Sian Mitchell and Kate Vincent attended a very stimulating Ecobuild 2012 last week in London where views were exchanged with a whole range of co-professionals, in particular architects and planners working in organisations large and small. Sian reports, “It was very interesting to find that most people we met were from the private sector, but it’s also clear that a number in the public sector are looking for new ways to meet their environmental responsibilities”.
Discussions ranged widely from the detail of particular projects and how their environmental credentials can be enhanced, to the current Government’s strategic approach to biodiversity. Sian said, “There was a surprising amount of discussion around the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR. There was also interest in some of the things that should shake out of the White Paper, not least biodiversity offsetting and, as we expected, plenty of chat around building biodiversity into regeneration projects.”
Kate went on to comment, “We were fortunate to have our stand next to Green Roof Shelters who had an excellent stand sharing their good work on green roofs and urban re-planting. Together our stands really helped to drum home the message about the importance of biodiversity, even in a built setting”.
The day was extremely useful, and some of the wider discussions on recent developments with the budget and the review of the impact of the Habitats Directive were very insightful.
Increasing recognition of the role of biodiversity in new building
We have had a significant presence now at three Ecobuild events, and it is clear to us that interest in understanding and tackling the environmental impact of building projects is not slowing down. Interest and understanding in the specialist area of biodiversity is undoubtedly growing, and many non-ecology professionals are getting to grips with the biodiversity gains that can be accommodated in new developments. We are also seeing more building proposals setting out to achieve high marks in schemes like BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes.
The unavoidable conclusion is that biodiversity continues to move steadily up the green building agenda. We will be back next year to contribute to the dialogue and gauge opinion!
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