It’s over to Jo for week 3 of the #GLMInstagramTakeover – Jo McClelland is an Associate Director, Architect and Sustainability Lead at GLM as well as being a busy Mum of 2, working through both roles to bring about change in the construction industry and the wider world to look after what we have. Expect some good hard thinking material from Jo’s #WorldoftheFuture and a look at what we’re doing today! To continue the conversation with Jo, connect with her on LinkedIn here!
- (Image : Above, Centre) Go to the Cobblers
I grew up going to the cobblers to repair shoes, watches, zips… and they don’t cost anywhere as much as a building. The next generation need us to maintain our buildings.
I imagine a future where you won’t be able to rent or sell a property without Planned Preventative Maintenance in place. It will become so unattractive in the market, to not have a maintenance plan in place, that the value of your property will deteriorate without it. Letting agents will include a filter on their search engines identifying properties with it. Developers will build in maintenance operators to their viability costs. There will be VAT on reactive maintenance. There will be zero VAT on planned preventative maintenance.
Set yours up here
For Listed buildings or if you need help please ask a Chartered Building Surveyor.
For shoes ask a cobbler
- (Images : Below) Aggregated Response to Net Zero
This is the Net-Zero Roadmap for Edinburgh and the top carbon saving measures are, retrofit to existing buildings followed by walking and cycling.
As we know the retrofit measures must be apropriate for the existing building construction type. Some buildings will be physically unable to achieve zero carbon. They should be seen in the aggregate with the total building stock, whereby other buildings can achieve better-than results. We need an aggregated response to operational and embodied carbon. This must be done at scale and in a holistic manner to achieve carbon reduction targets.
I envisage the city plan identifying retrofit measures for listed buildings, solid wall construction, cavity wall construction, residential and commercial, ownership and tenure amongst other criteria.
- (Image : Top, Centre) Build Nothing
Let’s not make any more embodied carbon. Let’s maximise the reuse of the embodied carbon we already have. Unlike operational carbon emissions, which can be reduced over time with appropriate building retrofit and the use of renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions are locked in place as soon as a building is built.
We can retain and reuse embodied carbon by maintaining existing buildings, renovating underused or vacant buildings and carefully deconstructing materials for reuse. A retention also retains the social value of the building or material.
This not only helps with the climate emergency but potentially with the housing crisis. The National Records of Scotland data shows that of the 2.60 million dwellings in Scotland in 2017, 105,000 (4%) were unoccupied. These unoccupied dwellings include second homes (25,700, 1% of all dwellings) and vacant properties (79,200, 3% of all dwellings). Vacant properties include new homes which are yet to be occupied, and dwellings which are empty and awaiting demolition, amongst others.
- (Image : Below, Left) Reuse of Building Elements
Today in NW-Europe, only 1% of building elements are reused following their first application. Although a large number of elements are technically reusable, they end up being recycled by crushing or melting, or disposed. The result is a high environmental impact and a net loss of economic value. (Don’t get me started on the social impact.)
The FCRBE are carrying out pilot projects facilitating the circulation of reclaimed building elements.
Please watch this video!
Back in Scotland, GLM carry out the same Pre Demolition Audits, and have completed a Pilot project with Zero Waste Scotland.
- (Image : Above, Centre) Transparency Tag of Building Elements
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products in a credible way. Where the EPD is the final report, the foundation of any EPD is a lifecycle assessment (LCA).
An Environmental Product Declaration on existing materials for reuse must be next?
- (Image : Above, Right) Free Deconstruction/Free Materials for Sale
Commercial opportunities should be sought to support the reuse economy.
Building materials are independently scheduled and valued, the building owner agrees to donate the scheduled material, the value of the donation can be large enough to pay for the costs of deconstruction.
The ReUse People of America (@thereusepeopleofamerica), do just this. They do this to reduce the solid waste stream and change the way the built environment is renewed by salvaging building materials and distributing them for reuse. The ReUse People is a nonprofit organization. The ReUse People also provide skills training in deconstruction.
Deconstruction involves the careful dismantling of buildings with the goal of preserving reusable materials. Whereas nearly anyone with sufficient strength can wield a sledgehammer, a properly trained deconstruction worker knows how to disassemble a building in the correct order, using the appropriate tools, with minimal damage. He or she is able to handle materials deftly, organize them strategically and prepare them for safe shipment. Triple bottom line!
- (Images : Above) The Next Project
Super Circular Estate: Circular versus conventional building process
This innovative urban action is to experiment with new circular economy processes aimed at 100% reusing and recycling of materials acquired from the demolition of an outdated social housing high-rise flat.
Four pilot housing units will be built with different reuse/recycle techniques using materials acquired from the circular demolition of one of the high-rise social housing buildings. These will be compared in order to assess their viability and replicability. The harvested materials from the high-rise flat will be brought back to resources in 24 material flows, e.g. the surfaced timber will be restored to wood for reuse/recycle purposes. In line with circularity principles, former inhabitants will be invited back into the area. These potential tenants will be strongly involved in the co-design, operation and monitoring of the new collaborative economy services and facilities (such as a shared mobility platform and a social services centre) within the area. The project will generate 805.000 kilo of CO₂ emissions less, compared to the construction of a new high-rise flat. Besides the project will experiment with innovative techniques for water reuse by testing a closed water cycle initiative for social housing.
Watch the Video – it’s worth it!
- (Images : Above) Have a Goal
I imagine shared communal facilities will support alternative education, flexible working, start up businesses, childcare, food security and the ageing population. Recycling stations will become social spaces! Truly raising the value of materials and waste – https://lendager.com/en/architecture/local-recycling-centre-nordhavn/
Sounds a dream compared to the bins on my street! Roll on COP26!
- (Image : Above, Right) Build a Future
We will be forced to use others to survive. Collaboration will become the most important thing, with neighbours and colleagues, corporations will support independents, skills will be shared across continents, competitors will become allies, work will be in kind.
Head over to our Instagram – @weareglm – and follow along as Aythan Lewes (Image : Above, Right) takes over Week 4!