THE WORLD’S GREENEST BUILDINGS #5

This article is the fifth part of a multi-part series looking into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer. I thought the book was excellent and if you can get hold of a copy, it comes highly recommended from me.

Federal Environmental Agency, Dessau

This week we will be looking at the Federal Environmental Agency building in Dessau, Germany. For such an architecturally stunning building, it is a shame that it was not given a better name.

This building made the shortlist principally because of these architectural qualities, which include the main office wing being shaped like a snake shaped loop and a stunning façade. It was able to marry these qualities with good actions on sustainability.

One of the first features that stood out was the glazed sawtooth roof on the atrium. This helps to prevent heat loss from the offices in winter and assists with natural ventilation in the summer.

In addition, a 2,475 – sq-ft, 32-kWp PV system is integrated into the glazing of the sawtooth roof and provides sun protection and power for the building. An additional 4,757 sq ft of PV with 68 kWp of output was installed after the building had opened.

Other services on the roof include 2325 sq ft of vacuum-tube heat-pipe solar collectors, these help to cool parts of the building via an absorption chiller.

In terms of heating, the building is predominantly heated using a geothermal heat exchanger. This consists of 3 miles of underground pipes and was at one point the worlds largest geothermal heat exchanger. Further services include heat recovery equipment attached to the air intake and exhaust systems.

There is no air conditioning in the building, rather the building is cooled with natural ventilation with windows.  In the summer, the earth-to-air heat exchanger helps to supplement this and further cools the building.

The building experienced similar commissioning challenges with other high-performance buildings on this list. But once these were optimised, the building went on to achieve extremely high levels of performance.

The building recorded an energy performance in 2008 of 99.7 kWh / sq m, which is highly impressive for a large building with multiple uses.

What you need to know   

This article is the fifth part in a multi-part series where I am picking out my favourite buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings.

Today was the turn of looking at the Federal Environment Agency building in Dessau, Germany.

This building stood out for its marrying of iconic architecture and energy efficiency.

Like other building owners on this list, as the environmental regulator in Germany, they likely felt under pressure to deliver a highly sustainable building that demonstrated their credentials. With this, they have achieved that goal.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

THE WORLD’S GREENEST BUILDINGS #4

This article is the fourth part of a multi-part series looking into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer. I thought the book was excellent and it comes highly recommended from me.

Johnson Controls Campus

Out of all the case studies in this book, this one jumped out for its commitment to accelerating sustainability across an entire campus of buildings. The results achieved across the portfolio stood out as being significant.

The Johnson Controls Campus is located in Glendale, Wisconsin. It is reportedly the site with the largest concentration of LEED Platinum buildings.

Similar to the other building owners in this series, Johnson Controls, because of the nature of their business felt under pressure to deliver a campus that pushed the boundaries of sustainable design and construction and with the Glendale campus they have done just that.

The first feature on the campus that jumped out at me was the geothermal system that is used for heating and cooling. Out of town campus facilities have an advantage over their city centre high-rise counterparts. The space that is available and the reduction of underground utility services and underground transportation services like subway lines and tube lines means that the design team can think bigger and implement solutions that would not be possible in a dense urban area.

The geothermal system that was used takes advantage of the earth’s constant temperature to heat or cool the water used by the HVAC equipment. To build this, they drilled 275 wells, which supplies water to the heat pumps and the chillers. Each well was about 100m deep and in total 54.5 km of plastic piping connects the wells to the indoor HVAC equipment. This system reduces winter heating costs by 29% versus a traditional gas boiler and reduces summer cooling costs by 23%.

The campus is also powered with two solar PV systems. There is a 1,452-panel array, which supplies 350 kw and 1,300 sq m of thin film PV cells generate 135 kw.

One of the most impressive features was the efficiency with which the campus supplies its lighting. The national average in the United States is 1.5 watts per sq ft, whereas the Johnson Controls Campus only consumes 0.45-0.65 watts per sq ft.

This was achieved with 70+ skylights that bring in natural light. There are also automatic adjusters on the window shades that vary to keep the building well lit with the least amount of artificial lighting.

All the building operating systems are tied into an intelligent BMS, which has more than 51,000 data points. This allows the temperature and lighting to be accurately monitored and controlled from a single point on the campus, with or without human intervention.

Some other features that I liked and that I thought were interesting include: green roofs on the buildings, low flow water fixtures, rainwater harvesting which is used to flush the toilets and a solar thermal system which supplies 30% of the hot water needs of two buildings.

A success point of the campus development, saw energy use fall by 21%, even though the amount of office space doubled. This allows the campus to rely on a normalised energy use of 255 kWh/sq m.

What you need to know   

This article is the fourth part in a multi-part series where I am picking out my favourite sustainable buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings.

Today was the turn of looking at the Johnson Controls Campus in Glendale, Wisconsin.

I though it was impressive how sustainable initiatives were used across the campus to drive down energy and water use, while maintaining it as an attractive location to work.

As a company that produces technology for the built environment, they no doubt felt under pressure to create a campus that highlighted their sustainability credentials and with this, they have achieved that.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

THE WORLD’S GREENEST BUILDINGS #3

This article is the third part of a multi-part series looking into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer. I thought the book was really good and the last two parts have been well received.

Great River Energy Headquarters

Out of all the case studies in this book, this one jumped out for its commitment to generating energy on site. This is not surprising as the owner and occupant is an energy company.

The Great River Energy Building is located in Maple Grove Minnesota. It was commissioned by its owner Great River Energy, who are the second largest electricity supplier in Minnesota.

At the origins of the building there was an ambition to push the boundaries of sustainable design and construction. As an energy company, they wanted the new headquarters to be a showpiece of efficiency and to contribute to an evolution in green design.

 As the building was in an out of town location, the company negotiated a deal with the local transport authority to allow employees to park at the old office and get a bus to the new office. Out of town campuses allow a degree of space that can make on site renewable electricity generation possible. But can increase transport costs for employees, this solution resolved that.

The building comes equipped with some really impressive features to deliver on their energy efficiency ambitions.

One of these was daylighting. To maximise this, the building’s long axis runs east-west, orienting most of the glass to face the north and south, reducing solar gain on the east and west sides.

The need for artificial lighting is recued further by having narrow floor plates that allow daylight to reach the building’s core.

Further measures include atriums that bring light into the centre, walls are lower to facilitate more light reaching workstations and windowed interior walls bring in natural light from the perimeter. There is also a whole host of smart lighting technologies to further reduce electricity demand for lighting as well as high performance window coatings.

These all contribute to a 40% reduction in lighting energy demand.

One unique feature that the building has is a lake-source geothermal heating and cooling system, combined with underfloor displacement ventilation.

Interestingly, the lake is man made. The system works to extract heat from the building in summer and absorb warmth from the lake in the winter. The building has 70 heat pumps, which is the main mechanical system. Despite the conditions in Minnesota, the building does not have a chiller or a boiler.

The building also has an eye catching 200-kW wind turbine, combined with solar arrays, mounted both at ground and roof level, which together generate 6% of the building’s energy.

The building comes equipped with a highly intelligent building management system. This monitors lighting levels, temperature, CO2 concentrations, and occupancy levels and adjusts accordingly to minimise the amount of energy required. This contributes to the overall reduction in energy use of 40%.

The plumbing system uses rainwater harvesting and low flow fixtures to reduce water use by 74%. There is a 75,700L underground cistern that collects rainwater and snow melt for the building.  This water is then sanitised and use for toilets and urinals.

Post occupancy the building underwent a lengthy 2-year commissioning period to make the necessary adjustments and to understand the building’s performance under real life conditions.

The building was able to achieve the following energy performance. It has a total annual energy use of 3,086,814 kWh with an intensity of 200 kWh/sq m.

What you need to know   

This article is the third part in a multi-part series where I am picking out my favourite sustainable buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings.

Today was the turn of looking at the Great River Energy Headquarters building in Maple Grove Minnesota.

This building stands out for its commitment to generating energy on site. The lake-source geothermal heating system and rainwater harvesting systems are also very innovative and effective.

As an out of town office building the looks are not as important as the footfall close to the building is not that high. That being said, I find the wind turbine and solar arrays eye catching and they more than make up for the box like nature of the building.

The building makes use of a number of sustainable design techniques to make real energy and carbon savings making it a highly sustainable building.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

THE WORLD’S GREENEST BUILDINGS #2

This article is the second part of a multi-part series looking into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer.

I thought the book was really interesting. The article last week was well received, so I will continue to pick out some more case studies over the coming weeks.

41 Cooper Square

Out of all the case studies, 41 Cooper Square jumped out at me for its stunning architecture. Sustainable buildings need not be compromised architecturally and this building is testament to that.

41 Cooper square is located in New York City and was the first academic building in New York to be LEED Platinum certified.

The building houses the School of Art, Architecture and Engineering. The idea behind the design was very much to inspire the students that pass through the building during its lifecycle. I know architecture can be very subjective, but I find the shapes aesthetically pleasing.

The building comes equipped with some less conventional features. These include: a sculpted mesh façade, a full height sky-lit atrium, aluminium window walls, a four-story central staircase and sky bridges. The aim of all of these was to create an inspiring workspace for students and staff.

The façade, which as well as being eye catching, serves a dual sustainability purpose. A semi-transparent layer of perforated metal panels wraps the exterior window walls. These create a continually varying façade, which insulates in the winter and provides the building with shade in the summer.

41 Cooper Square had several sustainability features that caught my eye.

Radiant heating and cooling panels introduce innovative HVAC technology that boosts the energy efficiency of the building. This is one of the key features that makes the building 40% more energy efficient than a comparable research building.

The full height atrium improves air flow and provides increased interior daylighting, saving electricity. Across the building this strategy has meant that 75% of the buildings regularly occupied spaces are lit by natural daylight.

The building also comes with a green roof, a feature that I am a big fan of. This insulates the building and reduces the heat island effect, reduces storm water runoff. Water harvested from the green roof is reused within the building.

In terms of power, the building comes equipped with a cogeneration plant that provides additional power to the building when required. The advantage of generating the power on site, is that it reduces transmission losses and it allows you to capture the waste heat and use it productively, reducing energy costs.

The performance data of the building comes in as follows. The building has a total energy use of 8,745,257 kWh, with an intensity of 538 kWh/sq m. Which is a strong performance for a building in its class.

What you need to know   

This article is the second part in a multi-part series where I am picking out my favourite sustainable buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings.

Today was the turn of looking at 41 Cooper Square.

Architecturally, this is probably my favourite case study in the building. Looks are important. If sustainable Architecture is to become more mainstream it is important that the building is eye catching to passers by and inspirational to occupants. This building does just that.

I like the combination of aesthetic features with effective sustainability features, proving that it is possible to have both.

There is probably not as many technological breakthroughs this case study, but it ticks all the boxes for a green building and there is a lot to like about it.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

THE WORLD’S GREENEST BUILDINGS #1

This article looks into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer. I just finished reading the book, which you can find in the picture below. I thought it was an interesting read and it was clearly a very well researched book.

The book takes a hard look at promise versus performance in sustainable design. Following up with building occupants and architects to see if superior performance was actually achieved.

Even though the book came out in 2013, I was amazed by how many innovative features, that resulted in real savings have yet to become commonplace within the built environment.

The book looked at 49 best in class case studies from around the world and over the next few weeks I will pick out what I considered to be my favourites.

Manitoba Hydro Place

This case study jumped out at me as it dispelled a lot of rumours about sustainable design and the climates that are more amenable to low carbon buildings.

Located in Winnipeg Canada, which the coldest city in the world with a population over 600,000 and which experiences sustained wind throughout the year. Despite these harsh conditions, the designers used a series of integrated solutions to deliver 66% energy savings compared to a traditional office building in Canada.

At the genesis of the project, an Integrated Design Process (IDP) was established. One outcome of this was a charter, signed by all of the companies working on the project. This committed everyone to achieve high levels of performance on sustainability, wellbeing, and urban regeneration whilst at the same time being cost effective.

Further intensive workshops at the start of the project revealed that an architecturally integrated solar chimney and winter gardens with water features, could be two unique features that would help the building to stand out.

I liked the phrase solar chimney as it linked a traditional feature of a chimney from the past, to the present with solar design.

The building made use of passive solar design to maximise heat gains in winter and reduce heat losses in winter. For the façade, there is an aluminium double-glazed curtain wall that creates a buffer zone that traps heat. The building is equipped with two weather stations, that are linked to the outer curtain and these are opened or closed as appropriate to maintain a stable inside temperature.

If conditions are appropriate, the building management system is also configured to message employees to open the interior wall windows so that they can control temperatures in their local workspace. I was really impressed by these features.

The building is well equipped with smart sensors that make the most efficient use of lighting possible. In winter, fans draw air down the solar chimney to heat-recovery units. This helps to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature with a low amount of energy use.

Inside the offices, a geothermal heat pump system is the primary active heating and cooling system, providing 80% of the heating requirements.

In term of occupant wellbeing, the combination of the solar chimney, the winter garden and the water feature creates an indoor air quality and working environment that is extremely pleasant in all four seasons.

The building has a green roof that is accessible to employees that was planted with native species. Should their be a dry period, there is a collection system within the building that collects condensation from mechanical systems. If required, this can be pumped to the garden and distributed via a drip irrigation system. This was a very climate smart feature to deal with the increased potential of longer and hotter summer periods.

The culmination of all of these efforts resulted in the IDP achieving the goals that they set out to achieve and created a successful, sustainable building, that performs strongly for occupant wellbeing and that is also architecturally very nice to look at.

The energy intensity of the building comes in at 112 kWh/ sq m. Which when compared to other green buildings identified in the book and elsewhere is  a very strong performance. When the harsh climactic conditions are taken into account, this feat becomes even more impressive.

What you need to know   

This article is the first part in a series of articles where I am picking out my favourite sustainable buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Greenest Buildings.

I really enjoyed the book and I think it is really important to look back at performance data to see if solutions actually worked and not just rely on projected performance data.

Overall, Manitoba Hydro Place as one of my favourite buildings from the book. I was really impressed by the teamwork aspect in creating the IDP.

The focus on passive systems to negate the reliance on active heating and cooling systems was impressive, as was the focus on technology, with a building management system that is set up to talk to building occupants to optimise performance. Sadly despite the time that has passed since publication, systems like this are not commonplace today, despite their effectiveness.

There is a lot that can be learned from studying Manitoba Hydro Place. In challenging climactic conditions, they managed to create a building which achieved significant energy savings. This shows how in less extreme conditions, even bigger savings should be expected.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

CIRCULAR ECONOMY PRINCIPLES PART 3

This article looks into circular economy principles. This is the final part in a three-part series looking into this topic.

It is based on the work of David Cheshire and his book Building Revolutions.

In part one, which you can find here, we looked into the principle of designing out waste. In part two, which you can find here, we looked into the principle of building to last and adapt. Both are crucial to delivering the circular economy within the built environment.

Principle 3: Obey the technical or biological cycle

This principle is about selecting building components that flow in either a technical or biological cycle. This will vary depending on their expected lifespan, what they are being used for and what is available.

Materials that are part of the technical cycle are durable and are suitable for reuse, remanufacture and disassembly.

Materials that are part of the biological cycle are less durable but are simpler to return to the biosphere at the end of their useful life.

The key is to select materials with the right lifecycle for the intended purpose.

Designing for disassembly is something that would make a really big difference for advancing the circular economy within the built environment. However, it is still something that there is a lot of room for improvement on. In Building Revolutions, David Cheshire had the following to say:

“It is conceivable, though rarely done, to have a strategy for reclaiming components and materials at end-of-life, and to enable disassembly of the building.

It is understandable why this is not seen as a priority. As when you are constructing a new building, the primary focus is on how it will perform for its primary function and the costs of doing so. But for achieving circularity in the built environment it is important that more emphasis is put on design for disassembly.

In a survey of demolition contractors, they point out that techniques such as having mechanical and reversible not chemical connections, ease of access to connections, independent a separable building elements and not using resins, adhesives or coatings on the elements can go a long way to making the deconstruction of the building simpler.

There are two really good examples in Building Revolutions. One is of the F87 Efficiency House Plus in Berlin by Werner Sobek, which is pictured below.

This project took the technical and biological materials cycle philosophy to the limit, meticulously selecting the correct material for its intended end use.

For materials that are recyclable at the end of their life, this included: cellulose insulation, recycled rubber as protective matting, wooden bearers for the structure of the roof and upper floors, hemp insulation and cork board.

At the end of the construction period, a manual was prepared that detailed the various materials that were used and the potential for reclamation or recycling.

Another example was project XX in Delft, which is pictured below.

The aim was to design an office building with a 20-year lifetime, on the basis that such buildings often undergo a major refurbishment roughly around this time.

The following criteria were used to select materials; they should be simple to reclaim as uncontaminated raw materials. They should be reusable without any alteration. They should be fully seperable and recyclable.

Interestingly on this project, they used ventilation ducts made of cardboard, which I have never seen or heard of before, with sand fill used on the first floor for sound insulation. It has proven to be very popular with occupants, showing that the focus on sustainability and circular principles enhanced value.

What you need to know

This article looked into circular economy principles.

This week we looked into biological and technical cycles and why it is important to select the correct material for a specific purpose.

No building is designed to last forever, so it is sensible to design buildings so that they can be demolished easily, and the parts sent for recycling and recovery to the greatest extent possible.

We looked at two highly successful, sustainable buildings which prove if circular economy principles are acted upon, that the result is a building that is highly desirable and sustainable at the same time.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to make the circular economy a reality in the built environment?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

CIRCULAR ECONOMY PRINCIPLES PART 2

This article looks into circular economy principles. This is the second part in a three-part series looking into this topic.

It is based on the work of David Cheshire and his book Building Revolutions.

In part one, which you can find here, we looked at how the principle of designing out waste is fundamental to achieving a circular economy within the built environment.

Principle 2: Build to Last & Adapt

The second principle is about creating structures that are built to last and that are adaptable. This should be no surprise, as if we go back to the original meaning of sustainability, it is about the capacity to endure or continue.

The adaptability part is probably what is less common, as it is probably not something that a significant amount of attention is paid to when the structure is being designed and built. This will have to change if progress is to be made on the circular economy within the built environment.

 Something that I found really interesting in the book was the Multispace concept. This is an idea where you construct a building with a set of parameters, so that it would be suitable for retail, leisure or office space, should that be required during the building’s lifetime.

Most of the building uses had pretty similar floor-to-ceiling height requirements, except retail, which had larger requirements. This can be accommodated by putting a higher ceiling on the ground floor, as that is the floor that is most likely to be converted to retail, if required.

In order to build buildings that can be reconfigured during their lifetimes, they need to be designed to be adaptable from the outset. David points towards a layered approach, which can help to make this possible:

“The use of a layered approach allows buildings to be flexed and adapted more readily. In particular, a separation between the primary structure, the facades, the services and the interiors of the building allows the structure to be retained whilst the façade is replaced, or the interiors be changed into new layouts whilst not being dictated by structural walls in awkward location.”

This seems like a sensible approach, that can prevent buildings being demolished well inside their lifecycle because of lack of planned in adaptability.

But although this is an approach which many would assume is intuitive, there are reasons and challenges for why this is not the case, which David alludes to:

“Designing for adaptability or deconstruction is hard to justify and is unlikely to happen unless it is part of a wider story that starts with reducing construction time on site, continues with the ability to retain value by adapting buildings to changing markets and concludes with the attractive idea of providing residual value rather than demolition costs.”

I thought this was nicely put by David. Overall, designing buildings that are built to last and be adaptable, is but one part of an overall strategy, that should look to take advantage of modern methods of construction and put sustainability at the heart of decision making.

What you need to know

This article was part two of my series looking into circular economy principles in the built environment.

Designing buildings that are built to last and that are adaptable is crucial to creating structures that last over time through multiple occupancies and end uses.

Strategies like paying attention to celling heights and using a layered approach should be used so that buildings can be reconfigured throughout their lifetimes, should that be required.

As is often the case it comes down to farsighted leadership which is required to make this happen.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to make the circular economy a reality in the built environment?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

CIRCULAR ECONOMY PRINCIPLES PART 1

This article is the first part in a three part series looking into circular economy principles and how they can be applied to the built environment.

I just finished reading Building Revolutions by David Cheshire, which I though was a really good book that I highly recommend. Even if you don’t work in the built environment, we all engage with an interact with buildings on a daily basis, and we all share a common interest that they be designed, built, used and demolished in the most efficient way possible. This book is packed full of ideas that will help to make this a reality.

Principles are something that is really important and are probably not talked about enough in sustainability.

I am minded to quote from Ray Dalio and his book Principles, which I thought was one of the best non-fiction books of recent years. He explained that:

Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behaviour that gets you what you want out of life. They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals.”

Whether we need more principles in sustainability is a good question, it is probably more the case that we just need to make better use of ones that already exist and make sure that they are properly applied in all cases.

Principle 1: Design out Waste

This is the sort of principle that is commonly associated with circular economy thinking. It is also the sort of principle that is really easy to pay lip service to and to not actually deliver in real life.

This principle is all about refitting and refurbishing buildings as opposed to demolishing the existing structure and starting again. Exponents of this principle see waste as a resource, that can be extracted and then put to productive use again. It is also about using lean design methodologies to create buildings that require fewer resources, with reduced complexity.

In the book, there is a really important figure from a RIBA paper called What colour is your building? Their research showed the following:

Roughly speaking, half the embodied carbon in a building is tied up in the foundations and the structure.”

For people wanting to adhere to the design out waste principle, this should make them think about whether they can retain the substructure and superstructure of the existing building and refurbish it. Rather than demolishing these and building new ones from scratch. These two elements are high carbon investments and should be treated as such.

A little later on there was a good observation about the conflict between a desire to build developments with low embodied carbon as well as strict adherence to circular economy principles. David Cheshire had the following to say:

Focusing only on reducing embodied carbon does not necessarily fit into the circular economy ideal, as it can drive designers to substitute highly recyclable (and recycled) materials, such as metals, with materials with lower embodied carbon – for example thermoset plastics, which are difficult to recycle. Also, focusing on embodied carbon does not consider the other impacts associated with mining and processing the raw materials, such as its scarcity or the impact on biodiversity of mining or drilling operations.”

This was an interesting perspective that I had not though much about before. It calls for a balanced approach, where circular economy principles and embodied carbon are traded off, with win-win solutions being the ideal outcome.

The section that was dedicated to designing out waste was really good and was packed full of useful information.

We already touched upon the need to refit and refurbish buildings where this is possible, because of the high amounts of carbon locked inside the building’s frame and foundations.

In terms of designing out waste on site, this can be achieved by moving from construction to production, with components made in factory settings and then delivered to site. It is important to always check that the waste created in the factory is put to good use.

Designing to match the standard size of sheets and panels is another way that waste can be substantially reduced on site.

Reusing components and materials is another hallmark of the designing out waste principle. Disappointingly there is a downward trend in using reclaimed materials in the UK.

The advice from David is that this cannot be an ad hock pursuit, but rather needs to be a primary consideration from the beginning of the project. From fit out components to bricks, kerbs and roof tiles, it is amazing what can be reclaimed from another site for use on a project. It is certainly not an easy thing to make happen, but it is worthwhile.

Another technique is lean design. This has a number of benefits. Each component in a building has its own lifecycle, with associated environmental costs, by aiming to have only the bare essentials, means that these costs can be reduced. This is something which if done correctly can reduce the embodied and operational carbon footprints simultaneously.

What you need to know

This article looked into designing out waste as a circular economy principle.

We looked into how the frame and the foundations are responsible for a significant proportion of a building’s carbon footprint, so if they can be retained, then savings can be made.

The we looked into a number of focus areas that are important if the design out waste principle is to be out into action, these include: refitting and refurbishing where possible, using offsite manufacturing techniques, reusing materials from other sites or industries and lean design.

Overall, I thought Building Revolutions was a great book and I will go into more detail on creating structures that are built to last in part two of this three-part series.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to make the circular economy a reality in the built environment?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

FANOCRACY – DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT & REIKO SCOTT

This book review looks into Fanocracy by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott.

As soon as I heard that David Meerman Scott had a new book coming out in 2020 I was immediately excited. It is very rare for me to buy a book more than once, but for The New Rules of Marketing & PR I bought the updated edition in 2017 after having previously read the second edition.

I probably make more notes in David’s books than in books by any other author, which you can see by the large number of sticky notes that I have placed in all three books.

There is just so much useful information on each page. Not just useful business or personal branding advice, but good life advice too.

This new book Fanocracy continues in a similar vein, with lots of great advice for the reader to take onboard an implement in their own life.

In the beginning, David and Reiko provide the following helpful explanation of what a fanocracy is:

Fandom is everywhere. It’s the key for any organisation, artist, solopreneur, or other entity to be successful in bringing people together. Fandom spans generations and subject matter to bind individuals together in excitement, purpose, and buying power. No matter whom you’re dealing with, understanding fandom is the cornerstone to your success.

We call this act of consciously bringing people together through a shared endeavour a fanocracy: an organization or person that honors fans and consciously fosters meaningful connections among them.

In a later chapter called The Power of a Fan-Centric Business they share another piece of helpful advice, with the following:

The relationships we build with our customers are more important than the products and services we sell to them.

I think this piece of advice is really important and it goes to the heart of what David teaches about in his books and seminars. Especially with the advent of the internet with pay per click advertising and online shopping, the internet can make the world seem like a more lonely place.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, the internet and social media can lead to more meaningful relationships than would be possible without. It just depends how you choose to use it.

A short while later, in another good chapter called Get Closer Than Usual there was a really interesting section on mirror neurons. This is a psychological phenomenon whereby neurons in our brain fire off when we observe others performing an activity, as if we were performing it ourselves.

An understanding of mirror neurons can help an individual or business gain fans. A lesson learned is that gaining fans is about gaining an understanding of what it is they need and want, and then delivering it. It is about serving others.

Later on, in a chapter called Give More Than You Have To, there was some really good advice on reciprocation and how it can help people and businesses to develop fans:

Fandom is built on human connection, and when you’re given something of value completely free and with no obligation, you tend to share your appreciation with others.”

A short while later there was a really good chapter called Tell the Truth, Especially When It Hurts. In it there were some good examples of how clickbait and use of misleading marketing online, may drive traffic in the short term, but is not a strategy that can drive sustained long-term engagement to develop real fans. As soon as people realise, they have been tricked, it is likely to leave them with a negative impression of that person or organisation.

In a later chapter called Develop Employees Who Are Fans, there was some really good advice on how important it is to hire and develop people who are passionate about what they do:

Authentic advocacy from inside your organisation will inspire the enthusiasm, enjoyment, and passion that create a fanocracy.”

In the penultimate chapter called A Passionate Life there is further advice on the same topic:

The best person at any job is the person who loves it the most.”

This is all really good advice to help people not only be successful at business and to develop a legion of fans, but also to lead fulfilling lives at the same time.

What you need to know

This book review looked into Fanocracy by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott.

I thought this was another good offering and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in marketing and branding. But there is plenty of good advice in the book that makes it applicable to anyone looking for something interesting to read.

There was a definite theme and story that was woven throughout the book, which I liked.

If I was going to be critical, I would say that the chapters by David were quite a bit better than his daughter Reiko’s ones. The chapters were at times somewhat lengthy and I am a fan of short sharp chapters.

But overall, I thought this book was excellent and I anticipate that I will be reaching for it on my bookshelf to find the relevant pages with the sticky notes that I left inside.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

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