges that the fit-out industry is facing saying that our future is increasingly unpredictable and we must show leadership in being as sustainable as possible, so that Government does not force our hand with measures that are not reflective of what our clients need. The sector’s main opportunities, he says, lie with technology, including development of better electronic communication and collaboration tools and flexible furniture solutions that replace hard construction. HOWTHE NET ZERO AGENDAWILL TRANSFORM OUR SECTOR 14 www.thefis.org B UILDINGS are responsible for 40%CO 2 emissions; they produce a vast amount of waste and consume large volumes of resources. While the recycling rates of construction and demolition waste is around 90%, most of the waste generated is used as fill or low value application (known as downcycling). Current working practices are very linear (extract, manufacture, use, demolish and dispose) and the industry needs to move towards more efficient approaches. More questions should be asked at the start of a project: Is the project planned is necessary? Can the space required be found in existing buildings? Should the building be demolished or could it be renovated/refurbished? Do more with less Circular economy is a way of thinking that pushes the industry to think outside the box to do more with less, leading to a reduction of overall carbon emissions. Circular economy makes us ask ourselves: can we reuse materials from existing buildings? Do we need to own/buy materials outright? What about thinking of different business models such as leasing? Simple steps forward could be to carry out pre-redevelopment audits to identify and measure the quantities of materials that will become available and enable the optimisation of resources. The measurement of embodied and operational carbon is becoming more mainstream and enables the validation of the decisions taken. Initiatives, such as the one led by RICS, will enable consistent measurement and the creation of benchmarks which should enable the industry to set targets. The UKGBC is looking to set up a net zero verification scheme that should provide more confidence in the results. Connected supply chain In order to change, the whole supply chain needs to bemore connected and information shared throughout the life of the building (or space) to enable better optimisation of resource use. This will lead to less waste and a reduction of the overall impact of the industry. If the construction industry wants to do its share to support the UK Government inmeeting its ambition to reach net zero, changes will have to bemade. There is no doubt climate change is happening, the sooner we act, the easier and cheaper it will be. Championing change The FIS Sustainability Action Plan is being developed to support a wider net zero approach being led by the Construction Leadership Council. To help develop, support, engage the supply chain and champion the plan, FIS has established a Sustainability Leadership Group. Key elements of the plan include the launch of a new FIS Sustainability Hub on the FIS website, the development of a new training facility through the Supply Chain Sustainability School and work has started on developing benchmarking metrics. FIS is also hosting a roundtable debate and theming a week during the Annual Conference to sustainability – the round table is being chaired by Barbour ABI, who will be developing a series of white papers with FIS on key themes drawn out of the debate. The FIS has appointed a Sustainability Champion, Flavie Lowres, who will be joining the team on an initial six month contract from mid-September. Flavie has a PhD inMaterials andMetallurgy Science and Engineering from the University of Birmingham. She joined BRE in June 2003, chairs the ConstructionMaterials Group and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals andMining. Flavie spent 18 years at BRE where she was an Associate Director responsible for running the LCA and circular economy section of the team. She has been working in the field of materials sustainability since 2007 and has been involved in a number of UK and international projects related to sustainability in the built environment. Flavie has now set up the consultancy, Green Thinking Ltd, and her first job is as the FIS Sustainability Champion. Flavie Lowres, FIS Sustainability Champion

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