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Does this episode title annoy you in the current circumstances that so many of us find ourselves in? It can be hard to stomach concepts like this when our worlds have been turned upside down in so many ways over the last few years.However, architect and company director of Cityzen, John Smith MCIAT’s interview with Henry McDonald will certainly make you think!Plus Peter Finn gives his very honest input about the current state of affairs on this topic as a builder in Ireland.John Smith MCIAT: If the energy companies dropped all their prices tomorrow, everyone would have just turned things back on. And that’s no good for the environment and the planet. If we talk about it now at least they’re thinking about it when the energy prices come back down, and they go, oh, yeah, but if I do start turning things on, you know, what’s my carbon emissions?About John SmithJohn Smith is the Director of Cityzen Limited, a professional services firm that offers professional clients architectural design and planning bids, building regulations packages, and M&E advice for building development. Its team can assist in creating and developing the buildings you require by utilising their skills, experience, and technical knowledge. Building services engineering, thermal performance, feasibility, sustainability, and conservation are some of their specialities.In this interview, John talks about his work at Cityzen Design and explain what Cityzen does in a nutshell by highlighting two or three projects that he is particularly proud of, as well as aspects of these projects that are good examples of working towards Net Zero. On example is in the photo above. John, like many others, feels that there is not enough energy and action at the local and central government levelThere is a disconnect between the pace of change that is needed to address the climate crisis and the speed at which governments are currently moving.This was a recurring theme at the recent FOOTPRINT+ event, where experts from around the world gathered to discuss the latest developments in sustainability.While there was a general sense of optimism about the progress that is being made, there was also a growing sense of frustration at the lack of energy and action at a local and central government levels. This disconnect is likely to continue unless there is a radical shift in the way that governments operate. Only by working together can we hope to address the climate crisis in a meaningful way.John will discuss his thoughts on the issue, the solutions he believes should be implemented to expedite the situation, and the statement he made in an article:We have had successive governments not investing in retrofits (or saying they are, then pulling the funding!). The UK’s Housing stock is old, poorly insulated and draughty, at Cityzen we have been designing retrofits for houses and working with others on retrofit schemes (which were government backed) and reporting on how buildings can be retrofitted for over 10 years, we also have done 100s of surveys showing what buildings are insulated with or typically not and how they can be improved.Discover more on the full Constructive Voices Episode 42 page.Worldwide top construction podcast recognitionAs we release this episode we are delighted to announce that we have been included in the world's most important list of Feedspot best construction podcasts.Read more about this here over at Constructive Voices News.
Imagine your mission is to protect one of the most famous books in the whole world. A beautiful and intricate illuminated manuscript that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament that was created by Celtic monks around the year 800. This was the challenge that Peter Finn, Ireland’s Favourite TV Builder and one of the Constructive Voices presenters, faced a while ago.Ireland’s Favourite TV Builder’s Labour of Love for the Book of KellsYes, we are talking about The Book of Kells with its elaborate spiral and interlace patterns, images of animals and birds, which is housed in Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland.The Book of Kells was probably created by monks at the monastery of Iona, off the coast of Scotland. It is unclear how the book made its way to Ireland, where it was eventually donated to the University of Dublin in 1661.Today, the Book of Kells is on display at Trinity College Library, where visitors can see its ornate pages up close. Despite its age, the Book of Kells remains an awe-inspiring work of art that continues to fascination scholars and laypeople alike.Hear this unique interview on Episode 41.Peter Finn, Ireland’s Favourite TV Builder:“I’m sure everybody’s heard of the Book of Kells. It’s the oldest Christian scripture in existence in the world. We were given the project of creating a protection mobile around the Book of Kells, which was a labour of love.”The Book of Kells receives over a million visitors each year. In fact, in 2021, after it reopened after COVID restrictions, 78,000 people visited the Book of Kells between May and October.Peter Finn…blend the old with the new:“You have to have an eye to be able to blend the old with the new in as seamless away as you possibly can. And it takes skill and it takes the right people to do it. It’s not the type of construction where you can get a load of lads in on price, and push them and force them to get a job done in a set period of time.”So it seems that you know what you are doing, what could possibly go wrong?Peter Finn…a skeleton in the closet:“The worst thing that can happen is you actually find a literal skeleton in the closet because it means everything has to stop and you have to rethink what you’re doing….”Listen to this fascinating interview with Pete The Builder.
Wondering how your counterparts are doing Down Under? Curious about the current state of the construction industry in Australia? Then tune in to Episode 40, with our Australian expert guest, Alex Fernandez-Soncini.Alex will give you a snapshot of the Australian construction industry, where the attitudes are, where the industry is right now based on a survey of several countries across Asia Pacific, that Procore did recently.Our very own, Steve Randall, talks to Alex Fernandez-Soncini, a Strategic Construction Technologist for Procore Technologies, not only about the state of the construction industry in Australia but also about how technology is now playing a major role in the industry.It is no secret that Australia is lagging when it comes to the construction industryIt is no secret that Australia is lagging when it comes to the construction industry. Alex claims this is due to the lack of mobile technology utilised compared to Asian parts of the industry that have utilised mobile technologies from the start. However, Alex believes that the introduction of new technologies to the industry has allowed them to gain some ground on Asian countries.“If you look where Australia is starting out, it is a lot more of a mature market to be honest, we have not had a lot of that mobile technology…”How is climate change affecting the industry in Australia?Climate change is affecting all industries and the Australian construction one is no different. Alex explains how increased rain and inclement weather are making the job of construction workers much more challenging than before.“Yeah definitely, the rain activity has not helped construction. We have already got all of these other issues and then you go and add a whole bunch of inclement weather and then all of a sudden that is putting a lot of pressure on builders…”About Alex Fernandez-SonciniAlex Fernandez-Soncini is the Team Lead for Strategic Product Consultants at Procore Technologies.As Team Lead, Alex utilises his extensive construction knowledge and experience to direct a team and offer guidance on the role of cloud-based technology and best practices to key customers and internal stakeholders. In addition, the team collaborates with industry stakeholders to communicate enhancements for the industry.Using his in-depth understanding of what makes Australian construction professionals tick, Alex is an innovator who contributes to improving and developing construction technology for the industry. In addition, he possesses the skill to communicate solutions in a way everyone can understand.With over 10 years of experience in the construction industry, before joining Procore in 2017, Alex’s resume consists of most recently working as a Contracts Administrator at Renascent Australia. He was also with Philip Chin Group working as a Building Code Consultant before joining Parkview Group to take on the role of BCA/Design Coordinator.Read more about Episode 40 Constructive Voices here
The inaugural FOOTPRINT+ was a huge success and we were delighted to be there as a media partner. This bonus episode wraps up the series of super interviews that we recorded at the event.If you missed any interviews from the event you can catch up on previous specials one, two, three and four. Plus the first bonus special is available here.Check out the great selection of guests on this bonus episode.Jason Horner - Head of Infrastructure Services and Director of Environment & Infrastructure at Hilson Moran: Jason is an Infrastructure Planner and Environmental Engineer with a good few years of experience.We also spoke to Marie-Louise Schembri, Design Director at Hilson MoranJohn Macdonald-Brown, Founder, SyzygyFounded in 2010, Syzygy has grown to become one of the leading specialist low carbon technology consultancies in the UK and Europe.Kelly Harrison, Associate Director, Whitby WoodKelly is an active proponent of sustainable construction, and is particularly experienced in the structural design of engineered timber, hybrid structures, and retro-fitting.Ken Hunnisett, Head of Public Sector, Triple Point Investment ManagementKen Hunnisett has spent the last 25 years in asset and infrastructure finance. He was one of the speakers at The regulation of heat: A new era for heat networksLee Golby, SHEQ Manager & Sustainability Lead at Paula Rosa | ManhattanLee is the SHEQ Manager & Sustainability Lead at Paula Rosa | Manhattan.Mike Reynolds, VattenfallMike is Managing Director of  Vattenfall Heat UK, and lead Vattenfall’s successful UK Market entry in 2018 – taking the business from paper to pipes installed in under three years.Mitakshi Sirsi, Director at WILL+Partners | Chair, Sustainability Community at CoreNet, UK ChapterMitakshi specialises in Sustained the Workplace; particularly in directing management policy through research frameworks; and using training as a tool to integrate high-level strategies and certifications through the life cycle of buildings.Sam Jarrett U+I - Sam is the Head of Marketing and Communications at U+I PLC who create thriving mixed-use places in the London City Region, Manchester and Dublin, where people can live, work and socialise.Tom LarssonTom is the Design Director at Stanhope, a developer specialising in complex urban regeneration.Vikki Slade, Cratus CommunicationsVikki is a Director at Cratus Communications leading on the work of helping clients respond to the climate emergency, based out of our Southampton offices but working across the UK.To read more information on all of these great guest, head over to the Constructive Voices Episode 39 page.
In this episode, Steve Randall speaks to Sam Whitworth and Maddie Podstada of Stelling Properties Limited. Steve was also given a tour around the Stelling Properties factory and himself and Pete the Builder discuss modular construction.If you have an interest in modular construction or you want to hear how it is being used to aid civilians fleeing the conflict in Ukraine then this episode is for you!Sam Whitworth is the Engineering Director for Stelling Properties. Sam’s portfolio consists of working in the Marina, Aerospace and Civil Sectors. Sam is committed to the development and delivery of new technology and products. He also enjoys being challenged and works well under pressure.“We exist to take on the challenge of bringing modular to the mainstream and giving people the choice that they deserve as a customer.”“Interface is key in the modular industry.”Stelling Properties are one of the UK’s leading modular development and construction companies. They traditionally focus on student accommodation, residential developments, and hotels.Today however they are using their expertise to help civilians fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.Stelling Properties are now designing and building transportable accommodation inside shipping containers to aid in housing civilians living in dangerous and freezing conditions in refugee camps in Europe.The carefully designed and insulated units can provide shelter for up to two adults and two children or three adults at a time. They provide them with space to sleep and eat.Known as Project Re: Haus, this venture is staff-led and is a separate charitable initiative started by the team just days after the news of the war broke around the world.Maddie Podstada is the Project Coordinator for Project Re: Haus. A future charitable organisation that is designed to be a solution for those displaced by conflict, war, and natural emergencies.Maddie believes that the speed of modular is what makes it suitable for a crisis. A modular can be built, transported and then be ready for use within two hours.Visibly emotional when the first containers were transported, Maddie and her team are very proud of the hard work and long hours that they put in to help families fleeing from their countries.If you wish to help Maddie and her team with their admirable project you can make a donation at“The modules are produced and then transported to Poland and can be ready to be used in about two hours, so they call it plug and play.”“Modular construction is a fantastic solution to be relocated from one location to another.”
To kick off this bonus FOOTPRINT+ episode, Pete the Builder spoke to Andrew Waugh about using timber in constructionAndrew Waugh, Waugh Thistleton ArchitectsAndrew is a founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, an architecture practice dedicated to designing buildings and places of the highest architectural quality that acknowledge their impact on the environment. “…for the last 20 years, we’ve become increasingly fascinated, even slightly obsessed with the opportunities for building in timber for designing beautiful buildings in timber.” Next up, Steve Randall spoke to Angela Crowther about repurposing existing buildingsAngela Crowther is an Associate Director at Arup. She was a keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was entitled Repurposing existing buildings to save the embodied carbon. Modernising assets to make them more energy-efficient can be done in various ways. For example, one could choose the retrofitting option to make a building fit for purpose for the future. “The opportunity to immediately save 50% of our carbon budget by protecting and celebrating and reusing what we have already built in the past into the future, rather than starting again.” Peter the Builder spoke to Ann-Marie Fallon of Architype about PassivhausAnn-Marie Fallon is an Associate Director and CEPH Designer at Architype. She was a keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was entitled Is Passivhaus the answer?  “My context from working with Passivhaus buildings for the last 13 years is that it’s become a bit of a dirty word. You know, clients are afraid of it, design teams don’t want to touch it, contractors are nervous of building.” Pete the Builder spoke to Councillor Samer Bagaeen about the government’s role in achieving Net-ZeroSamer Bagaeen is a member of the Brighton & Hove City Council. With a background in the built environment, Samer is a chartered town planner and a chartered surveyor.Samer believes that achieving Net-Zero ultimately comes down to what local governments and councils in the cities do. He does however acknowledge that there are constraints, the biggest one being money. Despite these constraints, he believes that governments need to be more ambitious in their policies and the delivery of these policies.“You need the bankers to step out, you need central government to kind of be more ambitious in their policies and the delivery, so it’s a collective effort”Pete the Builder spoke to Courtney MacDougall of Vattenfall about educating people on low carbon solutions.Courtney MacDougall is a project engineer for Vattenfall. Working with the wider project team, she provides technical advice and steers the project through the development and delivery stages. “So it’s really that education piece that you don’t need to have a boiler within your house or in your flat, you can have a heat pump” Next up, Pete the Builder spoke to Dan Epstein about using solar energy. Dan Epstein is a sustainability leader for Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). He was a chairperson at the event.  This bonus episode has a number of other episodes. to read the full line-up and information head over to Constructive Voices Episode 37.
Julia Watson is a leading light at this crucial moment in humanity's history. We were honoured and delighted to be able to interview her recently about indigenous architecture.From 5 May - 29 August 2022, the Barbican Centre is featuring Julia's  collaborative exhibition, Our Time on Earth,  which is a major exhibition celebrating the power of global creativity to transform the conversation around the climate emergency. Through art, design, science, music and philosophy, the exhibition presents a range of radical visions for the future of all species.A journey through immersive, interactive installations and digital works, the exhibition invites visitors to experience a range of perspectives of our shared planet, exploring Earth as a community to which we all belong – humans as just one species among millions.Aiming to reignite respect for our essential and complex biosphere and inspire awe and wonder for our beautiful planet, the exhibition explores different ways of existing on Earth and finding ways to reconnect with them, while also looking at the role technology has to play in deepening our understanding and connection to the natural world. Our Time on Earth encourages visitors to take an active role and leave feeling empowered to make positive change.About Julia WatsonJulia is a leading expert of Lo—TEK nature-based technologies for climate-resilience. Her eponymously named studio brings creative and conceptual, interdisciplinary thinking to design projects and corporations interested in systemic and sustainable change.She is the author of Lo—TEK Design by Radical IndigenismJulia Watson is a renowned architectural historian but is especially known for her work around Indigenous ArchitectureJulia Watson is a renowned architectural historian and the author of several books on the history of architecture. She is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, and Columbia University. Julia Watson is one of the world’s leading experts on the history of architecture and has published numerous articles and books on the subject.She is a highly respected authority on the subject and her work is widely respected by her peers. Julia Watson is an important voice in the field of architectural history and her work is essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.More about Julia Watson on our website.
We really enjoyed being at the Footprint+ event earlier this month. Speaking to so many different people with the same goal was really refreshing. We still have one more episode to bring you, plus a couple of bonus episodes!If you missed any interviews from the event, you can catch them on the previous specials one, two and three. To begin the final episode of this four-part series, Pete the Builder spoke to Adrienne Bloch about women and their role in the construction industry. Adrienne Bloch is the ESG, Managing Director for Bloch Solutions.She was a chairperson at the event. Her talk was entitled MMC delivers massive carbon savings.Adrienne believes that modular construction will make it easier for women to play a more critical role in the industry.Adrienne leads Bloch Solutions with a specific focus on maximising environmental, social and economic outcomes, and ESG investment.“The environment is much easier for women to participate in. I think it is going to be a real game-changer in terms of getting women into construction”Next up, Steve Randall spoke to David Lewis about life sciencesDavid Lewis is the Operations & Finance Director for Ironstone Asset Management Limited.Life Sciences is a topic that is growing at an increasing rate and one in which David takes a particular interest.He believes that there is a lack of suitable office and lab space in the UK. Together with his team, they try to create space for science. They focus on what they call the golden triangle, the space between London, Cambridge, and Oxford.“We only have eight people on our team but one of the first people we actually hired was a sustainability director, so that is how important we treat it”Pete the Builder spoke to Rory Bergin about the hot topic of modular constructionWith a personal interest in all things sustainable, Rory Bergin is the Head of Sustainability for HTA Design. He was a keynote speaker at the event. His talk was entitled MMC delivers massive carbon savings.Rory’s ambition is to deliver some ground-breaking innovative sustainable designs that set the standard for the new generation of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable places.“Volumetric construction is about 40-45, 50% less energy-intensive than traditional construction”Justin Guest is a partner at Archipelago Eco Investors. He was a keynote speaker at the event. His talk was entitled Carbon Offsetting – Where is your carbon pot best spent?“Offsetting is absolutely a legitimate strategy when it is done right”Pete the Builder spoke to Romy Rawlings for the penultimate interview in this special.Romy Rawlings is the Commercial Director at Vestre. She is a Chartered Landscape Architect with lots of experience as a consultant, designer, project manager and researcher.“I think we are some way off meeting those targets genuinely”For the final interview of this four-part Footprint+ special, Steve Randall spoke to Philip Steele of Octopus Energy.Philip Steele is the Future Technologies Evangelist at Octopus Energy. “We are actually nearly there already, we are already at 40% of our energy bei
To kick off this third special episode, Steve Randall spoke to Josie Cadwallader-Hughes about Zero-Carbon homesAs Sustainability Director at Thakeham Group, Josie Cadwallader-Hughes is responsible for keeping Thakeham at the leading edge, building partnerships with distinguished organisations with a long history of championing change, and advising on a number of cross-industry programmes enabling zero carbon placemaking.“The homes that we deliver by 2025 will be zero carbon, none of this tricky transition period”Next up, Steve Randall spoke to Martin Hale about EV charging.Martin Hale is the Sales Director for RAW Charging. Electric charging is a trending topic as we move from fuel sources such as diesel and petrol to more environmentally friendly sources such as electricity. More people are demanding these EV chargers on company sites. As with most new inventions challenges exist such as location and sources of power.“The big case is the power because that is the showstopper, where is the power coming from?”Pete the Builder spoke to Mike Harrison about concrete and their new innovative product ConcreteneMike Harrison is the Delivery Director at U+I. He was a chairperson at the event. His talk was entitled Concretene: Graphene-enriched concrete lowering cement and carbon emissions.Developed by the University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, Concretene is a type of concrete that is significantly stronger. This allows designers to propose concrete mixes with lower cement content driving down the embodied carbon of one of construction’s most relied upon materials.Encouraging people to adopt something new always has its challenges, how can we overcome these challenges?“What it does is it gives you a lot greater strength in the concrete for the same cementitious content.”Next up, Pete the Builder spoke to Nick Hillard about modular constructionNick Hillard is the ESG lead at Tide Construction. He was a keynote speaker at the event. His talk was entitled MMC delivers massive carbon savings.“45% saving against the traditional reinforced concrete method of construction”Our next guest is Paul Sullivan. Pete the Builder spoke to him about the challenges of labour shortages in the construction industry“The work needs to be done out there by 2030, we are just concerned whether there is the trades to do it. We have estimated that there is probably a shortfall of about 130,000 tradesmen.Pete the Builder spoke to one of the event’s speakers, Stuart McLaren about low-carbon estates. Stuart McLaren is the Net Zero Director for Infrastructure at Atkins. He was a chairperson at the event. His talk was entitled Decarbonising your estate. All the challenges to achieving a Net-Zero carbon future are present in a mixed-asset estate.“The more we come together and see what good looks like or what bad looks like the more chance we have at succeeding at this monumental challenge.”The final interview on this third special episode is Ziad Asmar. Steve Randall spoke to him about reducing carbon emissionsZiad Asmar is a Senior Structural Engineer at Pinnacle Consulting Engineering Ltd. “Cost is a very big factor but once it is forced and regulated that is when we are going to see a big change”
Pete the Builder and Steve Randall along with this special’s guests are transporting you back to Footprint+! And if you weren’t there, this is a great way to be in the know!Pete the Builder spoke to Wendy Bishop of Architype about retrofitting and the Entopia BuildingWendy Bishop is an associate of Architype and Passivhaus designer. She was a keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was entitled Retrofitting a historic building: CISL’s Entopia Building." What might work for a 1930’s building like the Entopia Building in Cambridge won’t work for a 1980s built school up in Scotland." Read more on our episode page here.Next up Steve Randall spoke to Catherine Dewar and David Tomback from Historic England about the importance of reusing old buildings.".. the three days have really brought into focus the importance of reusing buildings and the carbon that’s embodied in those buildings. Of course, we represent Historic England, so we would say that’s important.But it’s been a joy to hear everybody else saying it. We’ve been talking about this, haven’t we for years? And it’s just a joy to hear everybody else, recognising the importance of doing that, for really important reasons."Our next guests are two young people in the Construction industry, Shane Orme and Serena Gugliotta of WSP. Pete the Builder spoke to both about the goal of net zero and the importance of collaboration in order to achieve it."But I think that the biggest point here is that we as consultants, can do more than just advising. We can really push for a circular economy and all these concepts that we’re discussing today. Because it’s a really collaborative approach, the one we have to push forward. And so we’re doing our best to work together."Steve Randall spoke to Sophie Cole of Mikhail Riches next about retrofitting and achieving zero carbon housing at a scale.Sophie Cole is a senior architect at Mikhail Riches. She specialises in housing design and her priority lies in sustainability. She believes that now clients are demanding a green agenda, and everyone is on the same page to achieve it." Now our clients are asking us to do it, whereas before I think we felt that sometimes you had to push a green agenda."Next Pete the Builder talks to Steve Hearn, the Chief Executive Officer at Mid Group about using timber wood in constructionMid Group is a dynamic Construction, Investment and Development company, focused on providing enhanced value to its clients and partners. "I think the answer is probably not doing enough. There’s more we can do but we are constrained by legislation and the market conditions."Read more on our episode page here.The penultimate interview on this second special episode is Steve Randall speaking to Paul Lincoln, Editor from LandscapeThe Landscape Institute is the body that represents landscape architects in the UK. With over 6000 members consisting of landscape designers, landscape managers and landscape planners or students. "Landscape architecture is absolutely at the heart of sustainable development."This special ends with Pete the Builder interviewing Sebastian Wood of Whitby WoodListen to Sebastian Wood who was a keynote speaker at the event. His talk was entitled Revitalising disused buildings to deliver on the triple bottom line. 
Pete the Builder and Steve Randall make you feel like you are at FOOTPRINT+ yourself!This first FOOTPRINT+ Special kicks off with an insightful catch-up interview with Emily Day, the Co-Founder of Footprint+. Speaking to Pete, Emily, who believes that through connections people can learn from each other and come up with new ideas, talks about how she feels about the first ever FOOTPRINT+Emily Day is co-founder and director at Footprint+, she is an award-winning architect and urban designer with a particular focus on global development and social responsibility. As founder of Footprint+, she has taken the opportunity to redeploy her knowledge to make a positive social contribution, helping all parties make progress towards a Carbon Zero future.Qualified as a chartered architect , Emily has over 20 years of experience working on large-scale projects. She has worked with many key players within the industry; local authorities, developers, and financial institutions which have given her a unique insight into the needs of the different partiesHere are some of the questions we Pete asked Emily:Do you think the Footprint Plus+ event went well? Do you wonder what the founders of the event think about the state of the industry and prospects for future? If so, you will enjoy this interview with one of the founders of Footprint+.“The event itself is intended to bring people together, to share knowledge and through this knowledge sharing able to approach projects with new initiatives...“It’s a slow changing industry, it’s not going to change overnight but I can really see the opportunities are there” Read more at Constructive Voices Radio special episode page.Steve Randall spoke to Prof. Greg Clark about the role of cities in our quest towards NetZero.Prof. Greg Clark is Chair of the Connected Places Catapult and UK Cities Climate Investment CommissionGreg is a world expert on cities, urban investment, and sustainable urban transition. Over a career of 35 years he has advised more than 300 cities, 40 national governments, 20 multilateral institutions, and multiple global corporates and investors.Next up Pete the Builder talks to top engineer, Tom Holbrow, who specialises in public sector projects.Tom Holbrow is the Business Development Director at Mace Group. He is a senior Board level professional with expertise in Engineering and Construction Business Development. He leads the Business Development function for the Public Estates, Research, Education, Arts and Culture and Healthcare Construction team at MACE.Our next guest touches on one of the most important things right now when it comes to achieving our goals around NetZero…collaborationKatie Clemence-Jackson, MENG CENG MCIBSE, Senior Engineer & Partner, Max FordhamKatie is a senior project engineer and sustainability consultant, experienced in delivering varied and unique projects at all construction stages. She is chartered with CIBSE and actively involved in the Institution, including chairing the CIBSE Technology Committee.Katie coordinates the activities of Max Fordham’s Net Zero Carbon (NZC) working group, and was key to establishing the Practice’s NZC design service. She is also co-chair of the Practice’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group. Plus she was an NLA Expert Panellist for Net Zero Alumni 2021.Timothy E. Glew, Business Development Manager, Q-Bot talks about robots, and specifically BettyQ-Bot featured on BBC Breakfast following the announcement of the UK’s Energy Security StrategyAlong with 25 robots, Q-Bot employs 35 humans at a headquarters in London and offices in Newcastle. The highly-experienced multidisciplinary engineering and research team has a unique blend of robotics, digital and building experience.
Don’t miss this fascinating interview with Henry Mc Donald talking to top architect, Dr Joe Jack Williams, whose specialism is understanding the impact of the built environment on schools.Ever think about your school days and wonder how you managed to learn anything in a cold, depressing classroom? Or maybe you were more privileged and sat in an inspiring space surrounded by nature?Either way there’s a good chance you will enjoy this great interview with one of the speakers at FOOTPRINT+If a school feels important, feels loved, the students respect it that little bit more… kids are very impressionable. So even if it’s painted, if it’s kept clean, it will just perpetuate that idea.The problem with a lot of this is how do you measure attainment and academic performance? And that’s the real complexity.About Dr. Joe Jack WilliamsDr Joe Jack Williams is an Associate and researcher at FCBStudios and, alongside Ian Taylor, leads environmental research at the practice, identifying, developing and enabling research across sectors and projects.His specialism is the influence of the school building on the students studying within, measuring perceptions, environmental performance and building forms as well as predicting, measuring and mitigating carbon impacts of architecture.He has taught at a number of universities in the UK and is part of core research groups within Architects Declare, CIBSE and LETI.
We are delighted to reach another milestone on the 17th May 2022 – when we publish our 30th episode. It’s been a wonderful journey so far and we are very happy to have a great guest to mark this special occasion.“..When I give lectures, I ask the question, what’s the relationship between architecture and shoes, and I show a picture of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai…”Bryan Oknyansky is an international award-winning product architect known for inventing pioneering products that have taken him around the world as a lecturer and speaker. With 15 years of experience in the architecture, product and footwear design industries, Bryan has worked for leading architecture and design firms in the US, UK and China and has been invited as Guest Lecturer at design schools in the US, UK, Russia and China.Bryan talks to Henry McDonald about what shoes, western and oriental architecture have in common as well as many other important topics!A lot of what I work on architecturally doesn’t land from outer space. It exists within a community that’s already there where people already live and work. The context is important. The townscape is important to forms. The kind of architectural decisions you make on what you believe would not only fit the client brief, but make something interesting and elevate the quality of the neighbourhood.Bryan is able to bridge the gap between technology and design because of his unique specialty in using the latest robotic manufacturing technologies like 3D printing to reinvent the world around us one product at a time. Setting his sights on reinventing the footwear industry, Bryan founded Shoes By Bryan in 2012 – a London-based fashion and technology start-up pioneering mass-market 3D printed footwear unique to every single foot in the world while also looking, and feeling, great.Being committed to visionary and technologically forward design, Bryan has picked up numerous awards including an American Institute of Architects Design Excellence Award, a Bernardo Footwear Sole Perspective Designer Award, and an Honorable Mention in the highly coveted Red Dot Product Design awards. As an internationally recognized thought leader in his field, Bryan’s award-winning works are regularly exhibited around the world in galleries and museums.In addition to directing a ground-breaking footwear brand, Bryan is a visiting lecturer at Regent’s University London School of Fashion and Design and consults to individuals, businesses and communities to foster new generations of designers and manufacturers. 
Henry McDonald speaks to Tim Rose, the Program Lead for the Energy Super Hub Oxford Project.Tim Rose is one of the speakers at FOOTPRINT+. He is a low-carbon consultant with 25 years in the renewable energy and aerospace sectors. And now through his role at Pivot Power, Tim is the program lead for the Energy Super Hub Oxford Project, a joint venture, combining the technologies for charging electric vehicles, large scale energy storage, and electrification of heat, which together form a core element of the city of Oxford’s ambitious decarbonisation plansWhat is Energy Superhub Oxford?About Energy Superhub OxfordOur Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network – connected to the National Grid’s high voltage electricity transmission network – will bring an unprecedented amount of power to Oxford for rapid vehicle charging, the charging of big vehicle fleets, and the addition of new chargers as demand grows.Our hybrid battery is the first of its type in the world to explore the synergies of lithium-ion and vanadium flow technology from flow specialists Invinity Energy Systems, who will incorporate a new Overdrive (extra power) mode into the battery.Innovative, small ‘shoebox’ ground source heat pumps will show one way in which we can help to eliminate the carbon associated with heating our homes and businesses.Our Optimisation and Trading Engine underpins the whole project. This will control the activity of the battery and the EV chargers so that they automatically use cheaper, cleaner electricity when available. The heat pumps will also use newly developed smart controls to optimise comfort and cost for residents.The Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is one of three demonstrator projects part-funded by the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund under its “Prospering from the Energy Revolution” (PFER) programme. The PFER programme is about delivering innovation in smart local energy systems.
We are delighted to announce that we will be going to FOOTPRINT+ as a media partner for this exciting event which takes place in Brighton on 7-9 June 2022. Our three guests will leave you in no doubt about the value of attending FOOTPRINT+.  In our opinion, this event is a much-needed model that should ideally be replicated around the world.What is FOOTPRINT+ FOOTPRINT+ will gather representatives from every sector of the UK construction and property market to discuss and discover how to action state of the art methods to achieve Net Zero in construction and real estate.The exhibition space enables stakeholders and experts to meet face-to-face, learn from each other and build the relationships required for putting sustainable solutions into practice.Emily Day, an award-winning architect and one of the founders of FOOTPRINT+Emily speaks about how the event came about, what you can expect of it, and who will be there.“Footprint Plus is a place where everybody from the whole broad spectrum of different disciplines within construction, architecture, property, and engineering can get together and learn from one another about all of the different initiatives that we’re all introducing.No one initiative is going to solve all of the problems. But together, we can share knowledge on all the good things that we’re doing and accelerate the progress that the industry needs to make to reduce the carbon emissions that we’re responsible for.”About EmilyEmily Day is a chartered architect with over 20 years of experience working on large-scale projects. Emily has worked with many key players within the industry; local authorities, developers, and financial institutions which have given her a unique insight into the needs of the different partiesLocal authority clients have included:City of NottinghamLondon Borough of HackneyRoyal Borough of Kensington and ChelseaRutland CouncilNorth Devon District CouncilCornwall CouncilProjects completed include major residential developments and urban planning, mixed-use developments, speculative office, hospitality, educational estates, and community developments up to £6bn in value.Tim Rose, Program Lead for the Energy Super Hub Oxford ProjectTim Rose is one of the speakers at FOOTPRINT+. He is a low-carbon consultant with 25 years in the renewable energy and aerospace sectors. And now through his role at Pivot Power, Tim is the program lead for the Energy Super Hub Oxford Project, a joint venture, combining the technologies for charging electric vehicles, large scale energy storage, and electrification of heat, which together form a core element of the city of Oxford’s ambitious decarbonisation plansDr. Joe Jack Williams, associate, and researcher at FCB StudiosDr. Joe Jack Williams is an associate researcher and Passive House consultant at British architectural design firm FCPS, established in 1978, and known for its pioneering work in sustainable design and the social design agenda, Joe led the development of FCB’s carbon tool that estimates the whole life carbon of a building to inform design decisions prior to detailed design.
In Episode 27 of the Constructive Voices Podcast, Henry Mc Donald speaks to Craig Applegath, architect, urban designer, and zero-carbon building pioneer, to discuss his work with DIALOG on the “Supertall” Hybrid Wood Tower and the Zero-Carbon Mass Timber Projects. Craig is internationally recognised for his design and advocacy of zero-carbon regenerative buildings and cities, as well as mass timber design. In the episode, he speaks to us about the urgency in the construction industry to focus on zero-carbon buildings, how we have the technology to do it – we just need the leadership and the will.  Read more about Craig and his projects here!“One cubic meter of wood stores one metric tonne of CO2. That’s a lot. So really having a building that 70% made of wood is a way of storing huge amounts of CO2.”“There has to be the will of the society and our government leadership to drive [a zero-carbon future] down the tracks. We’ve got all the technology we need. And there’s huge opportunities.”“70% of all the materials used in a tall building are in the floor system. So that was the opportunity to use mass timber CLT. And, and that was also the opportunity for us to design a long span CLT mass timber floor system, which is one of the real innovations here”About Craig ApplegathArchitect, urban designer, and a pioneer in the planning and design of zero-carbon buildings and campuses, climate adaptation, and regenerative cities, Craig is a principal and founding partner of DIALOG’s Toronto studio. Trained as a biologist, and then as an architect and urban designer, Craig is passionate about finding planning and design solutions that make sense in a world challenged by climate change and environmental deterioration. Since graduating from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University with a Master of Architecture in Urban Design, Craig has focused on leading complex, sustainable planning and design projects, and is internationally recognized for his design and advocacy of zero-carbon regenerative buildings and cities, as well as mass timber design. Craig’s area of practice at DIALOG includes the master planning and design of institutional and tall mass timber projects. In addition to his professional practice responsibilities, Craig writes, speaks and teaches about his research and design explorations at conferences and workshops internationally.This has included recent presentations at conferences, including the UN Habitat III Conference in Prague, the World Future Council Conferences in Munich and Beijing, at the International Living Futures Institute Conference in Portland, and most recently, at the American Institute of Architects Students Conference in Toronto. Craig has just completed teaching a Masters of Architecture seminar course with Alex Lukachko of RDH at the University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture that explores architecture and planning for adaptation to sea level rise caused by anthropogenic climate change.  Craig also hosts the Twenty First Century Imperative podcast, where he explores the questions of how will we continue to live on our planet without destroying our biosphere; how will we repair and regenerate the environmental damage we have already caused; and how will we successfully adapt to the escalating impacts of climate change? 
In Episode 26 of the Constructive Voices podcast, Henry Mc Donald speaks to David Burczyk, Construction Robotics Lead at Trimble Connected Construction, and Mark Crawford, Business Manager at Balfour Beatty, to speak about their exciting collaboration, Spot the Robot, who could be our future new co-worker on construction sites.Robotics platforms such as Spot have huge potential in making construction sites safer, more efficient and more streamlined places of work. From covering repetitive tasks on-site, mitigating health and safety risks to employees, and delivering real-time data, we could be seeing the future of construction sites unfold before our eyes.“It can undertake any surveying, monitoring or capture activity on on any site that you know there are certain limitations and restrictions.” Mark Crawford“They’re there to do the tasks that are the unsafe task, the repetitive tasks, or even, just the the ones that you don’t want to have a person having to do that kind of work on a day to day basis – let the teams on site focus on the higher value tasks.” David Burczyk“There’s finite availability of labor and resource availability, whether that’s skilled or unskilled, the UK as well as the global market. Spot very much complements that workforce.” Mark Crawford“I like to call it a “collaborative robot” or a “co-bot”, and it’s there to supplement the teams that are on site.” David Burczyk“If you look at the full power cycle of it, our energy cycle usage, then it’s a sustainable model as well” Mark CrawfordAbout David Burczyk, Construction Robotics Lead at Trimble Connected ConstructionDavid Burczyk is the Construction Robotics Lead at Trimble where he is responsible for the business area management and the strategic product development of the Trimble construction robotics solutions. With over twenty years of AEC industry experience promoting technology and collaboration among design and construction teams, David is focused on the development and implementation of tailored construction robotic solutions to advance the field productivity of AEC contractors, architects, and engineers.About Mark Crawford, Business Manager at Balfour BeattyMark Crawford is the business manager for Balfour Beatty and is responsible for looking after digital and survey. He has been with Balfour Beatty for just over two years. Prior to that, he spent a year with Trimble, working with for one of their UK distributor distribution partners in the geospatial side. He started off working in finance, commercial and then his strong forte on survey lead his to where he is now, working one the digitisation of traditional surveys. 
In Episode 25 of the Constructive Voices podcast, Henry McDonald speaks to Farah Naz, award-winning climate change strategist, in our International Women’s Day special. Farah provides her professional and personal experience, with global insights, into where we stand in relation to the gender gap in the construction, engineering and architecture industries.Farah and Henry discuss her experience as a woman in the AEC sector, what we all need to do to address gender bias in the industry, and how we can look at gender diversity as an opportunity instead of a problem to solve.“The pandemic has actually showed us how new way of working and doing business. And we should be taking this approach, taking this is as an opportunity to really address the issues of gender diversity, to really address inclusion and diversity within our workplace, and also address how we can inspire the next generation.”“So I think it starts from not just women in the industry, but also the men, and anybody who is part of this industry to really engage more time and effort to actually go out and talk to the younger generation, talk to our children. It starts from our homes, to start creating that role model effect. And also explaining the power of this industry in creating a better, more resilient future.”“We really require a co-creative environment, collaboration and diverse thinking to resolve the climate emergency. It’s not just women, or it’s not just men, it’s together.”“Because women have to play a lot of roles: a role of a daughter, a role of a friend, a role of a sister, or a mother. I think that wiring of brain kind of helps to women to look at all these climate diversity and challenges we have, and come up with a more collaborative way of co-creating the future.”About Farah Naz, Award-Winning Climate Change StrategistFarah Naz is an award-winning Climate Change strategist with over 20 years experience in the construction sector gained in the USA, UK, Southeast Asia and most recently the United Arab Emirates (UAE). She is a Chartered Engineer (UK), Fellow of CIBSE, LEED and WELL AP and Verified Research Expert for Dubai Future Foundation. Farah chairs CIBSE UAE Chapter and is an advocate of STEM education for the future generation. Farah recently co-authored a book on Net Zero City, which is considered the first book published from the Middle East Region.For the past few years, Farah has been based in UAE, where she has been steering sustainability and innovation in the built environment covering the entire Middle East, Saudi Arabia and wider Gulf Region. She leads Specialist Services with a focus on Sustainable Cities, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and Urban Resilience for AECOM across the Middle East and Africa.Farah was a prime mover in creating the Energy Strategy for the first zero-energy building in the UK, which subsequently won the 2015 RIBA Sustainable Buildings Award (UK). In the Middle East, her name has become a synonym for implementable sustainability & energy strategy among others, linked to projects including Museum of the Future, the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, the Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah, Expo 2020 Sustainability Pavilion, Masdar Eco Villa, Masdar Housing. Master planning projects like NEOM, Red Sea, Amaala and Hudayriat Master Plan. Her projects, Sustainability Pavilion in Dubai expo, Masdar Housing and Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah is the winner of the Best Sustainability Project of the year award for the last three consecutive years in the Middle East Region.In her innovating role, she focuses on implementation best practices within the built environment, adopting systems related to Energy Water Food Nexus, Biomimetics, Five Capital model of Sustainability, Liveability and Inclusive Integrated Innovation Frameworks, which will build the foundation of the cities and communities of the future.
Henry Mc Donald interviews Charlie Winton, founder of OK+ Positive, to discuss the silent challenge that is alarmingly prominent throughout the Construction Industry – Mental Health.With the industry facing challenges like skilled labour shortages and rising material costs, mental health is often overlooked in construction. Henry and Charlie explore the stigma around mental health within the industry, the lack of support available for those suffering, and how your organisation can help your team.“The suicide rate in construction is three times more than the UK average”“The problem is, no matter how many resources you have, if you’re not engaging your people to look at it, to involve themselves in it, to help others with it, then it’s going to be sitting there like any other resource that you’re forced to do each day”“Your mental health is just like your physical health, the more you work out, the more you look after yourself, the more you exercise – the healthier you are, the fitter you are. It’s the same with mental health. Treat it like you treat your body and look after it because it’s the only one you’ve got. And it’s just as important, if not more important, than your physical health.”“For every pound you spend on mental health support for your employees, you get five pounds back in productivity.”About Charlie Winton and the OK+ Positive AppCharlie’s career began with hands-on experience in the construction industry working in scaffolding, before moving into recruitment and financial technology. Now he is the founder of OK+ Positive.The OK Positive app is a B2B mental health application, which utilises machine learning and AI to preempt mental health triggers enabling an earlier stage of intervention. As an employee, you get a wide range of mental health services, tailored to you as an individual, with complete anonymity. As a business, you can see the overall aggregated mood trends of your business, and where the issues are.There are three forms of mental health support in the world: preventative, proactive, and reactive. 90% of the solutions in the world focus on being proactive or reactive to a problem, without focusing on preventative. Ok+ positive want to be able to prevent these issues before they become too serious.
Henry McDonald interviews Brian Berry, the Chief Executive of the FMB, to explore the future of Retrofitting UK homes.Retrofitting your home involves taking energy upgrade measures to improve the energy efficiency of the building, reducing both to your energy bills and your carbon emissions. Henry discusses what we can do to make our homes greener – from LED lightbulbs to heat pumps, and the range of challenges facing the retrofitting industry – including lack of government incentives and skilled labour shortages.“Retrofit is a market that needs to be developed. We need countries to learn from one another about how to adapt existing buildings, the wider issues about embodied carbon and how you go about reducing that. So retrofit, I think, will be on the agenda for many years to come.”“If we’re going to actually kickstart the retrofit market in a serious way, we need the government to commit to this and put in a range of incentives to start the retrofit market.”About Brian Berry, the Chief Executive of the FMB Brian Berry is the Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders. He is also a member of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and Chair of the CLC Domestic Repair Maintenance & Improvement Working Group. Prior to his current position Brian was Director of External Affairs at the FMB with responsibility for UK and EU policy, public affairs and media relations. Before the FMB, he worked at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), where he was Head of UK Public Policy. Brian regularly provides commentary on construction issues for television, national and trade press.
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