‘No More Baby Steps’ says sustainable construction expert

Professor Sandy Halliday has highlighted the importance of collaboration in ensuring all buildings are net zero carbon by 2050.

‘No More Baby Steps’ says sustainable construction expert

Professor Sandy Halliday giving the keynote speech to Build It 2019 at P&J Live

The sustainable construction expert was speaking at the second annual Build It - Aberdeen Construction and Property Conference on Friday.

Professionals from across the north-east construction industry gathered at P&J Live — the UK’s most sustainable venue of its kind — to hear speakers share their experiences and knowledge of the environmental impacts of construction, and take part in discussions on the various ways the industry can and must make a difference.

Build It, sponsored by Ledingham Chalmers and organised by Mearns & Gill, brought together more than 160 delegates. The conference included 16 presentations and interactive panel discussions, whilst 20 exhibitors showcased innovations and services, ranging from environment consulting services to energy-conscious air conditioning systems.

Professor Halliday, a chartered engineer and honorary fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland opened the conference. The author of the aptly titled book ‘Sustainable Construction’ shared some of the 120 case studies included in the book during her keynote speech.

The conference programme covered a diverse range of topics: Aberdeen City Council shared details of sustainability within the planning system; Construction Scotland Innovation Centre talked about the role innovation must play in a sustainable future; and Turner & Townsend presented on the development of P&J Live, which is on course to achieve BREEAM excellent, the highest environmental standard possible, making it the most sustainable venue of its type in the UK.

Professor Halliday, principal of Gaia Research, said “We are living through a time of alarming prospects for future generations. Right now we need policies, training, appraisal tools and process tools that require, encourage and enable every part of the sector to act immediately on the skills and knowledge that we already have. We have the capacity to minimise resource consumption, prevent pollution and improve health and wellbeing.”

Mark Beaton, associate director at Turner & Townsend, part of the team behind the development of The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA), said: “P&J Live was a fitting venue for a discussion around sustainability in the construction industry. Its energy centre is particularly innovative for this type of building and it is a great demonstration of how we can harness technology to reduce carbon impact. It was a pleasure to speak to delegates of Build It about the work on TECA from within its walls.”

Law Society of Scotland-accredited specialist in construction law Jennifer Young, chairman and partner of main event sponsors, full-service law firm Ledingham Chalmers, said “In its second year in the granite city, Build It didn’t disappoint.

“Once again, it proved an invaluable platform to bring industry people together to share ideas, to discuss what works and what doesn’t, and to showcase new ideas, a vital approach in our fast-evolving sector facing challenges including leveraging the latest technology and tackling climate change to being a responsible community partner and overcoming the skills gap.”

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