Sunday, October 23, 2011

SB11 Helsinki World Sustainable Conference

And so the conference ends for another three years. This years SB11 Helsinki conference delivered on it's aim of involving the developing countries along with developed countries in discussing the case studies, evidence based design and new theories for sustainable buildings, communities and cities.

Key note speakers included the expected international expertise of those such as Ray Cole and Ger Maas, but also speakers such as Christophe Lalande from the UN Habitat and Cameron Sinclair, cofounder of Architecture for Humanity.

As usual the Australian contingent was well represented by university academics from the University of Melbourne and University of NSW, engineers, architects and designers, and enjoyed the company of international colleagues, including David Clark of Cundall, Chrisna du Plessis from University of Pretoria, and new found colleagues from Aalto University Finland.

Helsinki put on a city Hall function, free travel and plenty of design and shopping tours for all, even the Moomins.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

London Calling

London has been amazing. Met with our wonderful colleagues from Cundall and Alan Fogarty on all things sustainable in the UK and Europe.

There is much regeneration work going on here, particularly the work by Chris Brown at Igloo with projects such as Bermondsey Square.

Followed this with a visit to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the team in Watford, thanks Gavin Summerson, to learn about what's coming up in international BREEAM and the ISA.

Then onto an exciting session with the UK Green Building Council at the Building Centre. Anna Surgenor and the team provided a fantastic briefing on industry action locally.

It is interesting to see how far Australia has come in the area of Sustainability initiatives embedded into our commercial market. Productivity studies we have been undertaking over the past five years are still not considered as normal in the UK.

Add to this a briefing by Robyn Leeson, director of NetBalance, and her recent attendance in Europe for GRI and Sustainability reporting initiatives and it has been a fabulous couple of days.

Highlights have included

'Look Mum no Hands' cycling cafe in Clerkenwell near our studio, for great coffee , food and atmosphere not to mention the bike repair shop

and Babylon Restaurant in Kensington. Amazing food and even more amazing is an established 'green roof' rooftop gardens populated by pink flamingos and mallard ducks!