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Contents 02

Global issue. Personal impact. Mark Kelly


Sense and sustainability Ivan Ross and Nina James


Sustainability: Strategy or spin Jason Gerrard


City Central: A sustainable high performance workplace Megan Antcliff and Sean Coward


A holistic approach to sustainable development: The UK regeneration experience Dan Bulmer


Sustainability: Who cares? A property industry survey Earle Arney, Chris Mobbs, Sean Coward and Nicola Brew


The future of sustainability Earle Arney and Chris Mobbs


Red to green Jason Marriott


The colour of money: The business case for sustainable design Earle Arney and Chris Mobbs

114 Attitude to action Susan Stewart 126 S.E.E. Breeze: The impact of indoor air quality on education Sean Coward 138 Harmonious with nature: The Chinese approach to building energy reduction Jiang Yi 148 Vertical Farming Hsuhan Chiang, Rob Deutscher and Ian Hau 158 Wanchai 2010: Towards sustainable urban transformation James Acuna

“It is estimated that today’s population of approximately 6.5 billion will increase to about 9 billion by 2050, of whom some 8 billion will live in developing countries. This of course presents enormous challenges in terms of meeting their needs in a sustainable way.” Beatrice Otto, World Business Council for Sustainable Development


Global issue. Personal impact. Mark Kelly Director of Sustainability It is now well accepted that for the first time in human history more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. As the globe experiences rapid climate change and issues of energy and resource conservation are paramount, the design industry faces an urgent challenge on how better buildings and cities can significantly reduce our impact on the environment. “For decades environmentalists have been warning that human economic activity is exceeding the planet’s limits. Of course we keep pushing those limits back with clever new technologies; yet living systems are undeniably in decline” (Hawken, Lovins & Lovins, 2000). These trends need not be in conflict—in fact there is opportunity in reconciling them. The idea has formed amongst academics and business visionaries that the next Industrial Revolution has arrived—where natural capital (natural resources and ecosystem services) will drive future business opportunity, simultaneously satisfying customer needs, increasing profits and resolving environmental issues. Sustainability as a buzzword of the twenty-first century has already gained maturity, yet undoubtedly is still a broad umbrella term with a variety of definitions. To many, the term simply refers to the protection of the environment and reduction of energy consumption, yet to really address the issue a holistic approach is required incorporating economic, social and environmental factors. An approach centred on only one element will likely counteract any benefits gained by energy reduction gains. The trend of a triple bottom line for measuring organisational and societal success seeks to expand the conventional financial focus of the ‘bottom line’ to capture an expanded spectrum of values and criteria, considering ultimately human wellbeing and optimum performance (Otto, 2006). By entering the debate, Woods Bagot acknowledges that a problem of this magnitude has no single solution: policy, technology and behavioural change all have important roles to play in an arena that traverses the global crisis, impacting cities, industries, products and ultimately us as human beings. Public #5: A human thing is one of the ways in which Woods Bagot is creating knowledge, sharing information and promoting discussion on this critical issue. Our objective is to bring sustainability to the forefront of our practice, rather than it acting as a selective add-on.








Environmental problems and economic development are closely connected. Since the Industrial Revolution and our concomitant massive and growing consumption of mineral and energy resources, human activities have sometimes exceeded the limit of the local ecosystems and are now threatening to overwhelm even the global ecosystem.

Ultimately the purpose of sustainable design is to enhance people’s lives and make their day-to-day existence better. This brings us closer to becoming united in the pursuit to affect serious environmental change. Architecture has always aimed to produce buildings and cities that uplift people’s spirits but the dual focus is now tangible benefits of environmental consciousness. Historically it has been someone else’s problem or left up to the next generation to resolve.

Both corporate and personal action to reduce energy consumption can not only lead to carbon emission reductions, it can also mean substantial cost savings for companies and better living for individuals. The preferred model for designing buildings should involve research-intensive design processes, which integrate sustainability within the overall building program rather than tacking on green features to score points or advertise environmentalism. Woods Bagot’s consulting and research teams track the performance of key buildings to obtain valuable data to plug back into design methodology, research and development. By monitoring the building’s performance and following its operation, we pinpoint the habits of users and how the features of a building can have dramatic effects on staff performance and motivation. A case study of the post-occupancy evaluation undertaken on City Central (p. 24), a 5 Star Green Star development in Australia, illustrates this approach.

As well as minimising environmental impact, sustainable design also involves optimising performance and wellbeing, and the triple bottom line seeks to expand the conventional economic or financial focus of the ‘bottom line’ to include social and environmental calculations.

Economic development can be interpreted by utilising the concept of ‘stage of development’, with the development of one country sometimes taking an almost identical route as the earlier development of another country. If the developing countries of today are to avoid the severe pollution problems as witnessed in Japan, they may need to consider the introduction of appropriate technologies and environmental protection measures, even though that may mean a slight delay in economic development. Jason Marriott in ‘Red to green’ (p. 80) explores the current status quo in China and how the emerging super power is planning to balance economic prosperity with environmental regard for the planet. The consumption of non-renewable mineral and fossil-fuel energy resources has been indispensable for economic development, but today we see the eventual depletion of those resources as a real possibility. The advanced countries, which are consuming several times more resources per capita than the world average, must acknowledge their responsibility and clarify their intentions to convert their economic systems to minimise resource and energy consumption. In fact, history provides several lessons for how we need to consider future developments, not only from an ecological perspective. The UK urban regeneration story (p. 40) can teach us about the way architecture and urban design can influence social and economic sustainability by reflecting on the elements that influence a city’s success or failure.

However, the tide is changing and our industry survey (p. 54) serves as an encouraging witness to this. The research explores where the industry currently stands: how they feel about sustainability, what actions they are taking now and what they might be prepared to do in the future. For economies as a whole, energy efficiency and reduction appear to be the priority.

The past few decades have represented a period of accelerated economic and financial globalisation, with direct implications and impacts for many of the poorest and most vulnerable. Over the last few decades the amount of water available to individuals has fallen dramatically; water pollution now kills 2.2 million annually; more than seventy-five per cent of the world’s fish stocks are over-fished and rising sea levels brought on by global warming could displace tens of millions. All of these crises have their greatest impact on the impoverished people of developing countries and are among the many environmental problems that collectively present a significant barrier to reducing poverty.

The Task Force on Environmental Sustainability is one of ten UN Millennium Project Task Forces that together comprise some 265 experts from around the world, including members of parliament; researchers and scientists; policymakers; representatives of civil society; United Nations agencies; the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund; and the private sector. The UN Millennium Project Task Force teams were challenged with diagnosing the key constraints to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and providing recommendations in order to achieve these goals by 2015. Design professionals have become involved through ‘Global Studio’ which began as an initiative of the UN Millennium Project’s Task Force to ‘Improve the lives of slum dwellers’, and has been developed by the University of Sydney, Columbia University and the University of Rome.

One of the founding convenors of Global Studio is the University of Sydney’s Dr Anna Rubbo, along with a network of academics from associated universities across the world. The work of the Global Studio looks at ways in which design professionals and a community-based action and research agenda might be part of the solution. We are at a historic tipping point and according to the United Nations it’s likely that the one billion living in slums today could double by 2020. Global Studio hopes to contribute to improving people’s lives, and through a ‘globalisation from below’ approach places people at the centre of environmental and planning decisions that affect their lives. Shelter, house and home are central to aspirations for a more sustainable and equitable environment. This year Woods Bagot’s Urban Design Scholarship was awarded to Mark Tyrrell for his Masters work on disadvantaged communities in South Africa. His research is one of the projects of Global Studio and this year the team returns to Johannesburg to follow up a number of development projects. Woods Bagot has invested in relationships with many academic institutions in our four regions. Supporting continuing education and the young talent of our industry is an integral part of our Public Scholarship program and was a part of our re-positioning in 2006. At this time we also recognised that sustainability needed to be a core part of our business. We needed to get our own house in order before we could apply sustainability philosophies to our work. This meant reviewing and reducing the business’ carbon emissions and creating environmental project reviews among many other initiatives. And we continue to support our beliefs by establishing an official Public Foundation of corporate responsibility. Corporate values aside, sustainability starts at the personal level. It starts with the decisions you make, how you use resources, backed up with a sense that you can create a building or a piece of architecture or an architectural community that can be truly sustainable.

Woods Bagot asks staff:

WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY TO YOU? It is impossible for a person on this planet to not consume resources or generate waste—so being able to optimise our impact on the environment is the best we can aim for. Part of it is changing our lifestyle to be less wasteful, part of it is making the things we use more sustainable. Exterior paints impregnated with photovoltaic crystals or compounds? Gyms that harness the energy produced? Biodegradable plastic that can be used for fertiliser? The sooner we can leave fossil fuels behind, the better. Kevin Pollard London




11 The Green Team

Several years ago at Woods Bagot we recognised that environmental sustainability needed to be a core part of our design approach. This changed the way we responded to briefs, the way we selected staff, and the kinds of projects we aggressively pursued. In 2008, Woods Bagot can now be confident that our profile has changed and that we are known for our sustainable design capability and services. The buildings we design will be around for decades and can have an enduring impact on our climate. Initially our sustainability focus was 100% on the work, but we soon realised that to be consistent and credible to both our clients and staff we needed to get our own house in order and reduce our direct impact on the environment. This article outlines our journey to date in reducing the environmental impact of our organisation and operations and our plans for the future. We hope this may be a useful study to inform other organisations in their journeys down this path. Like many organisations, we struggled initially with how to tackle this practically and effectively. Then our staff showed us the way.

In 2005, a small number of Woods Bagot staff began to feel frustrated that the company was not taking the issue of climate change seriously enough nor getting behind the solution for global warming. Small pools of activity began to muster an interest within the staff teams, to instigate change in the way Woods Bagot behaved as an international player. We wanted to get involved, make a contribution, and feel that at the end of our working week we were having a positive impact on the environment. This group of passionate but frustrated employees formed what is today commonly known within the company as the Green Team. It was relatively easy to build momentum; there were plenty of quick wins in terms of simple things that could be done to reduce the environmental footprint of each of our studios—an objective identified early by the group.

The Green Team instigated a great idea to drive these quick wins, as an inter-studio ‘sustainability challenge’. A simple sustainability scorecard was developed and the studio that improved the most over a defined period was awarded a prize. The objective was to instigate a cultural change within Woods Bagot, to inspire our teams, to arm them with the knowledge and confidence to be bold in their approach to sustainable design. The response from the wider staff base was overwhelming and illustrated two key two points. Firstly, that the staff already knew a lot about reducing their ecological footprint, and secondly, that there was already overwhelming support behind the cause. Interestingly, the majority of responses came from younger members of staff indicating the generational differences in the views on this issue.

Common sense steps

Making a commitment: Going carbon neutral

The intangible benefits

Out of this challenge, a number of simple but effective changes were driven through all our global studios. These included switching to green power, implementing recycling programs, minimising printing and ensuring lights and electronic equipment, including PCs, were switched off at night. Points were also awarded for items such as the number of staff obtaining Green Star, BREEAM or LEED accreditation, delivering local seminars on sustainability and undertaking related research.

The Green Teams were intuitive enough to recognise that they were taking most initiative with sustainability and that, while they were supportive, senior management’s contribution had been relatively minimal. We needed to clearly demonstrate, by actions not just words, that the board was committed to the sustainability journey.

As outlined by Spilker and Sheahan in Public #3: WorkLife (2007), one of the key drivers for Generation Y is to make a contribution. By engaging with the efforts of our Green Team in a sincere and committed way, through supporting their sustainability initiatives and building on them through the purchase of carbon credits, we believe this has generated significant benefits in relation to hiring, retaining and motivating quality staff.

Woods Bagot is an international firm, which prides itself on the modus operandi of ‘One Studio Global’, whereby we promote and encourage cross pollination of ideas between national and international studios. The Green Team has been an excellent illustration of how this works on the ground. As staff move between studios for projects, word passes around about green initiatives occurring in other studios. This simple competition had an immediate effect on the studios. It also allowed us to map the change quite distinctly. By way of annual comparison of results, we saw which studios were taking it seriously and which had fallen behind.

The Green Team had already begun an investigation of how we might offset the environmental impact that we could not yet eliminate. In mid-October 2006 our Director of Sustainability, Mark Kelly, and Ivan Ross, Chief Operating Officer, engaged with the Green Team to determine exactly what was involved in acquiring carbon credits. Together with a few key Green Team members, we investigated schemes in Australia and the UK. We were genuinely surprised by how little it cost to purchase the offsets, although we discovered that the UK schemes cost roughly ‘£ for $’, i.e. around 2.5 times more than the Australian scheme for the same amount of offset (We would expect that as the markets for trading offsets become more efficient, these differentials will reduce). After analysing the costs and benefits, we selected the Australian scheme. Because Australia was not a signatory to Kyoto at the time, there were no Kyoto compliant Gold Standard schemes in Australia to invest in. As a result our provider, Climate Friendly, selected a Gold Standard scheme in New Zealand. The New Zealand location was not entirely ideal as some of our employees in the Northern Hemisphere and even in Australia would have preferred the investment to occur closer to home. We worked through the numbers with Climate Friendly and presented to the board which was unanimous in its support. Within one week, the contracts had been signed, the carbon credits had been purchased and we were 100% carbon neutral.

We were fortunate that the passion of our staff bubbled to the surface in a very transparent way, making it easier for our leadership to engage with them. If this is not transparent in your business then we would encourage you to stir the pot a little— create the forums for your staff to engage. DIY vs consultant support Going carbon neutral was just the first step, and while we have neutralised our impact on carbon emissions, the key is continual reduction of our environmental footprint. A key question that has to be considered is whether to acquire credits directly or operate through a provider. There are a number of tradeoffs in choosing between these two options: / Skills – Unless you have the skills in-house, it is far simpler to use an external provider as they can do much of the legwork for you. We were fortunate in that we had collected most of the data we needed through the studio sustainability challenge, but it was helpful to have the independent external input and validation of our process and data. / Speed – It took us less than two months to progress from initial investigations to becoming climate neutral. / Costs – We were hoping to quickly extend the scheme to our staff to allow them to become carbon neutral. However, using a consultant can mean that only 60% of the payment actually goes towards credits. While for the business this was a choice between internal time and cost versus external cost, for an individual it is a more significant issue. As a result we are investigating the option to aggregate and trade credits directly as a more appealing mechanism for staff. / Choice – A further issue with using a provider is that you are limited to the investment schemes that they offer (although we would note that most consultants are now offering several investment options to address this issue). Either way, we felt strongly that we needed to better understand our current status in order to reduce emissions. We needed to identify where our weaknesses were and where the majority of our carbon emissions are coming from. A team has diligently gathered all the data from each office and has begun the rigorous process of analysis.



Big picture

Collaboration and knowledge-sharing tools

Project application


Green is good, but how to be great

We have encouraged each other to get our own house in order, re-using, reducing and recycling to minimise our ecological footprint. However, with these tasks being addressed, we have looked for more significant objectives and road maps to really focus on how Woods Bagot can contribute globally to sustainable development and climate change. Together we have developed big picture objectives:

With thirteen studios spread across four continents, operating as One Global Studio can present a significant conflict with our sustainability objectives. While we have neutralised the impact of our flights around the globe, we recognise that we must take key steps to reduce this impact.

Green Teams have analysed design development processes and methodology and concluded that there was a lack of accountability when it came to ensuring environmental initiatives were being delivered consistently across all projects. Our challenge is to install a new mindset in every project team whereby sustainability is a constant focus and not an addition. In response to this we have added sustainability processes to our existing quality assurance program. We developed checklists of relevant questions and references to local standards to be included in peer design reviews at significant project phases.

Woods Bagot has committed to the global accreditation of all staff where possible. All studio staff are enrolled in the local program (GBCA, BREEAM, LEED) and then encouraged to sit and pass an exam successfully. On a studio-by-studio basis, mass training days are convened to ensure all staff receive the minimum training for accreditation. There is now a common language between project teams, when discussing sustainable design solutions and responding to local sustainability rating objectives. Furthermore, to demonstrate senior leadership’s commitment to this issue, the board has committed that every Woods Bagot director must be accredited under their relevant local program by the end of this year.

In summary, we have learnt a number of things along our sustainability journey so far:

/ Targeting staff individually—to encourage them to live their lives in a more environmentally friendly manner / Changing the way we deliver our product, processes and methodology in creating working and living environments / Bringing sustainability to the forefront by making it a core focus of our practice and ensuring that sustainability is no longer a selective addition, but is an integral part of our product

We are driving key initiatives, which will allow our project teams to collaborate virtually across the globe. In order to do this, we are beginning by completely rebuilding our entire global IT network infrastructure so it can support the level of data flow this collaboration will require. The key issue is for us to be able to interact with design images and documentation. We are currently trialling interactive whiteboards that allow individuals in different studios to interact with the same image in real time. We are also planning to investigate other tools such as graphic tablets and online virtual collaboration spaces similar to SecondLife1. Video conferencing is being investigated for its capability in allowing us to interact with images. The primary goal of these initiatives is to allow knowledge, research and experience to be exchanged. Finally, our intranet is being restructured to allow knowledge to be easily codified collected and shared in our system, easing access around the globe. This includes the emerging Web 2.0 formats of forums, blogs, wikis, podcasts and sophisticated databases.

These Environmental Project Reviews are uploaded to our intranet and tested on projects in other studios. These reviews are a fantastic way of keeping the whole project team involved in the process, and more importantly, to make sure the right questions are being asked at the right juncture of project development. The simple checklist means that it is immediately evident when basic environmental initiatives are not being explored. It is the responsibility of the project directors and leaders to ensure these checklists are incorporated and used effectively. In that way, it is a simple, measurable tool to assign responsibility and accountability. The green standard To take this review and QA process to another level, we are in the process of further enhancing our QA systems to achieve accreditation under the ‘green standard’. Our practice is quality accredited under the ISO 9001 standard. We are currently integrating the requirements of the ISO 14000 Environmental Quality Standard into our practice management processes to ensure a sustainability focus is embedded in all our processes and we are systematically reducing all the environmental impacts within our control.

Magic time As a professional services firm, all our staff and principals have to be conscious of how they charge their time. Internal sustainability activities are not billable work and as a result these are often done in ‘magic time’ i.e. time outside normal working hours, in the evenings and weekends. There is an ongoing risk that after this initial burst, that these activities will diminish under pressure from client projects and busy lives. It also does not support our corporate responsibility of providing a sustainable work-life balance. Fortunately, we have a mechanism to support much of our critical sustainability activity through our research fund, Public. Any member of staff can submit an idea for research to the Public Editorial Committee who review these ideas and approve those that meet the criteria. Every research idea is required to provide an outline of the expected benefits and deliverables to our company, our clients, the industry, and/or the wider community. Research in the area of sustainability is something we have strongly encouraged and the output of some of those projects is in this publication.

1 Tap into the passion in your staff. They will be a great source of ideas and energy in reducing your environmental impact. 2 If you do that, it is critical that you demonstrate leadership support for the environment. Demonstrate your commitment through actions, not just words, supporting staff initiatives and placing resources and money behind the change. Don’t do it if the commitment is not sincere, your staff will see through it and you will do more damage than good. 3 Furthermore, these days with most businesses struggling to find and retain good staff, engaging with your employees in an effort like this is a great way to increase their motivation and commitment to the firm. 4 Reducing your own environmental footprint should be the first step to an ongoing effort of continuous improvement. We have found that creating a competitive element internally has helped to intensify this effort. 5 If you are a predominantly white-collar business then you may find that going carbon neutral is a lot less expensive than you expect.

b. Below: Woods Bagot sustainability initiatives: a. Moreland School Voluntary Day, UK; b. Clean up UAE Day, Dubai a. b. Below/right: Woods Bagot engages in a range of sustainability initiatives including: a. Volunteering at National Tree Day, Australia; b. Recycling, cycling to work, Environmental Project Review Checklists a.

6 If you take the step to partially or fully offset your remaining environmental impact, you will need to work through the trade-offs between whether to drive it internally or use external consultants to validate your numbers and acquire the credits. 7 Our next endeavour is to insist on environmentally sustainable design accountability and responsibility across the business. To achieve this, we are installing a formal review structure, starting with directors and filtering down to project professionals in each studio. Environmental project leaders will be appointed in each studio to sit in on standard project reviews and ensure the delivery of the Environmental Project Reviews developed in 2007. We aim to have measurable targets included in all annual staff reviews, so that all staff will be held accountable for pursuing environmentally sustainable design. If we are able to achieve this, the Green Team will no longer need to exist in their original form as sustainability will be embedded across the entire organisation. In our experience going green doesn’t have to be too complex. There are a number of simple, common sense steps that can be taken. The costs are not substantial and the benefits in relation to talent acquisition, retention and motivation of staff are significant. It simply makes good sense.

14 1 4


Why would we not balance our time with a sense that this place will be here a long time after we have gone? It is not ours to use and destroy; we are merely preparing it for the next generations and to gain lasting respect we must leave it in a better state than when we took control. We need to collectively understand the objective and work together to create a lasting difference. Mark Kelly Melbourne

Humans need to cease seeing the earth as the ‘other’ and celebrate that we are all interconnected. Louise O’Brien Hong Kong


Sustainability: Strategy or spin Jason Gerrard




Will sustainability just be a fad? How important is it to industry? And what should businesses be doing about it? Sustainability is the new business buzzword, but companies need to do more than pay lip service to it. Critics of sustainability argue that it is an ill-defined concept that is not useful to business. “Ignore it” they say, “it will pass”. This seems a spurious argument. Robust technical definitions of sustainability do exist, and generally revolve around profitably improving environmental and social outcomes. Nor does the lack of a universal definition necessarily reduce a concept’s importance. In fact, fundamental societal issues such as equity and justice are often hard to define. What is equitable? What is just? The answer is obvious; concepts such as equity and justice are only meaningful when they are applied to specific situations. Sustainability is no different. Definitions aside, most people tend to know when what they are doing isn’t sustainable. So what are the business benefits? There is now a lot of evidence that organisations that embrace sustainability do as well as, or better, than the rest of the market (e.g. the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index has outperformed the market over the past five years). And why wouldn’t they? Let’s not forget that businesses exist to meet the needs of society. These needs change, but include food, health and shelter as well as additional needs satisfied through employment, such as fulfilment, social interaction and meaning. Sustainable companies will meet these societal needs more effectively.

Sustainability is essential to any organisation’s long-term prosperity. Here are a few of the benefits: greater resource productivity, brand value, reduced risk profile and lower waste management costs. There are also human resource benefits such as improved staff retention and easier recruitment. More and more, employees are requiring that the values of the organisations in which they work align with their own values. A regular pay cheque just isn’t enough. Just ask Gen Y. Organisations that don’t heed the call should be prepared to face increasing regulatory pressure, decreased societal support, poor staff engagement and difficulty in branding their products as premium goods. Token efforts will not pay off. If sustainability initiatives are implemented poorly or are viewed as an add-on or branding exercise, they can, and probably will, hurt your business; resulting in increased costs and few rewards. Sustainability is about opportunity not just risk mitigation and cost reduction. New legislation in Australia and overseas (such as carbon trading, pollution taxes and extended responsibility legislation) and new technologies (e.g. renewable energy, biodegradable plastics) are altering markets. Consumers are increasingly searching for sustainable products and services and are willing to pay extra for them. CEOs need to think big! Don’t just focus on the small quick-wins. Truly sustainable solutions must be systemic. Sustainability is fundamentally about what goods and services a company produces and how it does so. A company needs to assess opportunities across its value chain. Sustainable solutions require products to be designed differently, produced differently, delivered differently and collected so that they can be re-used, remanufactured or recycled. Organistations like packaging company Visy have reaped huge rewards from capturing opportunities such as recycling.

The key is to take sustainability seriously. This means having a vision of the future and ensuring that initiatives are driven by a coherent sustainability strategy that is aligned with the corporate strategy. The board, the CEO, staff and customers must buyin to the organisation’s values, goals and plans. Companies are becoming increasingly aware that sustainability can be a defensible competitive advantage. Proprietary sustainability solutions supported by science, rigorous analysis, ongoing learning, knowledge management, excellent execution and focus can keep a company ahead of the pack. Don’t do it because it’s trendy. Do it because you believe it and because it’s good business. Organisations that embrace sustainability as the way forward will be the great companies of the not-too-distant future.

those who don’t

those who do

regulatory pressure poor staff engagement decreased societal support increased cost few rewards

prosperity opportunity lower waste cost reduced risk brand value



Don’t do it because it’s trendy. Do it because you believe it and because it’s good business.

The world doesn’t need us. It has been through the Ice Age, meteor showers and other extreme elements. It is ourselves who we need to save. Abdullah Khan Abu Dhabi

Sustainability is the only way forward. Rosina Di Maria London



City C entral: A sust ainabl e high p erform ance workp lace M

egan Antcli ff Sean Cowa rd



Are green offices good for business?

The role of post-occupancy evaluation

The City Central development in South Australia is one of Woods Bagot’s most recent achievements in the field of sustainable built environments1. The 16 800 m2 site contains two towers and a plaza area combining new buildings with refurbished heritage works. Tower 1 houses predominantly commercial office space and was completed in 2007, with Tower 2 scheduled for completion in 2008. The broader site masterplan includes a five star hotel and multi-storey apartment complex.

For most designers their involvement with a building ends with the opening festivities, yet in many ways this is just the beginning. With the building constructed and the doors open for business, the sustainability performance of the facility depends on two very influential elements: occupant behaviour and building operations. Mendler and Odell (2000) cite research showing that the average tenant can reduce energy costs by twenty per cent simply by operating the building as intended by the designers (keeping in mind that energy use is only one part of the sustainability equation). Indeed, designers are aware of the need to support occupants in understanding how their building works. Building user guides are a start, but it is also important that occupants understand why sustainability is a key objective, how the design solution meets this objective, and how new technologies have been used to support the design vision.

From the outset of the design process Woods Bagot was guided by the Australian Green Star rating tool in setting sustainability targets. The Green Star building accreditation system assesses the environmental impact of building design, construction, commissioning and management by awarding credits across the categories of management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions, and innovation. Following the lengthy and rigorous accreditation process, the Green Building Council of Australia has awarded Tower 1 a 5 Star Green Star rating (indicating Australian excellence), with plans for the remainder of the City Central development to maintain this standard. While the environmental performance of their workplace is becoming increasingly important to tenants, what most of our clients want to know is whether green buildings provide a positive working environment. It is therefore crucial to understand the effects of any sustainability initiatives on occupant job performance and general wellbeing during the operational stage via the process of postoccupancy evaluation. The present study involved three analyses. First, a current City Central tenant completed an online survey designed to measure the extent to which various workplace features impact on job performance, with their scores then compared to a baseline derived from a database of previous results. Second, a different organisation completed the same measure both before and after their move into City Central, allowing us to track the performance of a single company. Finally, an additional set of questions completed by both tenants sought to reveal employees’ attitudes and knowledge regarding the sustainable design features of Tower 1. By examining how the sustainability initiatives integral to the design of a 5 Star Green Star building are impacting the tenants of Tower 1, we seek to, in effect, ‘close the loop’ on the City Central sustainability story.

Ideally, this communication should be a two-way street, with occupants given the opportunity to provide feedback concerning the building. Post-occupancy evaluation is a key element of this dialogue and a valuable learning tool, both for building managers seeking to ensure the successful realisation of design and sustainability objectives, and for the design team in understanding the needs and responses of occupants (as well as determining their team’s capacity for future projects). Furthermore, post-occupancy evaluation is useful for client groups looking to review and validate strategic decisions about their workplace, as well as for building owners seeking to manage their portfolios and procure future office accommodation. As part of the post-occupancy evaluation of Tower 1, Woods Bagot employed a proprietary assessment tool, the Workplace Evaluation Survey, and extended it to capture information directly relevant to the sustainability initiatives of City Central.

Performance is a function of two independent individual attributes: ability and motivation.

City Central Tower 1, Adelaide, Australia



An employee needs to both possess the skills required to complete a task and be motivated to execute these skills effectively. The Workplace Evaluation Survey A wide variety of methods have been employed in an attempt to gauge the impact of the physical environment on work output. An accurate indicator of workplace effectiveness offers managers a means of evaluating the suitability of their office for supporting profitable business practices. In perhaps the most cited formula in organisational psychology, Vroom (1964) claimed that performance is a function of two independent individual attributes: ability and motivation. In contrast to the traditional view that performance is primarily determined by ability (e.g. Dunnette, 1973, cited in Mitchell, 1982), Vroom’s formula reflects the influence attributed to work motivation in more recent accounts (see special issues of the Harvard Business Review, 2003, Vol. 81, Iss. 1, and the Academy of Management Review, 2004, Vol. 29, No. 3; both of which are dedicated to the discussion of work motivation). In short, an employee needs to both possess the skills required to complete a task and be motivated to execute these skills effectively, and the environment is capable of influencing both of these attributes.

Using this theoretical position as a methodological foundation, Woods Bagot’s Workplace Evaluation Survey (WES) assesses a wide range of workplace features in terms of how they impact on employees’ ability and motivation to perform their work. These complementary indices of performance are rated by the employee using two seven-point Likert scales, ranging from -3 (indicating an extremely negative impact) to +3 (indicating an extremely positive impact). Additional questions or topics can be included for investigation, thus tailoring the survey to the specific needs of the client. The results of the survey provide a diagnostic assessment of the impact that an organisation’s current workplace has on staff performance, and can be contrasted with pre-move results from the same organisation or with baseline values extracted from a database of previous studies. This information enables the consultant to identify features of the current workplace that facilitate work performance, as well as those that are inhibiting the effectiveness of staff.

City Central tenant breakout space: Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology and Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure



Analysis 1: Comparing City Central with the average workplace / Indoor temperature. This item relates to the Green Star credit IEQ-9 (Thermal comfort). / Indoor air quality (e.g. movement, freshness). This item relates to the Green Star credits IEQ-1 (Ventilation rates), IEQ-2 (Air change effectiveness), IEQ-11 (Asbestos), IEQ-13 (Volatile organic compounds), IEQ-14 (Formaldehyde minimisation), and IEQ-15 (Mould prevention). / Daylight. This item relates to the Green Star credits IEQ-4 (Daylight) and IEQ-5 (Daylight glare control). / Artificial lighting. This item relates to the Green Star credits IEQ-6 (High frequency ballasts) and IEQ-7 (Electric lighting levels).

/ Acoustic access to others (as related to communication distraction/privacy). This item relates to the Green Star credit IEQ-12 (Internal noise levels).

/ Noise from external sources. This item relates to the Green Star credit IEQ-12 (Internal noise levels). / Environmental controls (e.g. blinds, doors, windows, etc.). This item relates to the Green Star credits IEQ-3 (Carbon dioxide monitoring and control), IEQ-10 (Individual comfort control), and IEQ-16 (Tenant exhaust riser).

/ Access to an outside view. This item relates to the Green Star credit IEQ-8 (External views).

3 *** ***

*** ***



*** *** **

As can be seen, the WES items selected relate exclusively to IEQ (indoor environmental quality) credits, and it is hereby assumed that this Green Star category is primarily responsible for any variance in work performance. Figure 1 shows average ratings for each of these items,2 along with an indication of the effect size for differences between Company A and baseline. Figure 1 shows that the workplace in Tower 1 offers significant improvements over baseline in the majority of features linked to environmental sustainability, and that these features serve to both assist employees’ ability and enhance their motivation to perform their work. Interestingly, while outdoor views was one of the best performing categories, Woods Bagot did not submit for any points within the corresponding Green Star credit category. Only environmental controls failed to score differently from baseline (once again, the designers did not submit for either of the points on offer within the relevant Green Star category).

Figure 1. Average ability and motivation ratings concerning the impact of Green Star relevant variables on work performance. Whiskers signify the probable error present in these scores, and effect sizes are indicated according to Cohen’s criteria


2 **

Ability (baseline) Motivation (baseline) Ability (Company A)


Motivation (Company A)

** **




External noise

Artificial light



Air quality



/ d ≥ ±0.2 = small effect / d ≥ ±0.5 = medium effect / d ≥ ±0.8 = large effect

Outdoor views

Method The analysis involved a simple contrast of scores from Company A with baselines extracted from the WES database. The survey was made available to thirty-two employees of Company A in October, 2007, with sixteen respondents completing the survey (50% response rate). Baseline scores were provided by averaging the results of 1048 previous WES respondents (all of whom were occupants of nonGreen Star rated buildings).

The overall average ability (1.24) and motivation (1.14) scores for Company A were both larger than the baseline averages (0.36 and 0.31 respectively), and both of these comparisons returned medium effects. This finding can be interpreted to mean that Tower 1 facilitates staff performance more than nonGreen Star rated facilities, and that this advantage is moderate in magnitude. Rather than breaking down these overall scores in order to analyse every component item, only those workplace features relevant to Green Star rating criteria will be analysed in this paper. The WES items of relevance, and their corresponding Green Star Credit categories, are as follows:

Office noise

Results All analyses in the present study involved the calculation of effect size (Cohen’s d)—for both the ability and motivation scales comprising each item— by contrasting average scores from each sample. In short, this statistic provides a measure for deciding whether the observed difference is large enough to be considered meaningful (a large difference between average scores, combined with a high degree of agreement between respondents, will return a large d value). Cohen (1988) provides the following conventions as a guide to interpreting this statistic:

Impact on performance

Aim In a situation which serves to demonstrate how the WES is typically employed in terms of a single measurement, a corporate tenant of Tower 1 was approached to participate in the study. This tenant completed the WES five months after moving in, with the results compared against average scores taken from a database of non-Green Star rated offices. Thus, Analysis 1 tested whether a 5 Star Green Star rated office building exerts a more positive influence on work performance than do non-accredited facilities.


small effect


medium effect


large effect



Analysis 2: Before and after: One company’s relocation to City Central Results Post-relocation averages for ability (1.15) and motivation (1.03) were both superior to those acquired prior to the move (0.61 and 0.38 respectively). The difference in ability ratings was calculated to be a small effect, whereas the contrast of motivation ratings is classified as moderate according to Cohen’s standards. While Company B appears to have received smaller benefits overall than did Company A, it must be remembered that Analysis 2 provides a more reliable indication of how a given organisation is likely to improve in relation to its own prior performance.

Aim Analysis 2 demonstrates how the WES is used to contrast pre- and post-relocation data from a single company. This method offers more reliable findings than those obtained using the previous method as the company under review provides its own baseline prior to the move, thus eliminating a range of confounding variables. Analysis 2 tests whether the benefits identified in Analysis 1 are maintained when pre- and post-relocation scores are obtained for a single organisation. Method Company B completed the WES while still in their previous tenancy, and repeated the procedure following their relocation to City Central. The analysis for Company B consisted of a simple comparison of these two samples of scores (i.e. pre- and postrelocation). The WES was sent to thirty-eight staff pre-move, attracting fourteen responses (37% response rate). Seven months after moving into Tower 1 the survey was made available to forty-two staff, with thirty responses (71% response rate).

Figure 2 shows average ratings for each of the Green Star relevant items, along with an indication of the effect size differences between the pre- and post-move scores.

3 *** ****** ***


Sustainable operations

Figure 2. Average ability and motivation ratings concerning the impact of Green Star relevant variables on work performance. Whiskers signify the probable error present in these scores, and effect sizes are indicated according to Cohen’s criteria

*** *** ***


Figure 2 again reveals generally positive results, with some variability in effect sizes between the performance indices of ability and motivation. Acoustic conditions within the new office produced a small improvement in employees’ ability to perform their work, and artificial lighting, while improving ratings for both measures, also produced a comparably greater facilitation of ability. By contrast, staff motivation was the variable most improved by both noise from external sources and environmental controls.

* Ability (prior tenancy)

*** **


Motivation (prior tenancy)



Ability (City Central) Motivation (City Central)




External noise

Artificial light

Air quality


Outdoor views




Office noise

Impact on performance



small effect


medium effect


large effect

Energy costs



Analysis 3: Staff attitudes and knowledge concerning City Central







I have received adequate information about how the building works, including a comprehensive induction by the building management


I have a clear understanding of the sustainability design intent/initiatives of the building

Figure 3. Average agreement ratings for each statement pertaining to City Central. Whiskers signify the probable error present in these scores, and effect sizes are indicated according to Cohen’s criteria

I am familiar with the building’s user guide and am able to access a copy if required *

I notice a difference in indoor temperature depending on the conditions outside


General air quality in City Central is superior to that in my previous tenancy


small effect


medium effect


large effect 3


50 17% 40




cle cy Bi

6% Emergency consumption for our office is monitored and communicated to staff




During my time in City Central I have experienced greater satisfaction with my work than during my previous tenancy ***

During my time in City Central I have felt healthier and more energetic than during my previous tenancy

8% own car/ motorcycle

The water-saving features in the tenancy (eg. flow restrictions in the toilets/kitchen) have a negative impact on water access

My office is serviced by adequate recycling facilities

ies ilit fac



My office makes use of the zoned lighting available in City Central (ie. only occupied areas are lit)


Lob by/e ntra nce Exte spa rnal ces cour tyard s


I am aware of the dedicated exhaust riser in the print/photocopy area and use it as intended



Strongly agree

s Daylight/view



Figure 4. Percentage of respondents indicating their regular mode of transport to work, both at City Central and during their previous tenancy Prior tenancy City Central

car pool



Sandwich bar

Strongly disagree

City Central tenant breakout space: Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology and Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure

Sh ow ers

While the majority of statements attracted responses that reflect positively on City Central, a small number of items indicate areas for improvement. Content analysis of these statements suggests that staff do not believe that they have received sufficient information regarding the operation or performance of the building. This finding is consistent with the results reported earlier in relation to the building’s environmental controls. Taken together, it seems that each company would benefit by providing staff with more information concerning their workplace.

Figure 4 shows occupants’ mode of transport to work both before and after their move to City Central. As can be seen, the move coincided with a decrease in the use of personal motor vehicles and small increases in more environmentally responsible commuting practices. The one exception to this trend is that the use of public transport decreased, despite the fact that City Central attained all five points available for the credit Tra-4 (Commuting Public Transport). Finally, respondents were presented with seven features from Tower 1—daylight/views, café, sandwich bar, showers, bicycle facilities, external courtyards, and lobby/entrance spaces—and were asked to select the amenity that adds the most value for them. Figure 5 depicts responses to this question, with the café rated as the most popular feature.

Percentage of sample

Supplementing the standard WES format, the survey administered to both Company A and B also contained an additional set of questions addressing specific aspects of Tower 1. These questions were grouped under the headings building operations, indoor environment quality, energy and water, recycling and transport and health and wellbeing. In the interests of brevity all responses for these additional questions have been collapsed across the two companies. Figure 3 presents a list of statements that were scored by respondents to indicate their degree of agreement.


public transport

Figure 5. Percentage of respondents indicating their most valued feature of City Central

37 Summary and conclusions

The results of Analyses 1 and 2 provide persuasive support for the notion that the sustainability features of Tower 1 have a positive effect on the job performance of occupants.

The results of Analyses 1 and 2 provide persuasive support for the notion that the sustainability features of Tower 1 have a positive effect on the job performance of occupants. Analysis 1 found that City Central performed well above baseline levels extracted from a database of all previous WES results, both overall and when Green Star relevant features were analysed separately; and Analysis 2 revealed that similar advantages can be seen with a single company tested before and during occupation in City Central. Outdoor views, daylight, temperature and air quality were rated to have the most positive impact on job performance, with responses to office acoustics and artificial lighting generally indicating smaller benefits. In both studies environmental controls were generally indistinguishable from the comparison groups, suggesting either that the controls are not seen as particularly effective or that occupants do not fully understand how to operate them. Considering that Woods Bagot did not submit for credit allocation in IEQ-10 (individual comfort control), it might be argued that the building is characterised by a distinct lack of environmental controls. However, data collected using the additional set of questions designed for Analysis 3 provides support for a lack of adequate instruction. It is therefore possible that staff performance could be further improved with greater training in the use of Tower 1’s features. (It is worth noting that occupants appear to understand and utilise both the zoned lighting and recycling facilities.) With respect to wellbeing, staff reported that both their health and job satisfaction had increased significantly following their move to City Central. The most popular of the building amenities surveyed is clearly the café, and the location and facilities have generally resulted in more environmentally responsible commuting practices. In obtaining a 5 Star Green Star rating, the designers and developers of Tower 1 demonstrated a clear commitment to environmental sustainability. It is, however, important to remember that a primary purpose of the City Central development is the provision of high-quality commercial office space. With this goal in mind, the present study offers compelling evidence that Tower 1 is capable of enhancing the work performance of staff and that occupant work satisfaction and wellbeing appear to benefit from the superior environmental quality on offer. Based on these findings, one might suggest that Green Star certification—particularly when achieved via a high proportion of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) credits—should serve as the new benchmark for organisations seeking optimal triple bottom line results.

and environmental performance Better bottom lines

go hand in hand

You very quickly reach a point where you realise that simply putting a solar panel on your roof isn’t the issue. The issue is bigger than climate change even. It’s fundamentally about respect for people who we can’t see and appreciating how our actions impact on them. Luke Webb London

It means a better life for us and our grandchildren who will occupy the earth after us. Salaheldin Mohamed Yasin Dubai


A holistic approach to sustainable development: The UK regeneration experience Dan Bulmer

41 In the 2005 World Summit Outcome, the United Nations explained the three components of sustainable development—economic, social and environmental—as “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” (United Nations, 2005). This holistic approach is fundamental to sustainable cities in order to provide for their current and future generations. The experiences of the United Kingdom following the Second World War clearly demonstrate a need for a holistic approach to sustainability. The economic and social decline experienced in post-war Britain and the subsequent urban renaissance provides valuable insights into the best and worst practices of urban development. Using the UK urban regeneration story, the following article examines how architecture and urban design can influence social and economic sustainability by considering the following elements that influence a city’s success or failure: community, economic diversity, health, crime and employment.


Community Communities have played an important role in the design influence of towns and cities throughout the UK. Recent research has highlighted the importance of community in addressing social problems of crime and health. The existence of local networks of mutual support and trust is crucial in the health and mental wellbeing of a population. Conversely, the absence of neighbourliness can exacerbate problems of isolation and social exclusion. A large proportion of housing in Britain was traditionally laid out along high density streets of terraced housing with windows and front doors leading off the main street. The street became the main focus for community interaction and children played on streets not dominated by cars. The building of new homes in the 1960s and early 1970s was very rapid and often families were moved in large numbers to new locations with very little choice regarding housing type or who their neighbours were. The net result was that local communities who had been together for many years were dispersed causing high levels of dissatisfaction and alienation. The community spirit which had been present for years was lost almost overnight. New housing that replaced terraced houses often had little regard for the community that would inhabit the buildings, with some notable exceptions from this period including the Barbican in London, which provided a varied mix of community and healthcare uses and meeting places for a community to take ownership upon. Towards the 1980s, the importance of street life was being diminished with the spread of low-density identical suburban estates. Modern, planned new town and suburban developments showed little thought towards how communities could evolve. Crucial to recent sustainable development in the UK is the creation of and support of existing communities, a traditional ethos ingrained in the mentality of British people.

43 Bradley Stoke Housing Estate

Hulme, Manchester

The planned town development of Bradley Stoke near Bristol has become synonymous with the characterless, soul-less, identical housing developments built during the 1980s worldwide. The original plan for 25 000 homes was designed predominantly with car use in mind and created a confusing, impermeable network of distributor roads. The lack of housing diversity in terms of size, tenure and appearance has created a homogenous environment with only one prevailing middle class family demographic. The car-dominated roads, large distances and indirect walking routes to local services have resulted in little or no pedestrian activity. Coupled with a lack of public space and no central focus to the town, the result is little opportunity for interaction between residents and the development of community. Recent plans have centred upon attempts to provide a new town centre with central public space upon land currently home to a supermarket.

In less than half a century, the housing area of Hulme in Manchester has undergone three different iterations and attempts at modern living requirements. During the 1960s, the industrial era terraced housing of the area was considered overcrowded, unsanitary and ultimately unliveable. These slums were cleared to make way for a modernist inspired public social housing project, arranged in a series of tower blocks in crescent formation with deck access—‘streets in the sky’. High levels of crime, facilitated by unsupervised public spaces, were often accompanied by a number of issues including safety, build quality, insulation and damp. So for the second time in a century the area was cleared and rebuilt. The crescents were demolished to make way for a more traditional redevelopment scheme with social sustainability and community at its heart. Different housing types of varying sizes and tenure were built in perimeter block layouts on a network of pedestrian friendly streets. Housing is now of a human scale, providing privatised rear defensible communal spaces and active fronts to public space, which encourage community interaction between blocks. Additionally, new public parks, schools and streets have increased the opportunity to nurture the community. Lessons learnt / Strong communities can help reduce local crime and anti-social behaviour / Streets are a traditional location for communities to engage and interact / Short walking trips rather than using the car encourage people to meet and converse face-to-face / Higher density living places more people in close proximity to each other to interact / Provision of public open spaces and parks allow communities to congregate / Involvement of communities within the design process can create stewardship and sense of ownership over a locality / Windows and doors leading onto the public realm increase the opportunity for local interaction / A central focus in towns—the local pub, shopping centre or community hall can all provide gathering places for residents / Displacement of communities can often undermine any intended benefits of regeneration

Left: Bradley Stokes Housing Estate Top/right: Before and after, Hulme, Manchester


Unemployment Unemployment is one of the key social and economic issues facing countries and cities. Although a wide range of factors can directly affect unemployment rates, the planning and design of the urban environment can directly influence how people access employment. The collapse of the industrial and manufacturing industries in the UK during the 1960s resulted in high levels of unemployment, especially in Britain’s traditional industrial towns and inner city areas. This loss of employment, which often provided income for three generations of families, sent many areas into a spiral of decline that lasted until the late twentieth century and was typified by wide-scale social unrest and rioting in the 1980s. By the mid-1990s Britain had more children growing up in unemployed households than anywhere else in Europe (Batty, 2002). Around this time, British academics began to investigate why some people were restricted access to vital economic and life support services within urban areas, as poor accessibility has contributed towards areas of social exclusion. They identified and coined the term ‘permeability’ as a measure of the number of routes through an urban environment. The more permeable a location, the increased level of accessibility for all people to vital life support services such as employment.

45 The London Olympics 2012

Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002

Modern regeneration projects throughout Britain have aimed to reduce the physical barriers restricting access into the city by providing alternative transportation methods and increasing the permeability of routes into the city. The success of the London 2012 Olympic bid was based upon a strong legacy regeneration plan that aimed to improve accessibility issues as a direct method of reducing unemployment rates in a disconnected and socially excluded area of the city. The Games are intended to be a catalyst for economic and social regeneration to transform the economically depressed London borough of Newham, which features Stratford and the Lower Lea River Valley. The organisers hope the plans for the Games will help transform the Lower Lea Valley into one of the best connected areas in the capital, bringing economic and social benefits that go far beyond 2012, and far beyond sport (Legacy, n.d.).

A proven success of how sports events can be used successfully as a tool for regeneration was the 2002 Commonwealth Games hosted by Manchester. Located in northern England, this first industrialised city in the world has undergone a dramatic rise and fall in economic and social conditions. The process of urban regeneration began in the 1990s when the city was forced to rebuild following an IRA bomb that tore apart the retail core of the city centre. The successful process of rebuilding continues to this day, creating a new enthusiasm and an influx of investment and population back to the city centre. The city has been hailed as a European leader in urban regeneration and this success was made apparent by the city being chosen to host the Commonwealth Games.

A range of transport improvements are proposed or already completed including: an extension to the Docklands Light Railway; increased capacity on the Jubilee Line; upgrade of the Stratford Regional Station; and various other cross-city transport improvements in London. In addition to the new railway and new cycle lanes, walking routes will connect the converted Olympic Park into the wider London networks in an attempt to make London ‘a walkable city’. Such improvements to the infrastructure have already greatly improved accessibility for residents previously cut off from the many benefits a global financial city such as London can offer.

The Games were based upon a regeneration plan that intended to improve economic and social conditions to the deprived east side of the city. The Games have brought new hope to this previously forgotten area and changed perceptions nationally and locally. The Games have been a catalyst for new investment, including high profile housing developments such as Holt Town Waterside and New Islington. The sporting venues have now been converted and continue in use, such as home to world championship cycling and a premier league football club. Improvements to the infrastructure were made to improve public transport into the city and a new light rail system will connect the





e f

a. Police hold back pickets at the Grunwick photo-processing laboratory employment dispute in Willesden, London b. London Olympics legacy c. Artist’s impression, London Olympics 2012 d. Improved public transport connections have already been completed for the London Olympics e. Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002 f. Regeneration of a city, Ducie St, Manchester. Designed by Woods Bagot

whole area into the city that now provides numerous employment opportunities. Lessons learnt / Access for everyone to the city should be provided by a choice of walking, cycling and public transport / Widescale zonal planning often places certain employment opportunities out of reach of some communities, especially without high car ownership / Permeability: providing a choice of routes through an area creates direct and active routes through cities and encourages walking / Mixed use developments provide a wider range of local employment opportunities for a community with varying education levels and skill sets / Sporting, arts or other major events have proved to be a regeneration catalyst as long as they are linked to a long-term strategy to continue benefits after the event finishes / Economic stability is key to ensuring job creation is sustainable / A reduction in social exclusion by an integrated and balanced mix of housing tenure, sizes and social class will reduce ‘ghetto’ mentalities


Economic diversity During the latter part of the twentieth century, Britain’s main economies of manufacturing and industry were moving from Britain typically to countries in Asia. As a result many European cities experienced large levels of economic instability. Many of the traditional industrial towns of northern England were sent into decline due to a lack of economic diversity as their economic and employment base was heavily reliant on one type of industry and in some towns on one particular company. Since the 1990s, Britain has managed to diversify its employment base with the development of other service industries. However, many traditional British cities are now facing problems of an outdated infrastructure and building stock that is unsuitable for modern commercial requirements. This led to large city districts and even whole cities and regions becoming increasingly restricted in the competitive market to attract national and global companies. The subsequent social problems demonstrate how the design and planning of cities needs to take into account economic sustainability whilst balancing the objectives of social and environmental factors.

47 Liverpool

Birmingham Eastside

Lessons learnt

At the turn of the nineteenth century, forty per cent of the world’s trade was passing through the Port of Liverpool in England yet by the 1970s the docks had become almost obsolete due to modern container freight methods. The city’s entire economy was based upon the trade through its port and the rapid loss of this income source brought massive upheaval and job losses. The city has only recently begun to recover from the massive economic and social upheaval. Like its neighbours in Manchester, modern regeneration schemes within Liverpool, including innovative re-uses of its ports and warehouse buildings, have sparked new interest and investment and allowed the city to attract a more diverse employment base. However, the city is still home to a number of old warehouse buildings that are protected by heritage listing and unsuitable for modern conversion. This has highlighted how the adaptability of building structures is essential for cities to adapt better to changing employment markets in the future.

During the Industrial Revolution the city of Birmingham in the Midlands of England was known as the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’. This diversity of employment opportunities allowed the city to weather the storm of industrial decline far better than other cities. Modern regeneration schemes in the city have sought to continue this economic legacy. The Eastside project is one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe and hopes to attract UK£6 billion in investment to the east of the city. Eastside has a commendable sustainability agenda that ensures a holistic approach to longterm development addressing social, economic and environmental sustainability. Key to the economic sustainability principles of the regeneration scheme, is the encouragement of business and land-use diversification. A fine grain of smaller building units is encouraged within the framework to attract smaller businesses with varied unit size and affordability. The scheme also recognises small businesses as a sustainable economic model in that they create jobs for local people and benefit local competition.

/ Over reliance on one form of employment can place cities and residents at risk / Mixed use developments are beneficial to the city and also provide a more stable portfolio for developers / Provision of smaller and more affordable building units encourages small business to provide local employment and a balance of business types for economic stability / Smaller industries reduce an area’s dependence on fewer large enterprises which have the capital to be transient in their choice of location / A reduction in zoned urban planning creates flexibility in terms of accommodating different land uses / Flexible and adaptable buildings can cope better with new employment uses in the future / Flexible masterplanning and frameworks adapt to change over the evolution of a regeneration program

Below: Albert Docks, Liverpool

Regeneration and diversification of a city Above: Selfridges, Birmingham Left: Birmingham Eastside


Health A major health concern throughout the western world is obesity and its associated health problems. Obesity is predicted to be one of the world’s new epidemics and recent research predicts that by 2032 approximately half of British people will be clinically obese (University of Oxford, 2007). Only recently have scientists been able to test and prove the direct correlation between our built environments and levels of obesity. US scientists in 2003 found that “American adults living in sprawling counties walk less, weigh more, are more likely to be obese, and are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than otherwise comparable adults living in compact counties” (Ewing, 2003). The health of the public can be greatly influenced by the environment in which they live and work, for example, by encouraging informal exercise, particularly walking. The design of British cities and towns usually predated the invention of the motor vehicle and hence were traditionally designed with walking in mind. However, redevelopment following the Second World War coincided with the increased popularity of car travel and new developments have often put the car ahead of the pedestrian. This has impacted on traffic levels, air quality and noise in local areas, degrading the walking environment and leading to an ongoing decline in walking. Nationally, the distance walked by the average Briton has fallen by twenty per cent since 1974 (Livingstone, 2004). Cities all over Britain are starting to realise the economical and social benefit of walking. Under the direction of Mayor Ken Livingstone, The City of London launched the London Walking Plan in 2004 which aims to encourage more people to walk short journeys and use a combination of walking and public transport to make trips over longer distances (Brosnan, 2004).

49 Poundbury, Dorchester

Birmingham City Centre urban design strategy

Lessons learnt

The New Urbanist movement has been gaining momentum in recent years and fundamental to the movement is the creation of compact walkable communities where local services are easily accessed without the need for a car. Within the UK, Prince Charles has famously worked with the masterplanner Leon Krier to develop a compact walkable neighbourhood extension to Dorchester in Dorset. The 168 hectare housing scheme has been built to relatively high density with each house having a private garden space and parking provisions. Housing density has been graded around a central public space that also provides retail and community provisions for residents meaning the whole population is within an easy five minute walk of local services. Traffic is calmed and public streets and spaces are activated by people and overlooked by housing or retail frontages making the walking experience more pleasurable and safer.

The experience of the redevelopment of Birmingham’s city centre is an excellent example of how a successful urban design strategy can focus investment to create an attractive walking environment with new and improved city squares and interconnected streets. During the eighteenth century, the city had developed as a significant industrial town, growing rapidly with the streets and squares arranged in an irregular grid pattern. Contrary to some other British cities, Birmingham underwent a high level of redevelopment to reconstruct highly bombed city centre areas during the 1960s. Due to the corresponding increase in car ownership levels, the city centre planned to accommodate high levels of vehicle access. Historical areas were cleared to erect a series of inner and outer ring roads with large elevated sections circling the city centre. Birmingham became known as the ‘Motor City’ not only because of its car building industry but due to the ring of elevated roads that constricted the city centre’s growth by effectively acting as a ‘concrete collar’. The ring roads sliced through the traditional urban blocks, leaving a fragmented urban structure and a confused public realm.

/ Encourage walking by increasing permeability; provide more direct routes to local services

In the 1990s a city centre design strategy was proposed amongst other initiatives to reduce the dominance of the constricting concrete collar and provide greater permeability between the city centre core to the proposed redeveloped quarters surrounding the city. Cars were pushed underground and new walkways crossed the inner ring road. To the east of the city the elevated ring road section was demolished and cars were redirected at grade with pedestrian crossings. This has now effectively allowed the city to grow to the east, which was previously disconnected to the existing CBD, with new investment and business opportunities. Birmingham now has a successful connected series of pedestrian routes and urban squares allowing the walker to traverse from the west to the east of the city completely uninterrupted by traffic. These streets and spaces have been made active by an increasing city centre resident population attracted by the improved urban environment and renewed confidence in the city.

/ Reducing barriers to movement within the city can improve the interconnection between city quarters and improve city wide investment and regeneration opportunities / Reduce extensive use of cul-de-sacs to prevent the restriction of direct walking routes to local services / Place services within walking distance through the use of mixed use developments and high density / Provide safe, extensive and continuous cycle and jogging routes, preferably segregated from vehicular traffic / Street design features to consider: / Seating to provide rest areas for walkers / Cycle racks for cyclists / Safe pedestrian/cyclist segregation from vehicular traffic / External architectural design features to consider: / Provide active ground floor frontages / Create main access from streets (as opposed to from car-parks) / Mitigate microclimate conditions such as wind tunnel effects / Provide shade, shelter or warmth at ground floor level for pedestrians / Internal architectural design features to consider: / Provide showers and changing facilities for cyclists / Encourage the use of stairs instead of elevators by designing stairwells as attractive and easily accessible spaces


Crime Crime and anti-social behaviour have the ability to undermine the structure of a residential community and often forces those who can afford it to leave the neighbourhood. This further exacerbates problems of social exclusion and can lead to a ghetto mentality. The rapid removal and redevelopment of war-torn inner city areas in Britain often led to the removal of terraced housing, considered to be slums, to be replaced with radical, new and untested housing forms. By the 1970s and 1980s as unemployment grew and urban jobs were being lost, those people who could afford to were leaving the inner city where they often had grown up to move to the new ideal of suburban areas. Inner city suburbs became areas now defined as ‘socially excluded’, containing people who suffered from a combination of problems including unemployment, poor housing and high crime (North & Syrett, 2006). The second half of the twentieth century saw a number of new housing and layout forms tested in British cities with varying degrees of success and with some direct correlations to levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

51 The Modernist movement in Britain

Radburn housing estates

Following the Second World War, new housing estates of tower blocks using Modernist principles were hurriedly erected as councils were subsidised and encouraged to build tall to house returning soldiers and their families. Bold experiments on social interaction, living and movement heavily influenced by Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse plan of 1933 were rolled out throughout the UK and Europe as a model of modern living. However, the plans were often watered down or misconceived interpretations of the original futurist visions of Le Corbusier and Lubetkin.

Another misconceived interpretation of an urban planning theory based on relatively sound principles is the construction of housing estates inspired by Radburn in New Jersey, US. Designed for the Automobile Age and partly inspired by English Garden City principles the key notion centred on open space and separated car and pedestrian movement. The Radburn model of suburban development soon crossed the Atlantic and influenced the design of many housing estates in the UK, often within existing low income areas.

Modernist inspired housing projects have now become synonymous with high levels of social problems and crime in Britain. It was not until the 1960s that theorists began to research and articulate the problems created by such modernist models, most famously with the work of Jane Jacobs who first highlighted the flaws of such buildings. In her research of traditional and modern planned estates in the US she learned that modern design had reduced people’s ability to observe public space and had diminished local social control. Housing design that turned its back on public space, had blank ground floor frontages and unsupervised internal corridors allowed unsociable behaviour and crime to occur unnoticed. Jacobs (1961) argued housing with windows and front doors facing public areas created the ‘eyes on the street’. The term ‘defensible space’ (Newman, 1972) was later coined to suggest a set of design principles aimed at reducing crime within built environments. It sought to place greater control within the hands of the community by providing a clear definition between private and public space within urban localities.

Housing was intended to be orientated to public open spaces with pedestrian walkways connecting open spaces and providing access to the fronts of houses. However, parking was situated in segregated car-parks to the rear, which led to the intended housing fronts gradually becoming inactive. As both sides of the property were exposed to public space, homeowners often erected more imposing and unattractive fencing to create a private garden space and restrict criminal access to the rear of their homes. This resulted in public streets lined with large boundary fencing and public open space in the centre where people were more afraid to walk due to increased levels of crime and anti-social behaviour that could go unnoticed. Millions of pounds are currently being spent either demolishing or radically altering these estates, some of which are less than half a century old, that have proven to cause and exacerbate many social problems.

Conclusion The story of post-war decline, social unrest and the resulting urban renaissance in British cities undoubtedly has highlighted some of the worst and best practice methods of urban development. The lessons learnt are relevant to cities throughout the world and are especially poignant in a time of global urbanisation and immense pressure for urban growth. Housing estates throughout the UK and Europe are still being demolished due to their social and economic failings, some being less than twenty years old. The experiences of many neighbourhoods in the UK, such as Hulme in Manchester, show how some neighbourhoods have undergone the process of demolition and rebuild more than once in less than half a century to make way for housing forms which often return to traditional principles. This process of regeneration and renewal comes at great cost financially, environmentally and socially. Huge amounts of public spending is often required, whole communities that have evolved gradually over time can be displaced and the amount of embodied energy lost in demolition can often surpass any further attempts to reduce energy consumption in the construction and lifetime of a new building. The energy input required to quarry, transport and manufacture building materials, plus the energy used in the construction process, can amount to a quarter of the ‘lifetime’ energy requirement of a very energyefficient building.

Lessons learnt / The design of the built environment can reduce or exacerbate levels of crime in a locality / Lack of surveillance of the public environment can lead to anti-social behaviour / ‘Defensible space’ secures rears of properties/ gardens from potential intruders / Clear structure and easy movement through an area encourages street activity and allows for ‘eyes on the street’ / When people and communities feel ownership and stewardship of an area the occurrences of vandalism and anti-social behaviour can be reduced / Management and maintenance of space ensures high standards and further instills pride Left/far left: Tower blocks exacerbated high levels of crime and usually had issues of build quality, insulation and damp. They are progressively being demolished Below: Radburn-inspired housing West Midlands, UK Right: Tyneside, Newcastle

The lessons learnt from the UK regeneration story highlight that in order for cities to be truly sustainable, development must balance the economic, social and environmental factors involved in urban growth. Failure to address the full spectrum of factors involved in the development process can often outweigh any gains made through energy savings.

Long ago, before whaling was banned, hunters would sail for long periods after the elusive mammal. Often they would return without a catch, often they would not return at all. But on occasion they would return with a captured whale, which would be met with celebration in the village, for the whale would supply food for a long while. But this was not then discarded. The remaining carcass would supply blubber to be used as oil for warmth and cooking. The skin would be used for clothing and shelter, the bones for tools and jewellery. Nothing of the whale was wasted as it made its way inland. This is sustainable. Fishing trawlers extract tonnes of sea life from the oceans, often with the aim of a few select species. The remainder, dead, is thrown back into the sea. This is unsustainable. The early settlers to Australia discovered the beneďŹ ts of Huon pine for ship building. Its natural oils made the timber extremely durable, yet easy to work with. The foresters selected only the straightest trees to be felled and sent to the mill, thereby ensuring through regeneration this species will never become extinct. This is sustainable. Timber is subject to fashion, similar to clothing and furniture. Demand for a particular species of tree will mean large tracts of forests are cleared to extract the valuable examples. The waste; the animal’s habitat, the vital cog in the ecosystem, is burnt. This is unsustainable. Lyndon Wade London




57 “Air travel is bad!”, so the popular media periodically reminds us. The devastation we inflict on the environment as a result of this energy intensive form of transport is at the fore of public awareness, particularly in Europe. Market savvy airlines have responded by becoming carbon neutral and invite their passengers to similarly ‘do their bit’ by offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their flights. Some communities feel that the situation is so dire that they shame people for taking unnecessary airline travel rather than visiting nearby holiday destinations reached by more sustainable forms of transport. In the twenty-first century we have been conditioned to think of ‘air miles’ not as a measure of airline loyalty but as a mark of our environmental impact.

Aircraft travel is not the ‘poster child’ of pollution that it has been made out to be.

Despite this extraordinary focus on irresponsible ‘plane-polluters’ and their associated contrails, research shows that aircraft travel, or even transport as a whole, is not the ‘poster child’ of environmental pollution that it has been made out to be. According to the OECD’s 2008 International Transport Forum, domestic and international aircraft travel represents merely 11% of all global transport carbon emissions, which in turn accounts for only 23% of total carbon emitted from all sources. Buildings, on the other hand, account for considerably more carbon emissions than any other sector, as represented in Figure 1 (American Institute of Architects, 2008).

At the dawn of this century, buildings were dumping approximately 280% more carbon into the atmosphere than in the 1950s. The energy required to heat and cool our workplaces and homes is by far the biggest single contributor to carbon pollution. Buildings are not only the largest single source of carbon emissions; they are also the biggest energy users. They represent 40% of global energy consumption, of which 33% is attributable to commercial properties and 67% to residential (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2007). We need to refocus. If we continue on our current trajectory, buildings will be at the top of the environment’s epitaph. Given that the property industry is responsible for the world’s largest carbon emissions, Woods Bagot conducted a survey to determine industry attitudes and experiences in the adoption of sustainable solutions for the built environment. How much do we actually care and will we get past the challenges being faced with regard to the delivery of sustainable buildings? Over 200 industry professionals from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain completed the survey. The major findings are reported in the following pages.

Figure 1. US C02 emissions by sector. Reproduced with permission from American Institute of Architects Buildings Transportation Industry


Million metric tonnes of carbon




0 1960



We need to refocus. If we continue on our current trajectory, buildings will be at the top of the environment’s epitaph.






A third of respondents claim that there is a 6–10% cost penalty for going green. Such misjudgments of the costs of sustainable construction create potential barriers to the adoption of energy efficiency measures in the building industry.

Despite the perceived costs, 86% of respondents believe green buildings are worth it.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents believe sustainable buildings are effective instruments for attracting and retaining key talent.

Given that buildings are big polluters, we proposed questions to uncover any barriers that may exist in procuring sustainable buildings. Firstly we asked people what they believed was the cost premium for creating a sustainable building. Figure 2 illustrates our respondents’ perception that a green building costs significantly more than a ‘standard’ building, with a third of respondents believing that green buildings cost between 6–10% more and a quarter of the sample believing that the cost premium is between 3 and 5% more.

Despite the high perceived capital cost of sustainable initiatives, most of the respondents (86%) believe green buildings are worth it (Figure 3). This is not surprising as we understand the benefits of sustainable buildings to include:

In the past, the business case for sustainability has often been argued by property industry commentators in purely financial terms. Our research shows that there is a much more complex matrix of green drivers. We understand the basic equation that in an environment of high energy costs or high energy taxes, the long-term operational costs of commercial office buildings outweigh the cost of their construction. However, we can see from our survey that the financial drivers, such as reduced operating costs, make up only a small percentage of the key reasons to go green. Respondents are far more focused upon the need to promote ecological responsibility and corporate social responsibility than financial considerations (Figure 4). Furthermore, 73% of respondents believe that green buildings are useful tools for attracting and retaining key talent (Figure 5).

A recent survey of building professionals, conducted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), found that on average the industry estimated a 17% premium compared with standard developments, with Chinese respondents estimating the highest premium of 28% (2007). The WBCSD states that this is more than three times the actual cost differential of approximately 5% (WBCSD, 2007). Such misjudgments of the costs of green construction may create barriers to the adoption of sustainability initiatives in the building sector.

/ Improved corporate reputation or brand value / Improved staff productivity / Higher asset value / Reduced operating costs / Reduced operational risk / Future proofing

Perhaps a more informed opinion is that of cost consultants, Davis Langdon, who suggest in their publication, The cost of going green (2004), that significant environmental measures increase the capital cost of buildings by as little as 2–4%.

Respondents are far more focused upon the need to promote ecological responsibility and corporate social responsibility than financial considerations. Figure 2. Do you believe green projects cost more than standard developments?


Figure 3. If you believe there is a premium for green buildings or fitouts, then do you think it is offset by the benefits?

Figure 4. Which of the following presents the most appealing rationale for undertaking a green project?





3% Combination


6% Yes, 1–2% more


Figure 5. Do you believe that green buildings are useful tools for attracting and retaining key talent?



Yes, 3–5% more

Corporate social responsibility


Ecological responsibility

Yes, 6–10% more


Yes, 11–20% more

Future proofing


Yes, in excess of 20% more


Legislation Positioning/Marketing















We are not doing enough to deliver sustainable solutions.

Sadly, the property industry’s most significant challenge right now is providing a convincing argument for the benefits of sustainability.

Delivery expertise and process Energy efficiency and generation compliance are significant risks is currently ranked the most for the property industry. important issue for the future.

Eighty-two per cent of respondents support the statement that the industry is not doing enough to deliver sustainable solutions. This was a surprise as a significant proportion of respondents consider themselves to be totally committed to supporting the drive for a more sustainable future through the delivery of a more sustainable built environment (Figure 6).

Despite the awareness of climate change, the most significant challenge facing the property industry is the development and delivery of a compelling benefits case that supports the adoption and delivery of environmentally sustainable solutions. There are potentially a number of reasons for this, including the fact that the respondents’ perception of costs is higher for sustainable developments than what is actually the case. (However, our research also suggests that the elevated risk associated with the delivery of green buildings is critical. In particular, our sample group cited significant challenges associated with delivery expertise and process compliance (Figure 7).

Delivery expertise and process compliance are considered to be two major challenges faced when trying to deliver sustainable built environments. Forty-four per cent of respondents identified these two challenges as the most significant of those listed, despite 79% of respondents believing that the market is not over-regulated. One can deduce from the results that the underlying issue driving process compliance is the relative lack of knowledge and delivery expertise required to satisfy compliance goals.

Figure 7. The biggest challenges faced by respondents when attempting to deliver green developments

Figure 6. Respondents levels of commitment to sustainable development

I am unaware of the issues surrounding sustainability


This was followed by reducing carbon footprints of new and refurbished developments and reducing water use (Figure 8). We suspect that if our sample included more representatives from the Northern Hemisphere that issues of water consumption would be less of a concern. Anecdotally, we have also seen a recent increase in the awareness of ‘indoor environmental quality’ and we expect this to receive higher scores in future survey results, particularly in light of growing research linking the indoor environment with the productivity of staff (Clements-Croome, 2003).

Figure 8. The issues ranked most important for solving in the future


Additional capital costs

I am aware of sustainability issues but do not understand them

Lack of government incentives/regulation Providing a convincing argument for the benefits of sustainable initiatives Public perceptions and behaviour

I am doing my bit for sustainability, but could probably do more I am totally committed to sustainability and always seek to include environmentally sustainable design principles in my projects

Satisfying certification criteria and processes The limited availability of delivery expertise Using limited/unproven technologies

Mean ranking of importance

I don’t have any obstacles, because I do not undertake sustainable projects I understand sustainability issues, however, I am not convinced by the agenda

2 3 4 5 6



46% 20%


Increasing the occupancy densities of cities to increase efficiencies and land use


Improving indoor environment quality

2% 3% 2%

Re-using rather than recycling buildings and associated products


Generating smarter solutions via market competitiveness rather than regulation


Reducing water waste


Reducing carbon footprints of new and re-used developments


Improving energy efficiency and generation




Conclusion “In my very first job, a very wise person said to me that, ‘the power is never where you think it is’. I am periodically reminded of this sage advice as I progress through my career and marvel at how, sometimes, we can get it so wrong.” Earle Arney Similarly, it is amazing at how we have got it so wrong in terms of our current focus of sustainability. The power to affect real change for the betterment of the environment is not singularly in the hands of those who are labouring on driving sustainable modes of transport. The single biggest opportunity to sustain life as we know it is before us all in the property industry— cleaner and more efficient buildings. There are many obstacles to creating a more informed and environmentally responsive built environment. A major challenge is clearly the wide variance in the perceived cost of going green. This no doubt influences people’s beliefs that the biggest challenge is finding a convincing argument for sustainability, despite almost universal acceptance of the reality of climate change.

The power is never where you think it is... The single biggest opportunity to sustain life is before us all in the property industry —cleaner and more efficient buildings.

We are in the early phases of acquiring knowledge as to how best to deliver a sustainable built environment. The disjunction that often results between design and delivery of sustainable solutions presents a significant risk to our industry. The scarcity of delivery expertise and product availability, combined with the challenge of process compliance, is also a major hurdle that is frustrating industry attempts to adopt green solutions. It is likely that as we gain experience in creating green solutions, the delivery risk will diminish as will the uncertainties surrounding process compliance. It is also likely that our quest to ‘touch this earth lightly’ will continue to become more and more expansive. We will see cities as opportunities to sustain life rather than to merely accommodate people. Similarly, individual buildings will provide opportunities to give back to the environment rather than deplete its resources. We have a long way to go but, considering the findings of this survey, it seems that we do care.

The drivers of sustainability are rich and varied. The reductive capital/operational expenditure equation is historic and fails to recognise that there are new change agents of sustainability. Corporate social and ecological responsibility is far more important, as is the potential to use authentic positioning to attract and retain talent.

Figure 9. Roles of survey respondents

Figure 10. Ages of survey respondents




End user


> 65

Service provider


Research methods 1%


10% 36%





Woods Bagot conducted an internet survey during 2008. Over 200 industry professionals completed the survey. Participants were mostly from Australia and New Zealand (97%). Other participants were from the United Kingdom, US, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The numbers of respondents were evenly spread across age brackets and the industry categories of service providers, developers and end users (see Figures 9 and 10). Forty-two per cent of respondents work in the commercial office sector; 35% in mixed use; 12% in lifestyle (residential; hotel; retail etc.) and 11% in the education, science or health sectors. Whilst the sample size is substantial, we acknowledge that those clients and consultants interested in the sustainability agenda will for the most part have completed the survey over those who are not as interested. This is a pilot study to gauge insights and trends into sustainability for the built environment which we aim to rollout annually in the other regions we operate in: Asia; the Middle East; Europe; and North America.

Sustainability is the key ingredient to add to our project recipes. It is vital to the human support system. Mathilde Lucas Hong Kong

You have to wonder why we haven’t always adopted sustainable processes. Anything else just seems so careless, lazy, ignorant and wasteful. Why wouldn’t you use a resource in a manner that would ensure that the resource can sustain itself in order to meet your needs? Why would you consume more than you need? To me sustainability is just logical. Yvette Costi London


6 67

The future of sustainability Earle Arney and Chris Mobbs The building industry is generally risk averse, with a reluctance to accept new building technologies without proof that they work. This is understandable given the significant investments locked-up in property which is the world’s largest asset class by a significant margin (Snushall, Cronin, Spencer & Cameron, 2005). However, we believe that we have reached the point where, failure to innovate today or be a leader of sustainability will render property assets obsolete in the next property cycle. The failure to future proof a building will result in it being passed over in favour of a new generation of buildings appealing to a new generation of global citizens. Given this shift, what does the future hold? To help answer this question, we consulted a number of leading property industry innovators, owners, developers and end users from around the world to help understand what they see in the crystal ball.


69 Paul Edwards is the Director of Sustainability for Hammerson, a FTSE100 European property owner and developer based in the UK. He returned to the UK in 2007, following ten years in Australia where he worked for Lend Lease and Arup. Whilst in Australia he was responsible for the delivery of sustainability at The Bond, Lend Lease headquarters in Sydney, which received over thirty-six awards and was the first building to achieve 5 Star ABGR and 5 Green Star As Built ratings.

Paul represented Australia at the Asia Pacific Partnership for Climate and Clean Development and was awarded Future Leader by AIRAH in 2003. At Hammerson he is now integrating sustainability into a £5b pipeline including five new town centres and a £7.5b existing asset portfolio. Hammerson will open the first BREEAM ‘Excellent’ retail project this year at Bristol and is part of the new BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ pilot with BRE. Hammerson is also a founding member of the UKGBC.

Woods Bagot: What do you believe are the key issues to drive sustainable built environments?

WB: How effective do you think we have been in developing a truly sustainable environment?

Paul Edwards: There are a couple of things. Firstly there is a market for it. Tenants are now requesting sustainable buildings with good indoor environment quality and low energy to meet their corporate responsibility targets. The big picture is the need for planetary change and the way we use the natural resources of the environment. We only have one planet and we won’t be able to continue living if we’re not careful.

PE: One of the issues in the UK is that sustainability is generally termed as ‘carbon’ which is frustrating as true sustainability includes material selection and transportation but it’s also about community: skills, job creation, satisfaction. I don’t think there are many holistic examples around the world.

There’s a brilliant piece of work by Janine Benyus based on a subject called Bio-mimicry, whereby one learns from the lessons of nature. For example, look at a tree and see how it continually grows, it can pump water forty metres into the air, it creates energy, it photosynthesises, it’s a magnificent piece of natural engineering. If we could mimic that in our systems then there would be no waste, everything is reused by nature, it has a positive impact on the planet. I think these are the sort of extremes we are going to have to go to. You can now get 13 mm walls that change phase to represent a thermal mass of 150 mm concrete so there are magnificent scientific moves and technologies that will help us all. It’s whether they come quick enough.

Marks & Spencer have a program that they call Plan A...

Interview with Paul Edwards

WB: Is the extent of the green, sustainable movement the same in retail as it is in the commercial sector? PE: I think in some ways it’s further ahead. If we look at our big retail clients like Marks & Spencer and John Lewis and Partners, they are ploughing ahead. They both have sustainable policies that we are asked to follow that include renewables, material selection, EMF plans, transportation plans, right down to every aspect of sustainability. Marks & Spencer have a program that they call Plan A, there is no Plan B. It sets out 100 commitments over five years to address the key social and environmental challenges they face. They plan to be carbon neutral by 2012 and they are spending £200 million to get there. Tesco has 100 million to spend on renewables in the next two years and they’ve gone out scouring the world for the very best in renewables. McDonald’s have started to recycle their fats in order to power their vehicles. The next tier down from the bigger players, the smaller tenants, the one offs, they’re not quite there yet so there is a big difference. WB: Having worked extensively in Australia, what is your perception of retailers’ adoption of sustainability in this region? PE: When I was in Australia, I think Coles had set up internal groups on water waste; they did good work on plastic bags, which has become law in the UK to ban plastic bags by 2010. There is probably more capital to invest in sustainability here and more emphasis, particularly as the big players like Marks & Spencer are at the top of the chain and shouting about it. Boots is doing the same; we have a meeting with them this week to discuss a low carbon store.

Here in the UK, Hammerson specialises in regenerating town centres. We don’t build monolithic shopping centres any more. We are integrating communities back into the city which gives them vibrancy and security but at the same time we have programs to develop skills of the community. One of the programs involved a bus trip around the local community to tell the homeless and less privileged about which jobs were available. We had 3500 jobs and we tied them with skills training for people with no previous retail experience. We filled seventy-six per cent of those jobs with people who were unemployed which I think is a magnificent achievement and we are doing that now in all of our centres. There is a lot more push for true sustainability as people become more aware of what it means. I think the biggest problem is a lack of consistency and information. So if you’re a tenant you’re not sure what you should be asking for. If you are a customer in the street you’re not sure what you should be doing personally or what you should be asking from your stores to do. Education and information transfer needs to happen if we are going to demonstrate a true built environment. WB: How do you see some of these sustainable solutions operating in the buildings of tomorrow? PE: I think ironically there are two key focus streams. One is to almost revert back to ancient days. I know we didn’t have computers but we used to have buildings that kept cool. The Romans used to have fountains in the middle of courtyards, massive means of conditioning the air such as thermal mass and natural ventilation, opening windows rather than artificially air conditioning spaces. Some of those solutions today aren’t applicable to every outcome. Data centres for example, you’ll never cool them by only using thermal mass but then you look to the extreme of technology, changing materials, and the new solutions that are coming through, and there are possibilities.

WB: There’s a huge impetus and if you look at the rate of change that’s currently happening it’s phenomenal. What other radical ideas have you heard of? PE: I tell you what would be an idea, if someone would actually set a vision statement for the country. What would England actually look like in 2050 at 80% below where it is today on carbon emissions? What does it look like in 2020 when we’ve got no land fill anymore in the UK? Let’s understand what we should be aiming for here. Is it in the area of mass wind turbines off the coast of England or is it individual turbines on top of everyone’s house? Once we understand that then the radical ideas are actually the implementation mechanisms. Germany has an amazing mechanism where they have a self funding photovoltaic market which means that they are now the largest users of photovoltaics anywhere in the world. This has enabled them to develop the technology further. How did they do it? There needs to be some smart thinking about how we can finance these initiatives besides through taxation. Interview ends

there is no Plan B.


71 Dr Gisela Loehlein is an architectural engineer by training and holds a PhD from the Welsh School of Architecture. She is currently pursuing a second PhD in urban design from the City and Regional Planning Department, Cardiff University. Gisela has held research/teaching positions at Fraunhofer Research Institute in Germany, School of Architecture and Design at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and the School of Architecture and Design at the American University in Sharjah and the British University in Dubai, the Institute of the Built Environment, which is linked to Cardiff University.

She was the Principal Sustainability Research Fellow for ATKINS, Middle East. Currently she holds the Consultant position to the Director General, Sheikh Khaled Bin Saar Al Oassimi, for the Directorate of Public Works, UAE.

Photovoltaics are still used a bit as an ornament— a sort of shouting out signifying that I am green. And the return on investment is not immediate. They can take ten years to pay back. Whereas using solar thermal to capture heat to use or convert to energy works much better and it’s a 1–2 year payback period.

WB: Given that buildings might last fifty years on average, what do you think may be the way that we can future proof them?

Interview with Gisela Loehlein Woods Bagot: How much is sustainability on the agenda in the Middle East? Gisela Loehlein: Initially I was told that I would be crazy to come here if it was in order to push for sustainability, it is not possible, there isn’t the interest or the attitude. It has been an issue of how to balance the economic boom and fast pace development with emerging technologies and sustainable building design. The industry worldwide is only finding its feet and many materials and services do not have the capacity for the construction demand required in Dubai. The challenge is certainly about how we can prepare the market for sustainability whilst maintaining our rate of development, and I think the industry is becoming more open to it now. It’s a process, because we don’t become environmental designers overnight, and specifically not here because there’s no textbook on sustainable design for an arid climate. Most of the environmental thinking comes from moderate climates, it comes from the West. WB: What leading examples of sustainable ideas or design do you know of, or you think are leading the way? GL: The photovoltaics market is interesting and they are currently running tests to actually see which products work here in the desert. The other interest of mine is nanotechnology, which is the equivalent of genetic modification in the organic world. The impressive thing is that you can program materials to grow, to heal themselves, to have different properties so that when the sun shines onto something like glass it actually gets darker, etc. Nissan has brought out a car that you can scratch and it heals itself in two weeks. There are a lot of developments and innovations but rarely directly for the built environment. We haven’t got the funding body for R & D. We have to learn what’s occurring in the space, medical and military fields and apply it to the built environment. WB: What good examples have you seen of sustainable design? GL: Zurich Airport in Switzerland is a good passive, integrated example. You actually have to be sitting in there for awhile to realise that it is a sustainable building and I think this is the new phase that the West is bringing us, much more integrated systems. You sit in there and look around and then realise the whole building has no air conditioning. It’s all dealt with—a completely sustainable building. All the shading devices simultaneously produce electricity due to the PV cells.

Another good project is in Bahrain which passively cools the outside market retail area. The brief was to allow people to walk and mingle for longer periods of time outside without active thermal assistance, utilising a series of landscaping filters, water cooling systems and cooling towers. The design drags in, traps and expels air at different stages and makes use of the daytime and night time wind direction to cool the structure down. It provided an extra two months when shoppers could be outside. WB: What do you see are the risks for sustainable development? GL: The huge learning curve and attempting to apply this knowledge immediately. The Dubai International Finance Centre is going to have a tower that will be close to zero carbon. They are trying to put all the different gadgetry and tricks of the trade into it to try and make it work. But like everything, learning is a step by step process by focusing on applications and implications of one technology at a time. How do solar thermals work? How do photovoltaics work on a large scale structure? How efficient are they, and where are they the most efficiently used? The opportunity to design truly hybrid buildings is rare, to immediately put everything onto one building if you don’t have the experience is a risk therefore interdisciplinary teamwork and research-industry collaboration are required in these instances. WB: Over the past two years there has been a global explosion of awareness of climate change and the contribution our built environment makes to same. This has resulted in a rush to have buildings certified as ‘green’. How is this operating in the UAE? GL: We need to start somewhere on it and the West started with guidelines. I suppose it is to set a standard and make the process idiot proof, but at the same time these Excel sheets can limit your innovation as a designer or engineer. There is a risk it becomes a tick the box exercise and that’s it. LEED is currently being used in the Middle East for benchmarking, but for it to be appropriate it needs to be adapted to fit our culture and climate. Ultimately I hope we can grow out of using guidelines and minimum standards. They are limiting because you cannot measure social integration and real economic impact, the other aspects of sustainability. I think certification is the starting point, but ultimately just by raising up the numbers you don’t necessarily get better quality buildings.

GL: Creating adaptable buildings would have real potential. In other words the building itself adapts to its own needs, so that the envelope becomes like an actual skin. Whether it’s winter, summer, daytime, night time, the building responds. However, it’s dangerous to sweep in from the West to eastern countries and have an imperialistic view of sustainability even if it’s normal to do that because we were told that our western thinking is superior. But if you start by actually developing your own local system, a global and local combination, you get much better adapted, meaningful solutions, that actually in turn are informative for the West. WB: Our response to environmental destruction has so far been to be ‘less bad’ such as programs encouraging reduce, avoid, minimise, sustain, limit, halt…etc. Do you believe such thinking will continue to prevail or do you think that there is an opportunity for new thinking that views the earth as a biological system that we can fit into, that buildings can contribute to their environment as trees contribute to the earth? GL: We’ve got a project in Abu Dhabi where we produce more energy than we can use in the building, and when we told our client he said ‘Oh great, we’ll cool the car-parking’—it’s the wrong approach. We convinced him to feed the energy back into the grid as a social gesture. Currently we are working on buildings that will only need ten per cent of the current electricity demand and hopefully in the future we are able to feed into the grid rather than take from it. And if it’s possible anywhere, it’s here, because we’ve got fantastic climatic conditions, the sun and the daylight out here, you couldn’t wish for better daylight. It’s crazy that nearly every office has to have electric lighting on because they’re badly designed. We’ve got fantastic heat, which can be harnessed. If we can save the environment anywhere we should be able to do it here. It’s free. And it’s much better than having to struggle in somewhere like Scandinavia putting up solar cells and having very little daylight, particularly in the winter. We are not hampered by guidelines and that is something. The flexibility that we have we take for granted and we don’t really maximise what we could do with it. That’s up to us as individuals, practitioners, academics and clients. Interview ends

Creating adaptable buildings would have real potential. In other words the building itself adapts to its needs, so that the envelope becomes like an actual skin. Whether it’s winter, summer, daytime, night time, the building responds.


73 Professor Rob John Adams AM B.Arch (Cape Town), MA.CNNA (Urban Design Oxford), FRAIA, HFRAPI, is the Director of Design and Urban Environment at the City of Melbourne. He has over thirty-six years experience as a practising architect and urban designer. In his role at the City of Melbourne he has produced a prolonged and consistent output of design -based urban projects and strategies worthy of over 100 state and national awards for excellence.

Rob is a passionate believer in the good design of cities and the important role to be played by all levels of government. A champion of the arts and environmental sustainability, he has worked to ensure that good urban design is established as a platform for city development into the twenty-first century. In 2007 Rob was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) in recognition for services to urban design, town planning and architecture.

Woods Bagot: How successful do you think we have currently been with the solutions we’re putting in place dealing with sustainability issues?

WB: The rate of change in the industry has been fascinating; what do you think about refurbishing existing stock to be more sustainable?

Rob Adams: What I think is dawning on a lot of us is that the solutions have always been there, and arguably if we go back 70–100 years and actually look at people in different climatic areas, we’re dealing with solutions that already existed before we started to put in modern technology. We should be starting to design buildings that are appropriate for the climate of our cities. I think this is going to be the big challenge. We’ll go backwards first to go forwards. This is evident in Melbourne’s CH2 building. The most effective factor in the building is that we can open the windows at night to allow the building to cool down and that single action saves 20% energy. As a profession we are going to have to get away from the seduction of technology and start looking more carefully at realistic solutions that adapt our buildings for the climate.

RA: What the Clinton Foundation and their Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program is doing for C-grade commercial office buildings is fascinating. The program allows both cities and building owners to apply for the necessary funds to retrofit existing buildings with more energy efficient products.

WB: Getting back to cities, do you think the model for our cities of the future will become more village-like in the way they are planned, so that everything will be much more localised? Or do you think the current model will be maintained?

Interview with Rob Adams

WB: Is there a city that you think is leading the way with these considerations?

WB: Are you aware about how much uptake there’s been with this? RA: Yes. Two cities have signed up to it, London and Melbourne. In Melbourne we have given them our total city property portfolio to review. The state government has also committed a part of the parliamentary precinct. When addressing a city rather than a single building we can achieve economies of scale on factors such as blackwater treatment and co-generation. As yet I don’t know of any built examples but the momentum is growing and the process has begun.

RA: If you asked me to pick a city where we can achieve zero emissions in five years, I’d pick a city like Barcelona and there are others similar. The reason is the density—200 people per hectare—the highest density of any city in Europe. It has great streets, it has wide footpaths and public transport, it’s walkable, it’s mixed use so you don’t have to go too far to find anything and it’s only built to seven storeys so the whole roof of the city can become a solar collector. It was designed pre-motor car as a walkable city. A lot of other cities have these conditions as well. We just have to rediscover them.

WB: So where do you think the focus needs to be, on future proofing new stock or re-visiting our existing buildings?

WB: Yes, Barcelona has been quoted as one of the ‘smart cities’. Do you believe the trend towards zero carbon cities and buildings should continue?

WB: Absolutely. What are the most radical ideas you have heard about in terms of sustainable solutions?

RA: I do, and the interesting thing is that it’s not a hairshirt future—we don’t have to give up a lot to achieve this goal. Ironically a lot of city changes or adaptations in terms of liveability are identical to those needed for sustainability. We will find that cities of the future are far more exciting places to be in, far more socially and environmentally attuned. From a professional point of view I get quite excited about the challenges we are being set and I keep on wanting to say, ‘Let’s stop avoiding this issue; the solutions are quite exciting’. But we also need to insist on courage in government focus.

RA: We are going through that exercise as we speak. We’ve done a feasibility study on a C-grade building. It was built to low commercial parameters, low floor to ceiling heights and so on. It will cost us about A$43 million to convert it to a 6 Star building. To knock that building down and build a new 6 Star building of the same size would cost A$53 million. It’s a no-brainer which way we should go.

RA: There are some interesting ideas. Take the Melbourne example of harnessing the energy of water. A lot of people may not know that the water level between the bay and the sea during the changing of tides is one metre. It is a huge force that comes through the heads. They are now looking at generating electricity by harnessing that force. I think this will be an area of focus more and more with the rise of tides. The funny thing about this whole debate—even the building of cities—none of it is new stuff. People talk about CH2 as something radical and I hear, “Look at the solutions—it’s got opening windows, it’s got flyscreens on the windows when they open at night, we have plants in the building and we protect our windows on the north”. Well that all sounds like pretty common sense stuff to me.

RA: I think if you take the typical Australian city it will become more village-like. Suburbia will be redefined. In a hundred years time we will have clusters of very dense, almost central city developments in and around our community and railway stations. We will have high density corridors along all our public transport routes. When you drop off the dry cleaning, get a cup of coffee and do your market shop, it is only going to be a couple of kilometres from where you live and you’ll mostly do it increasingly by walking or taking a bike. If you’re going to do a big market shop it might take one of those delivery bikes that ride around Copenhagen. Energy will be saved and personal fitness will increase. But the car will still be there. The car will become that element you use for a special occasion, like the old carriage that used to be brought out for a special occasion. For a lot of people, and I have lived in suburbia, that will be a huge relief because living in suburbia you have to drive sometimes 16 kms to get to anything that’s worth visiting. I think this is going to begin to change quite quickly. This idea is at the base of Melbourne’s 2030 and Brisbane’s Southeast Development schemes—developments with high density in and around the transport infrastructure. There is a way to resolve our problems and we have to start doing something about it fairly quickly. Interview ends

A lot of city changes or adaptations in terms of liveability are identical to those needed for sustainability.


75 James has held senior management positions in the property development and construction industries, primarily in Melbourne, over a period of more than twenty-six years. Specific roles have included state manager, development manager, project manager and business development manager for Devine Ltd, ING Real Estate Development, one of the world’s largest and most successful urban property developers, and Multiplex, one of Australia’s largest and most successful property development and design and construct contractors.

Interview with James Evans Woods Bagot: How effective do you believe our current attempts to develop truly sustainable built environments are?

WB: Where do you believe our efforts need to be focused in order to address shortcomings in our current approach to solutions?

James Evans: It’s a reasonable start; I would rate it four out of ten. Far greater emphasis and research is required to improve the existing building stock. A lot of focus is on new buildings but they represent such a small percentage of our built environment. I think initiatives, particularly tax benefits and penalties and government incentives, don’t exist in sufficient quantities to encourage building owners to improve their existing assets.

JE: We have renewed awareness but I don’t think we have the depth of understanding at the moment. I would like to see a diversion of the debate away from whether climate change is part of a natural phenomenon or whether man is contributing in whole or part to it, to an acceptance that man has limited resources and that those who only look at one or two generations ahead need to be financially penalised. From my perspective it’s time wasting to determine to what extent man has contributed to global warming or climate change—the fact is there are limited resources—that is unquestionable—and therefore education, business and government should all target this issue rather than spending time and resources debating amongst ourselves who or what is to blame. So much of our time and effort goes into debating as opposed to accepting and doing.

WB: What does the future look like for our built environments? JE: Boldly I would say by 2030 new buildings should all have near zero energy use and near zero waste. By 2060 we should actually be contributing positively back to the bigger picture of the environment. WB: What is the most radical idea that you have come across for sustainability? JE: I’m still hanging on to nuclear fusion. Obviously there are enormous benefits in it. It’s been around for many years but actually making it work is what would be radical. It’s also interesting to contemplate the ‘Dark Green’ movement. Part of that philosophy suggests man should return to being a ‘nil user’ and actually contribute back to the environment. Dark Green supporters are opposed to Maglev train technology for example, which on the face of it appears to be a very efficient use of energy, but the argument is that such technology makes transportation so much easier and quicker for man which in turn leads to further consumption of resources and expansion of man’s footprint. It is an extreme view, but is worth contemplating. Our resource consumption needs to be significantly reduced. WB: How do we ensure that we future proof buildings in environmental terms? JE: Firstly, building services flexibility, and secondly, mandated sinking funds for service replacement are needed. How do we predict what the technology of the future will be? As technology improves, a building must have a substantial sinking fund on which to draw in order to pay for updated services.

WB: Are there good examples of current initiatives or solutions that you believe set a benchmark for how we should move forward? JE: I feel sceptical. We’re not there yet. The current advanced leading buildings still have a long way to go, but they represent a reasonable beginning. In these early days business cases are often still based on less tangible benefits, benefits to productivity, that sort of thing. We must continually scrutinise. Many are jumping on the bandwagon with some part solutions. For example, we are getting rid of existing tungsten lights for new energy efficient globes, but they too are full of embodied energy and may cause more harm than good. Perhaps part of the solution is simple; turn off some of your new light bulbs. As I often argue with my wife, “don’t turn the heating on, put on something warmer”. We need to look at ourselves and our ever-expanding expectations not just our built environment. Interview ends

Many of the projects he has been involved in have been large-scale mixed use developments including Waterfront City (Melbourne Docklands), QV (Melbourne CBD) and the Como Centre (South Yarra, Melbourne).

... we are getting rid of existing tungsten lights for new energy efficient globes, but they too are full of embodied energy and may cause more harm than good. Perhaps part of the solution is simple; turn off some of your new light bulbs.


77 Alan Findlater is managing director of Donald Cant Watts Corke Management (DCWC) with over twenty years industry experience with firms, Leighton Contractors and Lend Lease. Founded in 1966, DCWC provide a full range of project management services from initial optimisation studies through to strategic management of property assets. They have worked on a wide variety of high-end projects including Parliament House and the National Museum of Australia.

Interview with Alan Findlater Woods Bagot: How effective do you think we have been in our current attempts to develop a truly sustainable environment?

WB: You spoke earlier about outcomes versus points systems. Are you seeing a movement towards carbon neutral buildings?

Alan Findlater: I think it’s probably too early to tell and it’s also a difficult thing to measure. What has been most effective is the amount of change within the last three years. If your buildings are not rated Five Star Green Star then you’re not considered to be doing anything special. This is a huge shift.

AF: Yes we have clients where this is a key stated objective. The perception of the benefits is driving the need. The market is asking, ‘Are you building carbon neutral?’, and people want to be able to say yes.

However, it does seem a lot is being driven by accreditation points. The industry has created a rating tool but is that giving us what we actually want? This means people’s behaviour is directly linked to how they’re measurable. It’s arguable whether we are pursuing the best outcomes, or are simply pursuing points. I don’t necessarily think it’s that easy for any kind of system of points to necessarily drive the behaviour you want. In my experience being driven by points can steer you away from what is intuitively a better outcome. However, the label of an accredited building seems to be gaining importance. Every project will be different of course. WB: Is there a future for the green building councils? AF: I think so. But they will need to ensure they maintain their relevance. If there was a marked trend away from points then it would indicate the need for realignment. The whole process is one of change and evolution. I think the ESD consulting profession will need to continue to evolve. In this initial phase it’s almost like a bit of a crusade—the whole movement is bound in sustainable principles and there’s a certain esoteric element to it all. A lot of that will go through an evolution and there will be a more pragmatic approach going forward.

WB: What does the future look like for the built environment? What sort of sustainable solutions do you think are going to be a feature for the buildings of tomorrow? AF: To be positive I would say the industry has a great capacity to be innovative and is open to change. The big institutions are all taking it pretty seriously and looking at their building stock and how they are going to improve their ratings. The market will show a great capacity to respond despite some trial and error. Probably in another twenty-four months there will be a shakeout of all the options and certain strategies will pursued more vigorously in a targeted way. WB: What about future proofing? Are these assets going to be around for 40–50 more years in an environment that is changing quickly? AF: Very difficult to answer. One of the largest influences is how much you can afford to future proof in the first place. It means recognising that the building will be obsolete in twenty years. Does future proofing mean having a core structure that is capable of different uses? Or is it ensuring that the completed built form can last through different or longer cycles? It’s difficult to predict because no-one knows where science is going. You can spend a lot of money on future proofing and get it wrong. Interview ends

WB: Have you come across some radical ideas that you think should be investigated further? AF: We’re looking at a project at the moment with wind power turbines. It’s unproven whether it will deliver the end results but we have a client who is interested in pursuing it so we’re open to new ideas and different approaches. It’s a bit of a laboratory out there at the moment.

One of the largest influences is how much you can afford to future proof in the first place. It means recognising that the building will be obsolete in twenty years.

Sustainability to me is creating something that can be destroyed and made again into its original form. For example, there is little sustainability in creating rubber oor mats from recycled car tyres. You should be able to make new car tyres out of old car tyres. What happens to the rubber oor mats when they are thrown away? Lucas Cusack London

Sustainability should not be an issue seen as separable from the whole. It should be at the starting gate, be there during the journey and at the end. Not one factor should escape scrutiny. After all, designers are required by law to design with immediate safety of constructors and users in mind . . . so why not the safety of future generations? Anton Jansz London








Today there is a critical need for China to change the way it develops and shapes its cities from the macro urban level right down to individual building designs. China’s mainland is a vast area of similar size and covering similar latitudes to the United States. This means climates and ecosystems vary dramatically, from sub-tropical to extreme cold. Traditionally this has resulted in the creation of different building types throughout China to deal with the different environmental needs. Building material usage, orientation and designs over time have emerged into distinct regional typologies. For example, in northern China, building facades traditionally face south or southeast and have large windows and screens to maximise heat and natural light gains. In contrast, the north-facing walls have limited and small windows to restrict the penetration of predictable cold northwest winds. Combine this with a thick roof, eaves of measured length that limit summer sun while welcoming winter light, and an open courtyard with central deciduous trees for shading, and you have the typology of a traditional northern China dwelling. This example demonstrates that China has a strong heritage of environmental design intelligence and an acute historical awareness of how to use architecture to create comfortable environments. So why is China today at risk of being one of the most carbon emitting countries in the world, and what is happening to environmentally reposition China? To answer this question we must first understand that China largely turned its back on its traditional heritage during the ill-fated Cultural Revolution (1966–76). China’s population was radically restructured under the red star and attempted to survive the decades of shortage and starvation through experiments in industrialising agriculture. Foreign advisors sent from its near neighbour, the Soviet Union, led to the erection of a multitude of inexpensive, poorly constructed, undecorated and standardised buildings. The purpose of these buildings was to give a consistent and unbiased level of basic amenity to align with the politics of the time, and the approach of design standardisation complemented China’s agrarian industrialisation. Unfortunately, these building types ignored many principles of what today we would consider as good design, and were built throughout China, ignoring the varied cultures and climates that exist. These regimented barrack-like ‘super block’ masterplans have formed the foundation of China’s built environment and have contributed significantly to the current level of environmental damage.

Today there is a critical need for China to change the way it develops and shapes its cities from the macro urban level right down to individual building designs. It is widely documented that greenhouse gases are doing enormous damage to the environment and that the climate is changing as a result. The manufactured landscapes of China are a major contributor. China is expected to accommodate more than half the world’s building projects within the next fifteen years (Block, 2007), and was predicted to overtake the United States in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2007 according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Kahn & Yardley, 2007). Vice Minister of Construction, Qiu Baoxing, has stated that about 95% of China’s booming construction industry accounts for 75% of the nation’s total energy consumption. China’s environment has reached a point where it is now choking on its own success with the demand for fossil fuels unparalleled in history. Modern China is demanding enormous amounts of energy to feed its industrial sector and rampant urbanisation. This paper looks broadly at the current status of transport, recycling, energy technologies and construction in China and where this super power is positioning for the future.

China’s booming construction industry accounts for 75% of the nation’s energy consumption.



It was estimated that by the 2008 Olympic Games there would be 3.3 million cars on the road, up from 2.97 million cars in early 2007.




E-waste, materials that are highly toxic, containing heavy metals and lead, is a significant industry in China, with 50% of the world’s old computers ending up in villages where they are broken down to salvage various precious metals from the components (Baichwal, 2006). Where have all the bikes gone? With the increased spending power of the expanding middle class in China’s Mainland, the demand for cars has also increased and gone are the days of bicyclefilled streets. Even with the bicycle lanes of yesterday being lost for wider roads, traffic congestion remains a major problem in many Chinese cities particularly Beijing and Shanghai. It was estimated that by the 2008 Olympic Games there would be 3.3 million cars on the road, up from 2.97 million cars in early 2007 (Mackey, 2007). Along with demand for cars comes the need for more fossil fuels to build expanding infrastructure. The results of the widespread emergence of the car throughout China include higher energy consumption, increased greenhouse gas emission, extensive noise pollution, and not least an extremely stressful and uncomfortable travel environment. Simple trips in these leading Chinese cities can now take hours to complete as cars queue across busy intersections with frequent disregard for traffic signals and road signs. For pedestrians the roads have become substantially more dangerous as drivers, including those of the public transport system, rarely stop for pedestrians and can often be seen driving up on the footpaths to avoid jammed traffic. The Beijing Municipal Government is implementing numerous measures to help reduce the everincreasing traffic congestion problem, but they are racing against the speed of car purchases which currently stands at around 1200 new cars entering the streets every day (Mackey, 2007). Beijing ran an experiment where one million cars were taken off the streets to see the extent of pollution reduction in the lead-up to the Olympic Games (Over 1 million automobiles to be banned during Olympics, 2007). The results were immediately visible with less traffic jams and a bluer sky. Chinese officials measured up to 20% less pollution and a 50% increase in speed of traffic (Local Government Association, 2008; Mackey, 2007). In addition to experiments in car control the Beijing Municipal Government has started looking at a green tax to be placed on vehicles and vessels. This tax was planned to be implemented on 1 July 2007 but has been delayed to better align the taxation policy with the national strategy of conserving energy and protecting the environment (Green taxation needed in China, 2007). While a taxation policy that makes energy consumers and the producers of greenhouse gas emissions pay is a good idea, the scheme needs to be fair. The government needs to address the different efficiencies of vehicles including new and used vehicles. In this way consumers that have elected to buy efficient, smaller, or alternative energy vehicles can be rewarded.

To further help with traffic congestion, cities like Beijing have embarked on major subway system upgrades with the help of Japanese engineers who are responsible for the superb metro systems of Tokyo. New underground stations are being added and a major new line running north and south was added in late 2007. To further stimulate the use of the metro system instead of cars, fares have been reduced, the number of stops increased and lifts introduced down to the platforms (Qu, 2007). Additionally, in a bid to ease congestion and improve air quality Beijing has reportedly paid 1.3 billion Chinese yuan (US$174m) to subsidise public transport companies after bus ticket prices were also lowered.

Unfortunately, even though such recycling can curb some environmental damage, without stricter regulation and government control, some of China’s recycling practices can be even more environmentally harmful. According to a 2005 Greenpeace study, run-off from the acid baths used to dissolve the metals has found its way into nearby rivers, and dangerous toxins are released by fires used to destroy non-recyclable components (Brigden, 2005). Much more coordination between public and private sectors is necessary and this is a difficult balance for China to reach. Economic disparity exists between China’s major cities and more rural areas as does the disparity between enforcement and enactment of governmental policy.


Zheng Guoguang, Director of China’s Meteorological Administration (2007), argued that it is important when discussing China in terms of climate change and environmental sustainability, that one understands the concept of ‘differentiated responsibility.’ The principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR) develops from Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration and states in effect that while all countries have a common obligation to protect the world’s environment, countries at different stages of development require differing levels of obligation. Developed countries (which Zheng correctly believes should be blamed the most for global warming due to a longer history of greenhouse gas emissions) now need to focus on the mitigation of what are called ‘luxury emissions’. China, who is trying to solve problems related to basic living standards for tens of millions of people, needs to reduce ‘survival emissions’ (Xiaohua, 2007).

These are strong initiatives aimed at easing carbon emissions and China’s policies don’t stop at transport. Recycling and alternative energy technologies are emerging in importance. At the 2007 National People’s Party Congress, the government stressed a proactive response to growth and sustainability. Environmental protection has attracted the government’s attention although there is still lack of coordination often between government strategy and other sectors. China is at the centre of the world’s recycling. Many recycled materials collected in the developed countries are shipped to China as raw materials, often in the form of cube metal, to be recycled into new products. E-waste, materials that are highly toxic, containing heavy metals and lead, is a significant industry in China, with 50% of the world’s old computers ending up in villages where they are broken down to salvage various precious metals from the components (Baichwal, 2006). As this type of work is painstaking, difficult and done manually, with very low pay, it is cost prohibitive for a developed country to deal with. As a result, China currently plays a significant global recycling role by retrieving materials that would otherwise be lost to landfill. Business Weekly reported that Philips established a recycling centre in China to recover mercury from discarded tubes. Annually, the recycling centre is capable of processing over seven million tubes which is a significant recycling potential (Li, 2004).

The principle calls for developing countries to come into compliance over time. Speaking to leaders of Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa during the 2007 Group of 8 (G8) summit, President Hu Jintao, reiterated the need for developing countries to ensure effective cooperation to prevent environmental degradation, but stressed that for China and other developing countries, achieving “economic growth and improving the lives of our people are top priorities” (Hu urges “common but differentiated responsibilities”, 2007). Rightly so, without a more level playing field, environmental measures such as large-scale e-waste recycling may not reach its potential global impact.



Developed countries now need to focus on the mitigation of what are called ‘luxury emissions.’ China, who is trying to solve problems related to basic living standards for tens of millions of people, needs to reduce ‘survival emissions’.




By 2004, China had fortythree established wind farms, with 1291 wind turbines and 764 megawatts of installed capacity...The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts that total wind power in China will reach 150 million kW, making it one of the world’s largest wind power markets.


Environmental leadership

Green energy technologies

The impact on the environment is arguably the most negative aspect of China’s extraordinary growth, and this is well-known by China’s leaders. The leadership in China knows it must act now in regards to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption if it wants to engage in global business. Already the municipal government in Beijing has spent fifteen billion Chinese yuan (US$2bn) on a large-scale pollution remediation with factories, power plants and coal-fired furnaces being relocated out of the city. The Beijing Municipal Government claims environmental initiatives conducted have resulted in 241 ‘blue-sky’ days in 2006 compared to fewer than 100 ten years ago (Local Government Association, 2008).

With economic growth comes the additional need for energy, particularly electrical energy. Findings at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Energy Efficiency in Buildings project indicated that even though energy consumed in Chinese buildings is from five to nine times less than in developed countries, energy consumption per building is far greater (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2007). In fact, two to three times as much energy is used to generate the same amount of building heating in China as in developed countries with the same climatic conditions.

The most obvious answer to correct the current environmental situation in China would be to retard its economic growth. Unfortunately, the answer is not this simple. A recent article in the New York Times points out that for the central government the political calculus is daunting. Reigning in economic growth to alleviate pollution may seem logical, but the country’s system is addicted to fast growth. Delivering prosperity placates the public, provides spoils for well-connected officials and forestalls demands for political change. A major slow down could incite social unrest, alienate business interests and threaten the government (Kahn & Yardley, 2007). There is, however, no escape for China in regards to environmental sustainability. As the country becomes more and more a global citizen it receives increasing pressure to act as a good global citizen and with its rising financial power there is an accompanying expectation of global leadership. Further, China has entered into a number of environmental agreements that include Asia Pacific 6 (AP6). In fact, China has signed over seventy international treaties on the environment. On paper, China is well positioned to emerge as a vital key player in environmental protection and sustainable development. China now needs to ensure unified adherence to these agreements.

In China 450 billion kilowatts of electricity was produced from January to February alone in 2007, an increase of 17% from the previous year (Li, Chen & Cai, 2007). The International Energy Agency is forecasting that the energy demand in China will increase by 260% from 2000 to 2030 making the nation one of the world’s biggest energy consumers (Loy, 2007). It should also be noted that the building industry alone accounts for one third of China’s electric power demand (Langer & Watson, 2004). Consequently, the need for green energy technologies has become a necessity for China and the government has already responded, particularly in the areas of wind and solar power generation. China now hosts Suzlon Energy, the world’s biggest wind turbine factory. The Chinese government, realising the benefits and increasing global demand of wind energy technology, has demanded that 70% of parts should be locally produced (Sunlit uplands, 2007). This is a good example of how China is exploiting new environmental technologies to build local industry, contribute to the greater economy and support climate change.

When one flies into Shanghai’s Pudong Airport on a clear day a grid of wind turbines may be seen slowly turning near the Yangtze River from one of China’s clean energy producing wind farms. This wind farm is one of many planned for China (Loy, 2007). China’s first wind farm was constructed in 1986 in Rongcheng, north of Beijing. By 2004 China had forty-three established wind farms, with 1291 wind turbines and 764 megawatts of installed capacity. In 2007 the country had increased this number to sixty-two farms in fifteen provinces (Feller, 2006). The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts that total wind power in China will reach 150 million kW, making it one of the world’s largest wind power markets (Loy, 2007). China ranked tenth two years ago in terms of annual installed wind turbines and by 2007 has risen to number five behind the United States, Germany, India and Spain. It is anticipated that with rapid industry growth China will be catapulted to second position by the end of 2008 (Martinot, 2007). China is already becoming a world leader in solar power with innovators such as solar engineer Dr Shi Zhengrong, part-owner of Suntech (the third largest manufacturer in the world of solar cells) leading the way (Suntech, 2006). The company is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is worth around US$5.5 billion (Sunlit uplands, 2007). More so than solar electricity due to its upfront expense, solar hot water heating has great traction in China which is now home to almost 60% of the world’s solar water heating capacity (Hodum, 2007).



Building the next generation It is anticipated that by 2015 more than half of the world’s buildings will be in China and many of these buildings will be over 93 m tall (The World Bank, n.d.). An important consideration is that many of these major-scale buildings in China will be tall towers. The emergence of tall towers in China is being driven by the increasing cost of land combined with population plus a dire need for urban regeneration. The rapid emergence of tall buildings in China has brought about an increased awareness of the need for integrated environmentally sustainable design solutions for major projects. This was demonstrated in 2007 when Shanghai hosted the tall building conference with the topic: ‘Planning, designing, marketing and managing of sustainable skylines for current and future generations.’ The conference had thirty-five sponsors, twenty-eight international speakers and more than 150 delegates from the design, building and property fields highlighting the importance and interest in the topic. Building owners in China are now starting to realise that going green has a number of commercial benefits like improved brand recognition, tenant attraction and retention, and significant lifecycle cost reductions. As a result of this, pressure is now being placed on developers to incorporate built-in environmental initiatives to cater for market demands. This has seen the emergence of environmental consultancies such as EMSI who are specialising in design strategies that result in LEED-rated buildings. With more than twenty projects throughout China, companies like EMSI are evidence of the emergence of developer awareness of the need to go green in China. One of EMSI’s projects that is of particular interest and is an example of the Chinese government leading by example in regards to sustainable design is the Songbei Enterprise Centre in Harbin. The 55 000 m2 project will be China’s first green municipal building, and will be headquarters of the Songbei District Government. The design includes extensive daylighting, hybrid natural ventilation, groundwater cooling, green roofs and a large photovoltaic system. Woods Bagot has been approached by several industrial sector developers in China with briefs for sustainable industrial parks. This development response has been encouraged to a large extent by government financial incentives offered to district and province leaders that can demonstrate cleaner air and environmental initiatives. Another building of particular interest in China is the seventy-one-storey Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou due for completion in 2009. This tower boasts to be the world’s first ‘net’ zero carbon skyscraper that produces its own energy from sun and wind sources. While many of the high-rise technologies proposed for this building are still unproven, the aspiration of the design is remarkable and innovative in design. The building’s actual performance will only be known upon its completion and after several years of operation. However, whether this building is 100% zero-energy or not, it will represent a new vision of architecture for China, and, most importantly, will demonstrate China’s willingness and commitment as an environmental leader.

Due to China’s double digit economic growth, the country has become a focal point for international media. As it develops, China has attracted the eyes of the world—perhaps even with a bit of envy. China has been criticised for the impact of this growth on the environment, though it is worth noting that many of the critical onlookers are developed countries that industrialised and prospered early without any regard for the environment. Consequently China, along with India and other developing countries, is being pressured by the developed world to implement, at additional expense, advanced environmental control measures. This pressure, however, does have an extremely positive dimension in that it will lead to new industries and avenues for financial growth, and China is in prime position to be a global leader in environmental change and technologies. Modern China is a dichotomous country, but it has the ability to set the standard and benchmarks for climate change and sustainability in the new century.

It is anticipated that by 2015 more than half of the world’s buildings will be in China and many of these buildings will be over 93 m tall.

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The colour of money: The business case for sustainable design Earle Arney and Chris Mobbs Make no mistake ... it is not ‘business as usual’. This paper examines what is the business case for sustainability; or put more colloquially, what colours our decision to ‘go green’?

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The revolution is simple. It is about adapting business to the global awareness that our environment matters. Revolution or fad-rhetoric? A revolution is occurring. It is not about industrialisation as was the last great global revolution but it is global nonetheless. It is a revolution that is in its infancy and is at the stage of building a collective consciousness. It is a revolution that will fundamentally colour everything we do from the way we grow our food, consume resources, transport ourselves, house our children and communicate to each other. It is a revolution promoted by all aspects of society and is increasingly dissolving barriers of race and wealth. The revolution is simple. It is about adapting business to the global awareness that our environment matters. The seeds of this revolution were planted many years ago but it is only in more recent time that our communities, customers and tenants have started to mobilise and proactively engage business. What is also clear is that a significant target will initially be the low fruit; things we can change that will generate an immediate improvement to the sustainability of our planet.

Buildings are one such easy target as they typically generate more than thirty per cent of all energy consumption and they are, on a global scale, relatively cheap to deliver sustainable outcomes (Energy Information Administration, 2007). Indeed, a global study by McKinsey of the size and cost of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions reveals that “at the low end of the cost curve are, for the most part, measures that improve energy efficiency”. “These measures, such as better insulation in new buildings”, improved lighting systems and air conditioning efficiency reduce emissions by lowering demand for power (Enkvist, Nauclér & Rosander, 2007, p. 37). Such initiatives are now becoming embedded in most progressive green buildings and it is not surprising given that sixty per cent of global executives view climate change as important to consider within their company’s overall strategy. Further, nearly seventy per cent see it as an important consideration for managing corporate reputation and brands, and over fifty per cent say it’s important to account for climate change in such varied areas as product development, investment planning, and purchasing and supply management (McKinsey, 2008).

A related global survey by McKinsey found that businesses must act on global warming to narrow a general ‘trust gap’ between them and the public. Failure to do so will not only affect how customers trust a company but whether they would buy its products (Bonini, Hintz & Mendonca, 2008). By extension and from our own global experience, property businesses that do not act on global warming will find it increasingly difficult to sell or lease space in their buildings if these assets are not environmentally sustainable. The message is clear. Join the revolution or become an old school fad.

The message is clear. Join the revolution or become an old school fad.

Melbourne Convention Centre Development. Designed by joint venture architects Woods Bagot and NH Architecture



... businesses must act on global warming to narrow a general ‘trust gap’ between them and the public. Show me the money Concerns about greenhouse gases and global warming are no longer limited to environmentalists. This revolution or paradigm shift is now about business and doing things smarter to generate shareholder value. Apart from the significant changes that will result with the introduction of a carbon economy, obvious but compelling reasons to change include: / Lower annual operating costs / Increased occupant productivity / Higher relative investment returns / Marketing advantage / Higher market value for assets / Higher rents Less well documented but still compelling drivers for going green include: / Ethical investment opportunities / Higher tenant retention / Reduced liability regarding occupant health / Less reliance on external infrastructure grids and their subsequent problems / Reduced capital costs including reduced construction time and variations (Madew, 2006) With these benefits it is not surprising that there has been such a rapid growth in efforts by the property industry to explore opportunities and subsequently commit to developing sustainable built environment solutions.

The business case for sustainability is often argued by property industry commentators in purely financial terms and the basic equation that is applied is a comparison of long term operational expense against the capital expense of those initiatives. Indeed, Davis Langdon advises that significant environment measures increase the capital cost of buildings by as little as 2–4% and that energy savings are the single largest quantifiable benefit for the implementation of sustainability (Davis Langdon, 2007). Yet the influence of this equation varies significantly around the globe as the cost of energy is markedly different in the Middle East, to Europe and America (Figure 1). As a result, savings in energy consumption in Europe where energy costs are high can have a dramatic effect on the annual operating cost of a building. Despite regional price variations, the foreseeable increases in energy costs and their unpredictability, as seen in 2008, are likely to focus the industry on employing sustainable design measures to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. Our research reveals that there is a much more complex matrix of drivers that underpin a green business case than the basic Capex/Opex equation (see ‘Sustainability: Who cares?’, p. 54). Indeed, some developments incorporate financially unviable but visually recognisable green initiatives as a public demonstration of sustainability in an attempt to build or strengthen their brand. Other arguments for investing in sustainable design have linked green initiatives with improved staff comfort, higher staff satisfaction, cultural alignment, staff retention and attraction and increased productivity. This is particularly relevant in the workplace of developed countries where payroll costs of knowledge workers greatly outweigh most other costs.

Indeed a study of office worker productivity by Heschong (2003) concluded that positive changes to the working environment can deliver marked improvements in occupant performance. For example: – An increase in daylight illumination levels up to seven metres resulted in 13% improvement in productivity – Increased ventilation was associated with performance improvements of 4–17% – Better quality ventilation also reduced sickness by 9–50% In addition, traditional, non-green solutions have a relatively high degree of delivery certainty. Unfortunately, delivering a green building is less reliable. Added technological complexity, varied levels of experience and product availability combine to decrease delivery certainty. One only has to look at the current ratio of green awards for ‘design’ and monitor this through-put to ‘as built’ awards to see that the conversion rate is not yet particularly high. Decreased delivery certainty means elevated risk which translates into reduced potential benefit for occupants and reduced impact on the environment. Elevated risk is a deterrent to the decision makers considering the development of sustainable solutions in their property portfolio and a challenge to those charged with the delivery of the end product. Whilst our industry’s understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions is growing rapidly (at various rates globally), our ability to sufficiently decrease delivery risk is under-developed.

Case studies It is clear that there is a thirst for knowledge sharing. This is no more the case than in the property industry which effectively creates a new product on each building site. To become more effective at this process of invention and to reduce the risks of green buildings, it is useful to examine case studies of recently designed and recently completed green developments. The following examples are three very different business cases of sustainability in which the challenges, risks, opportunities and outcomes of each are explored. 1. Adelaide City Central, Australia The 125 000 m2 City Central development in South Australia contains four commercial towers, a residential/hotel tower, retail and hospitality venues and a plaza area combining new buildings with refurbished heritage works. Tower 1 houses predominantly commercial office space and was completed in 2007, with Tower 2 completed in 2008. The project was born against conditions that many would have walked away from. However, through the vision of the developer and effective engagement of prospective tenants and other key stakeholders, a product has been delivered that has transformed the Australian speculative commercial property market.

2. BNZ Tower, New Zealand The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) corporate headquarters project is currently under construction in Auckland and was a pilot project for the establishment of the country’s Green Building Council design rating scheme. The BNZ Tower is New Zealand’s first high-rise 5 Star Green Star designed commercial office building and as such will be the high-rise poster child for sustainable design in New Zealand. Environmentally efficient operation and corporate social responsibility were the key drivers behind incorporating sustainable initiatives into this development.

“ The issue for us is very much about social responsibility and also about the indoor environment for our staff.” Bruce Stockwell, Director, Corporate and Institutional Banking, BNZ

3. Melbourne Convention Centre Development, Australia The Melbourne Convention Centre Development (MCCD) is the world’s first 6 Star Green Star ‘designed’ (Green Building Council of Australia) conference centre and is being delivered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the Victorian Government, Brookfield Multiplex and Plenary Group. The design solution employs a number of ‘firsts’ in a building that traditionally contradicts the aims of sustainable buildings.

“ It’s more about what you don’t see than what you do see.” Matthew Jessup, Principal, Lincolne Scott

“ Once you have created a building like Tower 1 [City Central], why would you go back to an old-fashioned building? Green is the way of the future.” Peter Hall, MD, Aspen Group

Figure 1. International electricity cost comparison 2007. Reproduced with permission from NUS Consulting Group

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0 Italy

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Indeed, some developments incorporate financially unviable but visually recognisable green initiatives as a public demonstration of sustainability in an attempt to build or strengthen their brand.


1. Adelaide City Central, Australia


Building statistics: / At the time of publishing, Australia’s largest 5 Star Green Star (66 points-design) and 5 Star ABGR rated building (GBCA) / Cost: Tower 1 A$90 million (A$2200 m2); Tower 2 A$35 million / 1% cost premium for Green Star solutions (Tower 1) / ‘Premium Grade’ office as rated by the Property Council of Australia / 31 000 m2 nett lettable area for Tower 1 / Floor plates 1200–1750 m2 nett lettable area / Key tenants: / Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology / Department of Transport Energy and Infrastructure / Developer: Aspen Group / Builder: Baulderstone Hornibrook / Sustainability initiatives: / Passive solar control / Full height continuous glazing / High transparency glass (Low-E coated glass to allow maximum daylight penetration) / Passive chilled beams / Single passive 100% fresh air supply / Mixed mode ventilation / Energy–5 Star ABGR / Water savings / Cooling tower water recycling / Waterless urinals / AAAA rated fittings / BMS leak detection / 80% steel, 100% recycled / Sustainable timber / Low gassing products / Adaptive operating system with weather station


103 Sustainability drivers Having acquired 1.7 hectares of CBD space, Aspen Group realised that in order to deliver a profitable product they would need to create an innovative solution that disrupted the stagnated Adelaide commercial property market. The need to create something new and financially viable, coupled with a strong sense of commitment to Adelaide led to the decision to design and deliver a green solution to the market in a phased implementation. For Aspen Group, sustainable buildings represent the evolution of property development. “Buildings have to be designed to make people want to go to work, to inspire them and to make them productive”, says Peter Hall. The challenges Aspen Group faced a number of significant challenges as nothing like this project had previously been undertaken in South Australia. The skills and knowledge required to deliver the solution were not always locally available. Furthermore, the rents in Adelaide were prohibitively low to the development of new buildings and owners of existing stock were artificially keeping rents down to ensure their stock occupancy levels were high. There was also no demand for the proposed amount of new space and the existing planning policies were stacked against this scale of development. In essence, Aspen Group could have made more money for less risk by building elsewhere. The solutions Despite these challenges, the successful delivery of the project can be attributed to a number of factors that all came together to create the right environment and conditions: / A high degree of determination on the part of Aspen Group to deliver a quality, sustainable solution into the South Australian market / Securing the underdeveloped land at a low price / Aspen Group’s strong social commitment to Adelaide City and ability to see a gap in the quality of available stock / Commitment from the South Australian State Government to pursue sustainable solutions for its accommodation needs Aspen Group’s first step in realising the development was to purchase the Advertiser building from News Corp and approach the other owner of remaining land parcels, Australia Post. “It is rare to have only two principal owners of so much land”, says Hall. “I recognised an opportunity of creating something special, if I could find the right edge.” Adelaide City Central, Australia. Designed by Woods Bagot

Hall realised that for a speculative development of this scale a clear point of difference was needed. This edge became large floor plates coupled with high quality technology and environmental solutions. Having secured the best location in the city, demand for the product was required and there had been little interest in sustainable property solutions at that time. Fortune played a hand in securing the anchor tenant for the first development in City Central, Tower 1. The new labour State Government was keen to reinvigorate development in the Adelaide CBD and to support green initiatives, particularly for its own staff. The City Central proposal exactly matched the criteria for new buildings under the state Strategic Plan and the project team managed to secure the Department of Further Education Employment Science and Technology (DFEEST) as a result.

Driving urban regeneration The scale of the development was sufficiently large to overcome the existing local planning regulations that would have inhibited the quality of the end solution. Very early in the process it was clear that the Adelaide planning controls were not written with City Central in mind. It assumed that sites were small and controlled by multiple owners. It used control mechanisms such as plot ratio and set-backs to determine building envelopes which were unaligned with the desired urban design outcomes. The planning approval process was pursued on performance grounds rather than rigidly adhering to the prescriptive rules and regulations of the planning code. Gavin Kain (Principal, Woods Bagot) explains, “We did not try and twist the planning guidelines to our advantage. We demonstrated the quality of the product and place and ultimately how the project benefits the community”. This methodology required a commitment to communication, cooperation and quality. It also involved a degree of flexibility by all parties, including Aspen Group. Particular benefits of the development to the local community include: / 30% less emissions / 30% saved energy / 50% saved water / 60% less waste / New community facilities / Urban regeneration of the CBD / Using City Central as a catalyst for ongoing commercial green projects

The outcomes The developer and design team’s sustainable approach to Tower 1 cost A$2200/m2 for the base building—a 1% increase above traditional building materials. Fitout costs have also been substantially reduced (by about A$150/m2) through integration with the base building works. The speculative property industry in Australia now has more confidence that a green building can be commercially viable. The government is giving preference to leasing green buildings and corporate tenants and the market has moved to approaching sustainability as a given. Tower 1 has now been awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Office Design V2 ‘as built’ certified rating by the Green Building Council of Australia. It is the first project in South Australia to achieve this standard and showcases the most extensive application of chilled beam technology in Australia. With plans for the remainder of the City Central development to maintain this standard it will be the largest 5 Star development in Australia. Occupants have benefited as found by the recent post occupancy evaluation conducted by Woods Bagot (see p. 24): / Staff reported that both their health and job satisfaction had increased significantly since relocating to City Central / Outdoor views, daylight, temperature and air quality were rated to have the most positive impact on job performance / Office acoustics and artificial lighting had smaller impact on performance / Tenants were using more environmentally sustainable methods of commuting to and from work There are a number of important lessons that Aspen Group are using to improve future projects and the ongoing development of Adelaide City Central. These include: / Restructuring rental agreements to reflect the delivery of sustainable features and provide incentives for tenants / Using trusted teams and proven delivery approaches / Providing integrated fitouts for tenants to help maximise delivery efficiencies Aspen Group have now also committed to 5 Star Green Star ratings as the minimum standard for all their future commercial developments.


105 Building statistics: / Total building cost NZ$116 million

2. BNZ Tower, New Zealand

/ Cost premium of green initiatives NZ$4 million (to achieve 5 Star from 4 Star) / ‘A Grade’ office as rated by the New Zealand Property Council / 35 000 m2 gross area / 23 200 m2 nett lettable area / Podium floors (L1–L7): 5438 m2 nett lettable area / Tower floors (L8–L18): 11 458.4 m2 nett lettable area / Key tenant: Bank of New Zealand occupies 11 500 m2 nett lettable area in the podium and lower two tower floors / Developer: Brookfield Multiplex Developments Limited (NZ) Ltd / Builder: Brookfield Multiplex Constructions Limited (NZ) Ltd / Owner: Brookfield Multiplex Limited (NZ) Ltd / Sustainability initiatives: / Ventilated facade utilising Low E glass with high VLT and low shading coefficients / Grey water recycling / Rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing / WELS 5 and 6 Star rated fixtures for water conservation / Automatic dimmable lighting to utilise natural light / Target to recycle or reuse 75% of construction waste / Low VOC paints and adhesives/sealants / Bicycle and shower facilities for occupants / Use of sustainable forested timber

Sustainability drivers The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is a pilot project for New Zealand’s Green Building Council in implementing a national Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) rating tool. The BNZ building has achieved a design rating of a 5 Star Green Star rating and is leading the way in NZ design with an advanced ventilated facade using the latest in glass technology. Achieving such a 5 Star Green Star rating is considered by the New Zealand Green Building Council as an environmentally sustainable design leader of national significance. Despite the current sustainability achievements and targets of this project, it has not always enjoyed such green credentials. This project has had a relatively long gestation (for New Zealand) of five years due to planning and heritage constraints. During that time the market expectations of environmental performance have shifted dramatically. The initial design was conceived in 2003 and was not benchmarked to any environmental standard nor did it employ sustainable design features. The current design commenced in 2006, and when completed in 2009, will be seen as the benchmark for commercial office buildings in the country. Given the extended time in which this project was conceived, it provides an instructive case study as to how market expectations have moved and how these changing dynamics affect our building stock. Building as brand BNZ is a sophisticated organisation and they recognised that in the ever increasing competition for talent and market share, they could use their building to inspire and welcome their people and customers. They understood that their core values and brand statement could be communicated publicly through the architecture of their head office. Values such as transparency, openness and demonstrated leadership were integrated into the very first design response and have remained a key determinant of the aesthetic of the building.

Building as a business enabler of cultural and social change The new BNZ building will bring together people who are currently accommodated in two, older lower-grade properties in Auckland. Within most of these existing properties, the floor plates are small and the resulting culture has been affected by a ‘silo’ effect. BNZ understood that the move to a new campus head office enabled them to transform their culture and they could use their workplace as a powerful tool of internal communication. Part of this story was the corporate social responsibility of the organisation which has a broad ethical base including environmental sustainability. BNZ chose to use their workplace not only as an instrument of encouragement and motivation for their people but as a demonstration of their commitment to environmental sustainability. This was considered to be imperative for a new generation of knowledge workers who are becoming harder to attract, who have higher expectations and are keenly aware when corporate messages contradict the environment in which they work. In embracing the idea of their building being a business enabler, as well as being a vehicle for cultural and social change, BNZ embraced a leadership position to steer the design of environmental initiatives in the building. In the recent past we have witnessed developers and end users using Environmentally Sustainable Design rating accreditation as a means of solely improving the valuation and commercial attractiveness of a property asset. While the bank appreciated these obvious spin-offs, their motivation was focused on broader objectives. Bruce Stockwell commented that, “The issue for us is very much about social responsibility and the indoor environment for our staff. It is not necessarily better for staff the higher the [green] rating”. Stockwell took a deep personal interest in developing a design that was not chasing green star points but one that would deliver a marked improvement in the environment for his staff while also reducing the energy and potable water consumption of the building. This subtle but important focus became a significant driver in the design process. Rather than design a building generated by a general scoring system such as provided by Green Star, the resulting project has been made to work harder to encompass specific goals such as deep light penetration, transparency and quality of air. Some of these drivers have made it more challenging to achieve the targeted rating due to the manner in which environmental designs are assessed. Nonetheless, the incorporation in the design of implicit social objectives has resulted in a better building for BNZ’s people and in turn will serve the owners well in terms of commercial value and longevity of life.

106 The challenges and solutions The low prevalence of local green rated buildings in New Zealand was a risk offset by ensuring the early pre-qualification of critical products by the New Zealand Green Building Council. This has enabled ninety-five per cent of reinforcing to be recycled and ceiling tiles to contain approximately seventy-five per cent recycled material. Given the bank’s design drivers of transparency and maximising deep light penetration through a large window surface area (Figure 2), the thermal loads were significant. The floor to ceiling glazing was particularly a cause of such high loads but was seen as a means of differentiating the building in the marketplace. Rather than minimise the heat loads by reducing the glazed area to less than fifty per cent of the facade, a high performance glass was developed in conjunction with the glass manufacturers which employed a triple Low Emissivity (Low-E) coating. This glass maintained a Variable Light Transmission (VLT) similar to that initially proposed, but offered a significant improvement in solar and thermal performance. The thermal performance offered by the triple coated Low-E glass was further increased on the high heat gain western facades by the introduction of a ventilated facade as illustrated in Figure 3. The ventilated facade not only maintained the visual identity required by the bank but enhanced its brand image by enabling a more transparent facade fronting the main address. However, the ventilated facade in itself didn’t result in a significant reduction in energy consumption and was capital cost intensive. In fact, the comparable current low cost of energy in New Zealand means payback for such a 5 Star building in terms of operating costs is difficult to achieve.

107 Through this process it became apparent that BNZ was planning to locate its circulation zones, interconnecting stairs and transitional unoccupied zones along the northern facade of the building. This meant that the stricter temperature controls that would apply to offices or other workspaces need not apply in these areas. Through some engineering of the air conditioning and ceiling layouts, the temperature tolerance ranges that apply to this area were increased. This will reduce demands on the energy consumption by the air conditioning system. While this only applies to BNZ’s tenancy in the building podium, and not the tower, it means we have achieved our objectives of a more transparent building that is also a green building. A partnership agreement between tenant and developer has been struck where the developer has agreed to construct a 5 Star Green Star design and ‘as built’ building. However, at practical completion the building will have a design rating and expects to achieve an ‘as built’ rating within 3–6 months. BNZ and Brookfield Multiplex have agreed to strive for the yet to be designed ‘in use’ third and final base building Green Star rating. This is expected to take approximately 12–18 months of occupation to measure and obtain certification. This achievement of the first two ratings and hopefully all three ratings is a very important issue for the bank given their sustainability targets and motivations for investing in the capital expense of incorporating sustainability features. Accordingly, a complex legal instrument has been agreed that protects the parties and allows for cost and risk sharing.

The outcomes This case study illustrates that innovative solutions are required when there are multiple parties set to gain from different aspects of the business case that underpins sustainable buildings. Stockwell has said that BNZ decided to support the increased cost of the sustainable building because “it satisfied our corporate environmental responsibility, BNZ cultural objectives and environmental sustainability targets”. Brookfield Multiplex as the owner was set to gain by an increase in value and future proofing of an asset at a time when advances in sustainability are rendering buildings conceived five years ago obsolete. Additionally, by partnering with BNZ, Brookfield Multiplex was able to secure a signature tenant to underpin their development which will be the country’s leader in environmentally sustainable design. All of this is also procured by way of Brookfield Multiplex’s integrated property model at a time of its recent introduction to the New Zealand market. BNZ has clearly demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming a principle sponsor of the New Zealand Green Building Council interior fitout Green Star tool and plans to be the first business institution to occupy a 5 Star rated base building with the key tenant holding a 5 Star interior tool rating.

BNZ’s objectives of transparency, innovation and iconic potential were enhanced by the sophisticated glazing solution but the bank was disappointed at the negligible improvement in Operating Expenses (Opex) which amounted to less than NZ$20 000 per annum. As a tenant, BNZ will not receive any benefit from the increased Capital Expense (Capex) required to fund the green initiatives which amounted to NZ$4 million. However, BNZ rated the intangible benefits of the sustainability features sufficiently to enter into an agreement with Brookfield Multiplex who is the developer, builder and owner, to share in the Capex investment.

950 3 650



2 700

This partnership of developer and tenant was critical to the outcome. Both parties were united in their desired outcome which is often a rarity. The resulting team culture enabled an open interrogation of all aspects of the base building and fitout. This aided the discovery of ways to improve environmental performance while avoiding a negative impact on the tenancy space.








Figure 2. Podium facade designed to optimise light penetration within the constraints of the floor to floor height imposed by the existing heritage building


Figure 3. The ventilated facade improves thermal performance


109 Building statistics: / Size: 126 000 m2

3. Melbourne Convention Centre Development, Australia

/ Certification: 6 Star Green Star design rating / Collaborative partners: Joint Venture Architects Woods Bagot and NH Architecture / Cost: A$1 billion / Developer: Plenary Group Consortium / Sustainability initiatives: / Indoor environmental quality: chilled beams; displacement ventilation / 30% of the gross floor area achieves a daylight factor of not less than 2.5% / Sustainable material selection / Reduction in CO2 emissions: incorporates highly efficient chillers, pumps and fans / Individual lighting control / Encouragement of alternative uses of transport by patrons / AAAA rated fittings waterless urinals and recycled water / Black water system and efficient subsoil drip irrigation / Water conservation / Cooling tower water recycling / BMS leak detection / Refrigerants and thermal insulation with Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) of zero / Sustainable timber products

Designed by joint venture architects Woods Bagot and NH Architecture



Sustainability drivers The Victorian Government is procuring the Melbourne Convention Centre Development (MCCD) by a Public Private Partnership (PPP). The winning bid was selected by competition, based on design and operational performance. The asset will be handed back to the government after twentyfive years. The government’s brief called for a 4 Star Green Star solution delivered for approximately A$375 million. The winning bid from Plenary/Brookfield Multiplex consortium proposed taking the development two steps further to deliver the world’s first 6 Star Green Star conference centre for a substantially increased cost (Figure 5). Plenary Group realised that a twenty-five year commitment required that the conference centre be future proofed. Plenary believe that by delivering a 6 Star solution they will minimise the need to make supplementary investments in the building at future dates and hence maximise the return on their investment. They also read clearly the political appetite of the government to be environmentally sustainable and to be seen to be taking a leadership position in this field. The success of the PPP competition process is at the core of the sustainability debate. There is a capital cost to sustainability initiatives and they do need to be funded or incorporated into the first round of budgets. In this case the Public Sector Comparator Budget allocated by the State was insufficient to deliver a 6 Star Green Star Rated building, let alone a civic quality building that contributed to the fabric of Melbourne’s identity. Plenary was able to demonstrate a win-win scenario for both the developer and the State by spending more money. The lesson here for all developments is that the debate should not be limited to the bottom line but the strategic long-term benefits to all parties. Financing in support of sustainability can lead to profit and public/social reward with fundamental rethinking of economic modelling.

The challenges and solutions Whilst the Melbourne Convention Centre Development will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, the technology being used to deliver the 6 Star rating is for the most part not new. What is challenging, however, is the environment within which it will be used. The conference centre is a large volume building which is occupied for typically short but energy intensive periods. It incorporates numerous large, variable volume, dark spaces which do not lend themselves to the delivery of energy efficient fresh air, cooling, heating and lighting solutions. To tackle this, traditional theatre air displacement systems were utilised which incorporate subfloor reticulation of cold and hot air through a series of plenum type spaces. The net effect is to reduce overall plant size and therefore energy consumption and improve indoor environment quality. Air displacement delivered to the first two metres avoids wasteful conditioning of air above areas which are unoccupied (Figure 6). Blackwater mining is another good example of proven technology being used in a new environment. This will be the first time a blackwater mining solution will be used in a public area of this scale creating significant water savings (Figure 4). With vast areas of floor and wall coverings, material selection came under the microscope to avoid both the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde minimisation. Even the large usage of natural timbers such as Australian Spotted Gum needed to be sourced from accredited sustainable forests. MCCD sponsored the first sustainable forest accredited supplier. Both potable water and landscape irrigation water efficiency and consumption were minimised by water harvesting.

The outcomes The outcome will be the world’s first 6 Star Green Star conference centre fully integrated with the Melbourne Exhibition Centre to become the largest combined facility of its kind in Australia. In another design first, it will be possible to divide the 5000-seat plenary hall into three self-contained halls while ensuring a clear view to the stage for all members of the audience. This project demonstrates that even in the most complex building types sustainable initiatives can be implemented to achieve real benefits. The challenge now is for the accreditation system to keep up with real innovation and to reward developers who continue to push the boundaries instead of following a bureaucratic process supporting mediocre projects that use sustainability protocol only for marketing purposes. The convention centre will be operationally managed by Plenary Group over the twenty-five year period of the PPP. During this time the MCCD will deliver significant benefits to the Victorian economy. Economic modelling estimates that over twenty-five years the convention centre will stimulate Victoria’s economy in excess of A$197 million each year and create 2500 jobs plus 1000 jobs during the construction phase. The achievements of the Melbourne Convention Centre transcend the simplistic climate debate. It proposes an argument for new economic and profit modeling where rewards of capital investment beyond the base case promote design and innovation as the catalyst and where the private sector can be the real hero of the twenty-first century. Sustainability should not be viewed as a sacrifice but a trigger for real differentiation and a fundamental transformation of procuring civic buildings.

Sustainable use of building materials Timber from renewable sustainable sources, materials and components have a high recycled content and minimal PVC utilisation

Low volatile organic compounds (VOC) Carpets, paints, adhesives and sealants to be low in VOC to enhance indoor air quality

Rainwater & stormwater collection

AHU Plant

Expansive glass facade Provides views and allows high degree of diffused natural light with spectrally selective glass

Cooling tower & toilet flush reuse

All wastewater collection Stormwater retention Roof drainage discharges to stormwater retention system

Radiant slab heating & cooling Slab heated to provide energy efficient occupant thermal comfort and reduce air conditioning requirements

Landscape/irrigation reuse

Rainwater pumpline to black water treatment facility

Macro filtration

Displacement ventilation Low level air delivery and high level air exhaust provide excellent air change effectiveness and high indoor air quality at low energy consumption

Conditioned air

Returned air

Micro Reverse UV filtration osmosis treatment

Black water treatment facility Treats wastewater, rainwater and stormwater to Grade A quality for reuse in building. Consequently reduces flow to sewer


Figure 6a. Conventional ventilation

Conventional ventilation

Colour key

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24 oC

26 oC

38 oC

Low level displacement ventilation

Colour key

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24 oC

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38 oC

Figure 6b. Low level displacement. Air delivered to the first two metres avoids wasteful conditioning of unoccupied areas

Figure 4. Water savings of a 6 Star solution versus 4 Star

Potable water Sewer discharge

Potable water Sewer discharge 10

Solar hot water Solar panels provide 100% of public amenity hot water requirements

To achieve the 6 Star classification every part of the nine classification score card needed to be scrutinised with innovation points making a significant difference to the final rating, including the utilisation of chilled beam technology in the administration areas. The brief, as dictated by a seven-volume, government document, served only to contradict and make achieving the 6 Star rating incredibly difficult. The flexibility requirements of the three halls coupled with the ability to load the floors with eighteen wheel pan techneons/semi-trailers meant complicated service and structural integration. Enormous subfloor penetrations were required to deliver the air quantities at the same time heavy transport and building deadloads needed to be maintained. To deliver sub-floor ventilation significant excavation was required into unstable Coode Island silt to create a sub-basement area with a matrix of air chambers, all linked under the theatre seating, which in turn were mechanically controlled to raise and lower the platform flooring system in order to achieve the numerous seating mode configurations stipulated by the brief.


Fresh air rates Improved indoor air quality due to large volumes of fresh air





Litres used and discharged





Figure 5. Sustainability initiatives for the Melbourne Convention Centre Development. Reproduced with permission from Advanced Environmental


What really gets me out of bed to do my job is the belief that our design expertise can be used to enrich the user’s experience of buildings. The fact is that people interact with low energy, adaptable buildings in a much more intimate way than they do with those providing highly conditioned environments. Jim Luke Sydney


To me, sustainability is about being a human ďŹ rst, not just a consumer. Michelle Addley Sydney



Attitude to action

Attitudes and actions are not the same. We can have an attitude towards something, such as sustainability, but not necessarily act on it. Turning an attitude into an action is a behavioural change process that is predicated by a number of factors. These factors can be successfully inuenced and persuaded with a well thought out strategic behavioural change plan.

Susan Stewart



Action 1

Action 2

To get started on a behavioural change program, first take the time to understand the stakeholders. Using a stakeholder analysis, break people into different sub-groups and define their attitudes, needs, values, culture, history and readiness to change. Tools such as surveys, focus groups, cultural reviews and change readiness assessments will help with the process. When doing this, also define what new behaviours or actions you are looking for with the change and identify what the stakeholders may see as the benefits or the constraints of the new action. Understanding the new behaviours and constraints will guide you in what types of strategy and ongoing tactics you will need to embed to sustain the change.

When writing the ‘why’ ensure that the purpose, format and language of the message is clear. The purpose should demonstrate an understanding of the needs and the values that you are appealing to. In terms of format, consider how you are going to persuade behaviours not only with words but also in symbols, stories, visuals, metaphors and actions. Finally, make sure that the language you use is clear, consistent and has emotional impact.

Understand the ‘who’

Behaviour begins with people and so too should all change programs. Understanding the ‘who’, or key stakeholders, their current behaviours, values, culture, history and moreover attitude, is paramount to successful change. Attitudes are one of the three key components of behavioural change because of their direct impact on our intentions. Attitudes are formed from beliefs and are ultimately derived by our internal evaluation of the positive and negative impacts of a certain behaviour. We all have multiple behavioural beliefs at any one time, but only a few will be strong. And the strong attitudes are the important ones, as they are more likely to guide a behaviour and generally don’t change over time (Holland, Verplanken & Van Knippenberg, 2002). For sustainable change, understanding people’s strong attitudes will help define the type of strategy and tactics required to change stakeholder actions. Strong attitudes are formed from a number of factors notably temporal stability, accessibility, direct experience, involvement, affective-cognitive stability, ambivalence and certainty (Cooke & Sheeran, 2004; Armitage & Christian, 2003).

Temporal stability describes those attitudes that are clearly defined values and beliefs which have been consistent over time. These attitudes are demonstrated not only in the way that people behave, but also in how they communicate, what they value and how they make decisions. Understanding these types of attitudes is important, as it is extremely difficult to change behaviours of those who have behaved a particular way for a long period of time. So, if you are looking to change the minds of those who do not consider sustainable principles to be important and have believed this for a long period of time, then don’t expect change to be easy or immediate. In fact, it’s often better to focus on those who have more favourable or ambivalent beliefs, as they are easier to persuade to change and can often influence those with strong negative values.

Explain the ‘why’

Innately we all want to know why… “Why should I?” Persuading people to change their attitude and actions requires logic. In successful change programs, the logic comes in the form of a clear and articulate vision and is reinforced in all communications (both verbal and non-verbal). A vision should clarify the direction and the purpose of the change, and motivate people to take action and help align individuals (Kotter, 1996). The Bank of America’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ken Lewis, has a vision that is very clear: “The Bank of America is involved in financing the green economy for a lot of good reasons. We believe it represents the future, and a tremendous business opportunity. We believe it’s what our customers and clients need us to do to support them. And we believe it’s the right thing to do for our communities, our country and our planet” (Lewis, 2008).

To act on this, last year the Bank of America announced a ten-year, $20 billion environmental initiative to help address climate change by championing sustainable business practices in lending, investments, products and services, operations and staff involvement. Through this initiative the bank is financing eco-friendly residential developments and green mortgages; developing new ‘green’ workplaces for their banks; piloting computer software in 3200 of their banking centres to monitor and adjust HVAC systems; and encouraging their staff and customers to be more sustainable with their Environmental Network, ‘Make it second nature’ and ‘Live green’ programs.



Action 3

Action 4

Effective communication is more than an email. Effective communication strategies involve the use of both one-way (emails, ails ails, advertising and media) and two-way communications (forums, meetings, feedback sessions and other interactive environments). To be successful, the communications must repeat the ‘what’, using different mediums such as leadership behaviours, rewards, acknowledgements and experiences (Kotter, 1996). Using techniques such as symbols, metaphors, analogies and stories will also influence and persuade stakeholders, helping them to remember the messages (Simmons, 2006).

Major transformation change rarely happens unless people are able Maj to s support the process and thus empowerment is critical (Kotter, 1996). Firstly, make sure that leaders and role models are on board 199 and are supportive of the vision. Secondly, create the right structures to enable people to take responsibility and action. Thirdly, develop systems and communications to support the processes, and finally, teach the stakeholders with the skills to perform effectively. Without these four elements, stakeholders are more likely to become frustrated, feel powerless and will be less motivated to act.

Vision is one thing, communicating, repeating and reinforcing it is another. Behavioural theory tells us that the more accessible the attitude, the more likely it will impact behaviour (Armitage & Christian, 2003). Advertisers know this, which is why last year the global advertising market was estimated at US$605 billion and is expected to reach US$707 billion globally in 2012 (Kelsey Group, 2008). However, behavioural change is rarely an outcome of mass media campaigns and thus sustainable change strategies need to reinforce the vision and key messages incorporating a variety of mediums and tactics to reinforce and reiterate the message.

Strategies that involve stakeholders can be effective in ensuring attitudes become actions. Experiences produce informative attitudes and intentions that influence future behaviours over time (Cooke & Sheeran, 2004).

Communicate the ‘what’

Involve your ‘who’

Operation Flinders Foundation, an Australian charitable organisation that runs wilderness adventure program for young offenders and young people at risk, uses direct experience to encourage organisations to financially support the foundation. The foundation takes professionals from targeted organisations on parts of the 100 km trek through the remote Australian bush in the Flinders Ranges to experience and meet with teenagers whose lives have been changed by the program.

Involvement can also occur through indirect experience. Social learning theory tells us that people can learn by observing the behaviour of others and the outcomes of those behaviours. In the Academy Award winning documentary, An inconvenient truth, director Davis Guggenheim effectively used indirect learning through simulations and time-lapse photography to involve stakeholders and demonstrate the impact of climate change on the environment. Similarly, Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary, Super size me, involved the viewer in the effects of poor diet on Spurlock’s physical and psychological well-being.



Action 5

Action 6

Working with social networks to influence action can be effective but takes time. Good change programs recognise this, developing long term strategies that understand the specific attitudes and needs of different stakeholders and how social networks can create an environment that supports and influences action.

Being in control of the behaviour and seeing the impact is important. Energy conservation programs that encourage people to refrain from certain behaviours are generally successful if participants can observe immediately the direct impact of the change, such as a reduction in their electricity bill. However, encouraging people to change when results are not immediate can be complex (Hutton & Ahtola, 1991).

Make it easy

Use social networks and peer pressure

Intentions to act are also influenced by subjective norms. Subjective norms relate to the amount of pressure that an individual perceives they are under from people they value. Subjective norms are complex and are based on our referent beliefs and motivation to comply. These two components have a multiple effect, as we are unlikely to experience social pressure if we aren’t motivated to comply. Similarly, if we don’t identify strongly with a social group, subjective norms will have limited impact on intention and ultimately our behaviour. For example, in a study of the impacts social networks in the Netherlands had on increasing energy efficient behaviours (Weenig, 2002), it was found that residents who considered their neighbours opinion highly, ordered more home insulation measures, or showed greater increases in environmental knowledge, than residents who had a low motivation to comply with their neighbours. Social pressure can be extremely influential. In March 2007, for one hour the city of Sydney in Australia turned off its lights to make a statement about energy consumption. It was estimated that 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2100 businesses switched off, leading to

a 10.2% energy reduction across the city (Earth Hour, 2008). In the following year, twenty-four global cities participated in Earth Hour. Equally, the United Nations draws on the impact of subjective norms with the use of celebrities as UN Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors, such as Roger Moore, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Ronaldo, to create greater awareness and incite action on issues of human rights, justice, peace and support for developing countries. Similarly, former US President Bill Clinton has used his influence to initiate private and public partnerships with companies across America to retrofit public and private buildings through the Clinton Climate Initiative. Closer to home, researchers have found that social pressure can be used effectively to improve health and reduce sedentary lifestyles. Drawing on the experiences of fifteen lifestyle programs, social researchers, Cavill and Bauman (2004), found that community-based programs that use a combination of social support groups, such as self-help groups, counselling, and education, community events and walking activities are more effective than media

alone. Likewise, the Agita São Paulo Program in Brazil has used a multilevel intervention strategy of social networks, incentives, media, and community events to dramatically improve the number of physical activity hours of students, adults and the elderly over the last ten years (Matsudo, 2005). Other examples include, ‘Movember’, the moustachegrowing charity event held during November each year, which relies on social pressure to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Internet site helps people campaign together on similar social issues and combine forces to make things happen. The Point’s differentiator is that it relies on peer action whereby campaign members only need to act when the conditions exist for them to have the greatest possible impact.

As discussed, attitudes and subjective norms have significant impact on our intentions, however, perceived behavioural control is the most influential (Ajzen, 1991; Fife-Schaw, Sheeran & Norman, 2007). This means we process information regarding change and then gauge our ability to act and how difficult we think it will be to change. In essence, perceived behavioural control is based on internal factors such as our skills, abilities, past experiences, information about others’ experiences, willpower and emotions at the time of change; and external factors like time, opportunity and dependence on others (BroadheadFearn & White, 2006). Ultimately, the easier a behaviour is, the more likely we will perform it.

A number of organisations use this approach effectively. Oxfam’s successful ‘Oxfam unwrapped program’ enables people to purchase gifts over the internet without ever having to leave the house, let alone their chair. The gifts are actually donations to a range of worthy causes, such as safe water, poverty, HIV/AIDS and education. Similarly via the internet, non-profit organisation, Kiva, enables individuals to loan as little as $25 to help fund small businesses run by low-income entrepreneurs around the world. Both programs make it easy for people to understand what their money will be used for and how donations will make a difference.

Targeting car usage to reduce air pollution typically requires a range of new behaviours such as new daily routines, rescheduling, trip planning and changing the type of transportation; which an individual will weigh against the benefits when making a decision to change behaviour. The problem is, the benefits gained by the actions of one individual (i.e. clearer air) can’t always be measured and may not accrue unless others participate. Hence, effective change initiatives need to include tactics that allow for feedback (using this positive feedback to encourage others who didn’t initially change) and provide immediate and certain rewards (such as monetary incentives or exclusive benefits) (Hutton & Ahtola, 1991).



Action 7

In summary

When introducing new sustainable actions, think of strategies to make it easier for people to comply with the new behaviours and be discouraged to go back to their old ways. Introducing incentives and restricting old behaviours can be effective and relatively simple to implement.

As the theory of planned behaviour explains, behavioural change is a complex process that is impacted and influenced by a number of factors. Hence, a single communication or poor strategy is unlikely to result in action. Instead, long term multidimensional change plans need to be developed and implemented. These plans need to take into account all elements of behavioural change, particularly stakeholders’ needs, clear messages and tactics that support, persuade and enable people to change.

Sustain the action

Commitment or sustaining the new behaviour is critical. Research has found that people are more likely to stay loyal to a new behaviour if they feel they changed their behaviour as a result of what they constructed themselves (Hjelmar, 2005). Therefore being autocratic and telling people what to do and how to behave may have some immediate results, but does not necessarily lead to long term results. Instead, effective behavioural change programs focus on the values underlying the new behaviours and provide a supportive environment, whilst letting stakeholders construct the related behaviours. Moreover, change programs need to ensure individuals are encouraged to continue with the new behaviour and are restricted or discouraged from returning to old behaviours.

To increase the level of residential garbage recycling to seventy per cent, the city of Toronto in Canada has recently introduced a new grey bin system for non-recycled waste, with the price of the bin increasing, the larger the size required. Similarly, The University of Auckland is trialling a new recycling system across many of Auckland’s city buildings where personal rubbish bins are being replaced with small black cubes on desks which hold minimal rubbish. This approach has been designed to encourage people to recycle more waste. Likewise, an increasing number of workplaces are setting printers to default to double-sided printing and are placing paper recycling bins next to printers in an effort to reduce paper use and increase recycling respectively.

The best laid plans



On an individual level, sustainability is about ďŹ nding the best compromise rather than becoming discouraged because there seems to be no perfect solution.

Sustainability is not only a measure of environmental impact, it’s an attitude we pass on to our future generations.

Geraldine Fourmon London

Mladen Zujic Adelaide



S.E.E. breeze: The impact of indoor air quality on education Sean Coward

128 Triple bottom line reporting and the education sector Despite the shift towards online learning and distance education, schools, universities and alternative institutes of adult education continue to depend on a wide variety of built structures for students; from lecture halls and classrooms to libraries and gymnasiums. All of these spaces pose a significant problem for designers and engineers: how can one optimise the quality of the indoor environment while accommodating densities far in excess of those housed in most other buildings? Typically, the education sector in most countries is poorly funded, with facilities usually the first to bear cutbacks (in terms of design, operation and maintenance). Part of the reason for this tight-fisted approach is that it is difficult to quantify the value of education in terms of a return on investment, particularly regarding any effects attributable to the physical environments in which learning takes place. However, the recent trend towards triple bottom line reporting suggests that educational facilities should be evaluated in terms of their social and environmental, in addition to economic, performance. Needless to say, the best performing educational facilities will be those that contribute positively to all three reporting criteria. With regard to social issues, it has been claimed that high quality environments enhance the health and well-being of both students and teachers, leading to greater satisfaction and physical wellness. From an economic perspective, quality education provides the foundation for a successful national economy, such that any environmental variables linked to improved learning outcomes can be considered justified in a fiscal sense.1 Finally, any educational facility should be designed to achieve these outcomes while exerting a minimal impact on the environment—the destruction of which can be safely assumed to have dire economic and social consequences. Wyon (2004) makes the point that social, economic and environmental needs must be balanced: there is no point in designing an environmentally sustainable or low cost educational facility which houses sick, uncomfortable, or inattentive occupants.


With respect to health, comfort and learning, indoor air quality (IAQ) is considered by many to be a crucial component in the experience of building occupants. The factors determining IAQ remain consistent across all building types; these being indoor pollutants and thermal conditions. Since existing research on thermal comfort is generally inconclusive (presumably because effects are confounded by a range of cognitive variables), the present paper will restrict its focus to the effects of indoor pollutants. So what impact can airborne contaminants have on the effectiveness of educational facilities, and can the steps taken to minimise their concentration be justified in terms of triple bottom line reporting? While the majority of research investigating human responses to IAQ pertains to the workplace,2 it seems logical that the major outcomes measured —health and performance—are of relevance to the evaluation of educational facilities. More specifically, health is a concern as it relates to absenteeism (an absent student is deprived of valuable opportunities for direct teacher-student knowledge exchange) and certain indices of work performance are particularly relevant to learning (e.g. measures of attention / alertness, comprehension and test performance). Although the body of literature devoted to educational facilities is relatively small (particularly in terms of adult education), wherever possible the present review will refer to research conducted in this sector.

Absorbing information... and what else? One of the major problems of built structures is that they contain numerous sources of airborne pollutants, many of which can have a deleterious effect on the health of occupants. Originally, the sole purpose of ventilation was to dilute these contaminants via the introduction of outdoor air in order to achieve concentrations considered harmless to humans. Research supports the effectiveness of this strategy, with low ventilation rates frequently associated with adverse health in occupants, such as sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms and communicable diseases (Seppänen, Fisk, & Mendell, 1999). Fisk (2000) estimates that improving building standards via increased ventilation, reduced recirculation, improved filtration, ultraviolet treatment of air and HVAC components, and reduced occupant density could reduce respiratory illnesses in occupants by 15%, and SBS symptoms by 20–50%.

Ventilation standards developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE, 2001) recommend a minimum ventilation rate of 7.5 L/s (litres per second) per person for classrooms. This is equivalent to a carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration of approximately 1000 p.p.m. (parts per million), a criterion often not met by North American and European schools (Daisey, Angell, & Apte, 2003). CO2 is a widely accepted measure of both ventilation rate and levels of human bioeffluents (CO2 being produced by human metabolic processes) and, by extension, it is often considered to be a valid indicator of general pollutant levels (although it fails to account for many pollution sources unrelated to human activity).3 Research also supports CO2 levels as an indicator of pollutant concentration: Shendell, Prill, Fisk, Apte, Blake and Faulkner (2004) found that a 1000 p.p.m. increase in CO2 concentration above outdoor levels corresponded to a 10–20% increase in school absenteeism. They argue that student absence reflects, among other things, communicable respiratory illnesses that are likely to proliferate in schools with poor ventilation.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) The term VOC is used to describe a wide range of chemicals that are emitted from (primarily) nonbiological sources. VOCs can be released into the air from carpets and other types of flooring (e.g. PVC), adhesives and sealants, paints, furniture, cleaning products, and equipment such as computers and printers. Exposure to various VOCs has been linked to dry mucous membranes and other SBS symptoms (irritation of eyes, nose and skin; headache; fatigue), as well as decreased perceived air quality and increased odours (Mølhave, Bach, & Federsen, 1986). While olfaction is sometimes a useful indicator of harmful pollutants (e.g. petrochemical emissions from fresh paint) this is not always the case (e.g. radon, a radioactive gas linked to lung cancer, is odourless to humans): hence the assessment of IAQ using perceived air quality—as applied in certain ASHRAE standards—can be misleading. Moreover, unpleasant olfactory perceptions often disappear as occupants adapt (the human sensory system is designed to detect change), such that perceived air quality by visitors is often used to gauge IAQ. With this in mind, increasing ventilation rates have also been shown to increase occupant satisfaction with perceived air quality (see Figure 1). As can be seen, even at a ventilation rate of 10 L/s per person, 15% of occupants will remain dissatisfied—hardly a ringing endorsement of IAQ.

Research on indoor pollutants generally focuses on three categories: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and bioaerosol contaminants. A description of each classification and a brief summary of documented effects follow.

Figure 1. Percentage of occupants reporting dissatisfaction with perceived air quality as a function of ventilation rate. Reproduced with permission from Olesen, 2004.


From an economic perspective, quality education provides the foundation for a successful national economy, such that any environmental variables linked to improved learning outcomes can be justified in a fiscal sense.

Perceived air quality: % dissatisfied






0 0





Ventilation rate (L/s-person)




130 Formaldehyde This chemical, a gas at room temperature, is typically used as a resin to bond wood in particleboards and fibreboards to make furniture. While formaldehyde is technically a VOC, it is usually discussed separately due to the increased health risks associated with exposure. Reported effects of off-gassing (the resin emits vapours after hardening) range from irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract to more serious conditions linked to its potentially carcinogenic qualities. Research suggests that exposure to formaldehyde may lead to an increased risk of allergic sensitisation in children (Garrett, M.A. Hooper, B.M. Hooper, Rayment, & Abramson, 1999). However, Daisey et al. (2003) warn that even concentrations lower than those associated with irritation may not protect against the long-term risk of cancer; accordingly, exposure should be limited as much as possible.

131 Bioaerosol contaminants This term refers to a wide variety of biological agents, including viruses, bacteria (and any related endotoxins), allergens linked to dust mites and animal hair, and fungi (including associated allergens, toxins and irritants). Regarding the accumulation of these contaminants in indoor environments, low ventilation rates have been linked to respiratory illness caused by viruses (Brundage, Scott, Lednar, Smith, & Miller, 1988), and bacterial endotoxins are associated with flu-like symptoms (Rylander, Persson, Goto, & Tanaka, 1992). Exposure to animal and dust mite allergens has been linked to asthma, which is responsible for 20% of school absenteeism in children (Richards, 1986). Health problems associated with indoor mould include blocked sinuses, sore throats, runny noses, eye irritation, respiratory illness, and fatigue (Bates & Mahaffy, 1996, cited in Daisey et al., 2003). Once again, while most of the published research on indoor air pollution focuses on adult workers in offices, one can assume that any effects should generalise to students. In fact, occupant densities in classrooms and lecture halls are invariably higher than those in offices, increasing the production of pollutants such as CO2, communicable diseases, and even less toxic, yet nonetheless unpleasant, human bioeffluents such as body odour. The risk of health problems is of particular concern for young school children as they breathe a higher volume of air (relative to their body weight) than do adults, and any damage resulting from airborne pollutants may have lifelong consequences for developing tissues and organs (Faustman, Silbernagel, Fenske, Burbacher, & Ponce, 2000).

Reported effects of off-gassing ... range from irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract to more serious conditions linked to its potentially carcinogenic qualities.

bioaerosol contaminants formaldehyde

volatile organic compounds


As with IAQ research in general, most of the literature concerning performance relates to office work. However, certain performance indices may be considered relevant for assessing educational facilities, such as concentration, fatigue, and test results. Mendell and Heath (2005), in their review of literature relevant to the IAQ-performance relationship in schools, failed to reveal a direct causal relationship. They did, however, uncover several highly suggestive lines of evidence for an association between the two, particularly in terms of occupant exposure to indoor pollutants; a finding which supports the notion that poor IAQ may often inhibit task performance via decrements in either student or teacher health.

Most of the research supporting the association between IAQ and performance use ventilation rate to indicate pollutant concentrations. Wargocki, Wyon, Sundell, Clausen, and Fanger (2000) found that increases in ventilation rate improved both speed and accuracy of typing, addition and proof reading, while also enhancing creative thinking and clarity of thinking. The authors calculated an average increase in performance of 1.7% for every twofold increase in ventilation rate between 3 and 30 L/s per person. In their review of the literature, Seppänen, Fisk, and Lei (2006) concluded that an increase in outdoor ventilation rate of 10 L/s per person results in a 1–3% improvement in work performance (up to approximately 45 L/s per person, after which the curve plateaus—see Figure 2). This relationship between ventilation rate and performance makes sense in light of the fact that total VOC levels have been associated with impaired memory and ability to concentrate (Mølhave et al., 1986). In fact, there do not appear to be any theoretical explanations for the relationship between indoor pollutants and performance that do not rely on occupant health as a mediator.

A breath of fresh air: Rethinking educational facilities The available evidence leaves little doubt that ventilation is an effective means of diluting indoor pollutants and reducing associated health problems. However, mixing contaminated air with fresh air is surely not an ideal solution. Fanger (2000) illustrates the limitations of this approach by comparing cooccupation in a building interior with a crowded swimming pool: few people could be convinced to drink pool water using the argument that the contaminated liquid has been diluted with an influx of fresh water. He also makes the point that, in a room provided with outdoor air at the rate of 10 L/s per person, only 1% is ever inhaled. A further problem with ventilating indoor spaces with outdoor air is that polluted locations, such as cities, may introduce toxins into the building. Outside air may be contaminated further, prior to reaching the occupied space, by poorly maintained HVAC systems (Seppänen & Fisk, 2004). Finally, increased ventilation rates mean increased energy use—with associated costs to the environment.

If current minimum ventilation standards provide more breathable air than can be consumed, and if ventilation systems are capable of introducing contaminants, then the best way to reduce the impact of indoor pollutants is by avoiding internal sources of air pollution wherever possible (i.e. source control). Improving IAQ without relying on high ventilation rates is also a more environmentally sustainable and fiscally prudent practice, as the percentage of total building energy used to ventilate air in schools is in the order of 10–20%. The reduction of indoor pollutant concentrations can be achieved via the selection of low VOC and low formaldehyde emission products. Carpets should be avoided due to their VOC emissions and because they provide an ideal environment for the proliferation of mould and other bioaerosol allergens. Buildings must be kept dry, with pitched roofs reducing the risk of water leakage. Commissioning also plays a crucial role by emphasising the need for regular and thorough cleaning and maintenance of buildings and HVAC systems. This may include the irradiation of air outlets and cooling coils with UV lights, which have been linked to a reduction in SBS symptoms (Menzies, Popa, Hanley, Rand, & Milton, 2003).

Figure 2. Relative task performance in relation to the reference ventilation rate of 6.5 L/s per person. Reproduced with permission from Seppänen, Fisk and Lei, 2006.


1.04 Relative performance

Clean air, clear minds? While ventilation was initially justified solely in terms of health concerns related to indoor pollutants, recent research has directed attention towards the potential impact of IAQ on human performance. For educational facilities, the question is how IAQ might affect the acquisition, comprehension and demonstration of knowledge. Of course, health and performance are not mutually exclusive: absenteeism decreases the amount of information transferred from teachers to students, and research suggests that symptoms resulting from indoor pollutants can inhibit learning, either as a direct result of the symptoms themselves (Smith, 1990) or via medications used to treat them.





1 0





Ventilation rate (L/s-person)




One innovative approach to improving IAQ while achieving sustainability targets is to use indoor plants. Some species are known to metabolise certain indoor pollutants, primarily through micro-organisms living in the rhizosphere (the region of soil immediately surrounding the root structure of plants). Despite some enthusiastic reporting by the media (e.g. Allenby, 2006), empirical evidence for the notion that indoor plants can effectively filter substantial concentrations of air-borne pollutants is inconclusive. In fact, some research conducted on indoor plants has investigated the possibly negative impact of biofiltration on IAQ (e.g. via the release of microbial spores and metabolic by-products), with little support for this hypothesis (Darlington, Chan, Malloch, Pilger, & Dixon, 2000). While some studies suggest modest beneficial effects (e.g. Dingle, Tapsell, & Hu, 2000, found an 11% reduction in formaldehyde levels with twenty plants), others claim that biofiltration can have a significant positive impact on IAQ (e.g. the rapid removal of large amounts of benzene, a model VOC, as reported by Orwell, Wood, Tarran, Torpy, & Burchett, 2004). The range of reported effects may be at least partially explained by the complexity of the biomass employed; from the simple addition of potted plants, to ecologically integrated biofiltration systems comprising bioscrubbers (air plenums faced with wet, porous volcanic rock), hydroponic plants and aquariums. Perhaps the most promising solution involves bioaugmentation, which consists of the inoculation of plant foliage with bacteria to enhance the absorption and metabolisation of pollutants (De Kempeneer, Sercu, Vanbrabant, Van Langenhove, & Verstraete, 2004). Such treatment enables the phyllosphere (surfaces of the plant above ground) to contribute significantly to the removal of indoor pollutants, greatly increasing the effectiveness of biofiltration.


The preceding recommendations are not intended to devalue the importance of ventilation, but to emphasise that the task of managing indoor pollutant levels should not be the sole responsibility of HVAC engineers. Architects, interior designers, and facility managers have equally important roles to play in realising optimal IAQ within learning environments. It has been argued here that increased attention to indoor pollutants in particular, and environmental quality in general, is well-justified in terms of triple bottom line reporting via improvements in health, learning outcomes and—pending the integration of non-ventilation-based strategies for pollution management—energy consumption. Furthermore, Wyon (2004) claims that the cost of improving IAQ above current minimum standards is counterbalanced by benefits by a factor of sixty, leading to a payback of investment within two years. Unfortunately, if the views of Olesen (2004) are representative of those in the design industry, it seems that the aspirations for modern architecture, including schools, are somewhat modest: “The main purpose of most buildings and installed heating and air conditioning systems is to provide an environment that is acceptable and does not impair [italics added] health and performance of the occupants” (p. 18). Fanger (2000) claims that the goal for IAQ is even less ambitious, with many official standards allowing for up to 30% of occupants to be dissatisfied. Is it too much to expect an educational environment capable of inspiring occupants and which, physiologically and psychologically, enhances their sense of well-being and preparedness to learn? Thankfully, Fanger believes that a paradigm shift is on the horizon, where excellent indoor environments will promote optimal health while enhancing occupant satisfaction and productivity. Surely this should be the goal, if not the standard, for any building assisting in the cultivation of our planet’s intellectual resources.


The biggest risk is viewing sustainability as fashionable. It’s an undeniable fact that fashion changes. Where will we go when everyone is bored? Steven K Howson London


Humans are creatures of habit. With physical/mental convenience deeply embedded in our society, it would be remiss of us to think that the transition to being green will be easy. Even turning off a light when we leave a room unfortunately requires conscious thought. Paul Gannon London


140 A few years ago, one of my PhD students was working on a project in building design in China. I asked him to collect building designs prior to the Industrial Revolution from all over the world. He came up with a collection of fifteenth and sixteenth century building designs. Each design was unique to its environment, unique to its culture. Prior to the Industrial Revolution you could look at building design and tell if it was from northern Europe or from an African city—each was distinct and each conveyed location. However, after the Industrial Revolution, human beings became powerful. We could use technology to do anything— we could control climate and lighting and soon, buildings grew to resemble one another. I asked that same student to collect building designs from the last few years. We could no longer distinguish place in the designs. We could no longer distinguish culture. In some ways we have forgotten culture and we run a real risk of forgetting nature. I often ask myself what kind of building is right for China. This is a difficult question to answer but it is our responsibility to find the right fit for China. There was a time when, like many others, I focused on technology for an answer. But, to understand the real situation in China, I’ve moved beyond this to examining the real data collected on China’s energy consumption and the influence this should have on design. I was surprised by what I found. Potentially, it isn’t technology that has the biggest impact on energy consumption—it is culture. Human behaviour is different across cultures and hence different cultures require different buildings.

141 Energy guzzlers With the rapid development and adjustment to the economic structure in China, the proportion of structural energy consumption of commercial energy is continuing to grow and, as in many developed countries, will soon account for around thirty per cent of overall energy use (industry and transportation accounting for the other seventy per cent of energy) (Zho & Lin, 2004). According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “China is set to overtake the US (at 21%) as the biggest producer of greenhouse gases by 2025 unless current trends are modified” (n.d.). Seven of the world’s ten most polluted cities are in China and seventy-five per cent of China’s energy production comes from burning coal (WWF, n.d.). With economic development and a rise in living conditions, currently China is moving towards the direction of developed countries and gradually closing itself off to traditional building methods and natural internal environments. Many large-scale modern office buildings and other similar landmark buildings are gradually replacing typical public buildings, slowly becoming the mainstream of new non-residential buildings in any downtown metropolis. Every new office building, university campus with residences, and even primary school classrooms are following suit with demands to ‘take the foreign track’. One by one, large-scale, centrally air-conditioned, machine-reliant power guzzling buildings are being erected in our cities. This is a startling consideration for China as it concerns not simply the path of progress, but also the historic relationship the nation has with nature. Currently, China’s people can still differentiate themselves from the west by their behaviour still driven by traditional Confucian values which include frugality, hard work and personal sacrifice. Cultural theorist Hofstede quantified the Confucian work ethic and the important cultural attitude of perseverance and estimated this value to be substantially higher for China than for the US, the UK and Australia (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005). Data collected by Li (2007), indicates patterns in residential building occupant behaviour that proves Chinese are still frugal by nature. The energy used by hot water, lighting, household appliances, air conditioning and other electricity-powered items is considerably lower in Chinese residential buildings than in the European cities with similar climatic conditions. For example, in Germany total residential building energy consumption averages 222 kWh/m2 (Engelund Thomsen, Wittchen, Jensen, Aggerholm, & The Danish Building Research Institute, 2007). In China, total residential building energy consumption is under 50 kWh/m2 (Li and Jiang, 2006). One of the main reasons for this difference is how internal environments and living spaces are used. As of 2005, China still lagged behind the US in net electricity consumption at 2197–3816 billion kilowatt hours (Energy Information Administration, 2007). Interestingly, current energy efficiency guidelines put forth by the US Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, encourage behavioural change such as part-time, part-space consideration for air conditioning usage and raising the starting temperature as a way to decrease consumption rates by as much as 15% annually (2007). Fortunately, these are habits already in place in China.



Studies have shown that people who do not use air conditioning are comfortable in a much broader range of temperatures and are highly adaptable to the environment. A matter of hot air


Thermal tolerance: Changing behaviour

Forty per cent of China’s total building energy consumption is accounted for by heating urban buildings in the north of the country (Tsinghua Building Energy Research Centre, 2008). China’s systems of coal-fired boilers and thermoelectric generators are less efficient than those used in Europe, where most buildings rely on decentralised internal boilers (gas and oil) or electric heating.

Another difference between urban China and developed nations’ energy consumption is cool air conditioning. In a survey conducted by the Energy Information Administration (2007), in the northeast United States, again, an area climatically similar to northern China, the average consumption measured about 40 kWh/m2 for electric air conditioning consumption.

Chinese buildings have poorer grade insulation systems than large buildings in Europe, however, the difference in the total amount of energy used for warming buildings is not so significant. This is because the relatively shorter heating season and the relatively lower room temperature the Chinese people tolerate during winter makes a significant savings impact. China’s heating systems, which are operated centrally, are only run for a given period which is generally shorter than the period used in climatically similar areas of Europe. In China, Beijing has 120 days of heating allocated by the government; the northeast region has 170. Other developed nations will heat according to the climate usually for a much longer period.

According to the study conducted by Li (2007) in Beijing, despite the fact that on average every household contains an air conditioning unit, statistics indicate that the average air conditioning energy usage is only 2.3 kWh/m2 a year. It was clear in this study that the difference between western countries and China was unrelated to building performance or the structure of air conditioning units; it was due to the different lifestyles and lessened reliance on artificial temperature control.

Constant reliance on artificial controls to maintain a stable, temperate working and living environment not only leads to increased energy consumption, but also affects people’s response and adjustment to temperature changes and heat, lowering their resistance. Studies have shown that people who do not use air conditioning are comfortable in a much broader range of temperatures and are highly adaptable to the environment. In a 2006 field study of thermal environments and adaptability, natural ventilation contributed in great measure to an increased degree of what was considered an acceptable, comfortable temperature (Ye, Zhou, Lian, Liu, Li & Liu, 2006). Zhao, Xia and Li (1997, as cited in Ye et al., 2006) similarly found that comfortable temperatures could reach 30 oC in naturally ventilated buildings, but the threshold was less than 27 oC when occupants were in air-conditioned buildings.

Despite the fact that the Yangtze River valley regions such as Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chongqing have external temperatures as low as 0 oC in the winter, there are basically no centralised heating systems. In southern China the primary heating method is individual air conditioning heating pumps, small individual heating stoves and electric heating dispersal units. Most Chinese do not remove coats and outer layers of clothing when they enter a room; consequently Chinese do not need drastic differences in external and internal temperatures. Ji, Lou, Dai, Wang and Liu (2006) noted that clothing types and behavioural customs impact people’s satisfaction of their thermal environment. Homes and offices typically maintain a room temperature of 10–14 oC and generally heating is only provided part-time. Southern China generally does not have twenty-four hour continuous heating like in northern China. Even when including individual electric heaters, these regions only use 5–8 kWh/m2 for winter heating, whereas France, which is similar climatically, consumes about 27 kWh/m2 in winter heating, nearly three times more (Engelund Thomsen et al., 2007).

Although this recent study shows promising figures, energy use is on the rise, and China has seen an increase in central air conditioning that runs yearround to maintain a constant temperature in highclass residential buildings. Although these buildings use energy saving technology, energy consumption is still much higher than average residential buildings. Even in 2000, the number of air-conditioned homes increased to 10 million up from 12 800 just nine years earlier (Ji et al., 2006). Overseas returnees, foreign immigrants and other high income residents are also changing ways of life creating higher levels of energy consumption. Outside major city centres, villas and townhouses have become popular, particularly on China’s east coast. These homes are not only large in size but their consumption of energy is substantially more than the average Chinese residence. These are shifts in ideology and custom that seem to intimate a higher standard of living. Yet they come at a steep environmental cost. As we face severe shortages of natural resources on a global level, it is vital to find solutions to stunt China’s energy use. Why are we diminishing reliance on natural conditions, such as daylight and natural air circulation, to improve the internal environment? Only when we cannot fulfil our own needs should we rely on automation for assistance.

We need to challenge ourselves as to whether we maintain constant internal room temperatures and levels of humidity to obtain high-comfort standards, or allow the internal environment to change as the climate changes outside. The latter requires more tolerance. This is a core question about what we consider modern living and our understanding of comfort to be. When we face an extraordinary difference in energy consumption between two different lifestyle choices, we must realistically and responsibly consider the implications for the planet and future development.



China’s traditional culture has always emphasised harmony with nature in creating living environments—the idea that man and nature are one. Harmonious with nature

China’s traditions still applicable

Professionally, I have steered away from using terms such as high performance building because the construction of a building is not the only factor that decides its overall energy consumption. It has to do instead with the way a building is used and the different behaviour of the occupants in that building. Fundamentally, green technology in building design, as seen increasingly in the West, is a return to the considerations of nature; not simply in minimising an ecological footprint, but in consideration of building placement, positioning, and sunlight use among other things.

The current method of constructing and maintaining built environments is inadequate. Sustainable developments demand a re-investigation of culture, of society and of lifestyle. They demand a rethink of our relationship with nature. Only then can we affect building energy conservation on a large scale and from this begin to lessen the increasingly serious pressure put upon the earth’s environment and resources.

Beyond these natural considerations of course, green technology relies on emerging innovations. Until certain technologies become a universal standard, developed and developing nations alike grapple with growth and massive energy expenditure in the building industry. However nature need not take a back seat to technology or rely on technology for consideration. Rather, on an individual level, we can fundamentally and positively impact energy consumption. In consideration for China’s people and traditions the answer seems simple: China needs buildings which are open to nature. There are two contrary philosophies of how we can approach the way we design and use buildings: 1. 天人合一 Tian rén hé yi / Harmonious with nature / Nature and man are one / Adjust demand according to natural conditions / Encourage thrifty behaviours 2. 人定胜天 Rén dìng sheng tian / Mechanised / Man shall conquer nature / Designs demand according to 'paradise' / Depends on high tech and renewable energy The first necessitates a return to nature. This means allowing air to circulate naturally, going back to traditional building structures, no longer trying to control nature, and using artificial means only when it becomes unbearable or necessary. The other path is to continue to use technology to manipulate the environment in the creation of comfort. This means increasing the use of mechanised circulation and environmental controls.

China’s traditional culture has always emphasised harmony with nature in creating living environments— the idea that man and nature are one. Whether it be the clay-silt caves in the northern Ordos Desert which are warm in the winter and cool in the summer, the courtyards of old Beijing homes that allow natural circulation, or the sky-well courtyards of the Anhui region which rely on eaves and awnings to allow natural airflow whilst protecting from winter winds, China has considered and relied on nature. All of the internal spaces of these structures were created to meet the needs of the local climate and create a comfortable environment. This is our tradition; our national character is about perseverance and adaptation and this necessitates a deep understanding of our behaviours and our relationship with nature. Let us hope that we do not lose sight of this tradition in the way we design our buildings and the manner in which we live in them. Humanity has become so technologically advanced, perhaps our greatest strength post Industrial Revolution is to choose not to inflict that might on nature.


Voting with my wallet is one way I feel I can make a difference. Ella Marshall London


When was the last time you read a book in the dark by candle light, instead of watching the television? Raymond Wan London



VERTICAL FARMING Hsuhan Chiang, Rob Deutscher and Ian Hau

150 The urbanisation of the world has now reached a critical turning point according to some sources, where the majority of the world’s population resides in urban settlements as opposed to rural areas. There is concern that the exponential population increase, particularly in our urban areas, may cause pressure on the provision of food in the very near future. The concern is not so much in the ability to provide enough food, but more so in preventing negative environmental consequences caused by finding new land to cultivate. Our sprawling agricultural practices are indeed alarming. In the 1700s, just seven per cent of the world’s land was used for farming. Further analysis of satellite data undertaken by the Centre for Sustainability and the Global Environment has revealed that forty per cent of the earth’s land is now claimed by farming (Owen, 2005). How much more land will we need to feed a world population estimated by the United Nations (2006) to become 9.1 billion by 2050? If conventional farming is not able to provide solutions for the long term, where is the world’s increasing urban population going to find a reliable source of fresh food? Dr Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist in the US, along with a team of students, has investigated the possibilities of alleviating environmental impacts from agricultural sprawl by a denser and potentially more urban form of farming. His solution is the Vertical Farm for our cities; a sustainable, agricultural strategy which utilises human waste in the production of drinking water, energy and food. Vertical Farms are modelled on multi-storey building construction, teamed with hydroponically grown crops. Each building is capable of utilising human waste in the production of food and drinking water for up to 50 000 people. The concept was borne eight years ago at Columbia University, where Dr Despommier and his students began a series of urban sustainability projects. Their investigations explored creating farm land on the rooftops of Manhattan and retrofitting hydroponics in the 1723 abandoned buildings of this city.

151 They found that a Vertical Farm with a footprint of a typical two hectare New York City block, at thirty-five stories tall, could feed the needs of 50 000 people per annum. To feed the whole of New York City (NYC) with a population of 7.5 million approximately 160 buildings would be required. To imagine what the Vertical Farm would look like, consider the workings of a conveyor belt. At one end are the planters; at the other end are the harvesters. The plants march across the room at the rate they grow in modular blocks. By the time they reach the other side, they are ready for harvest and a new module of plants begins at the other end. The cycle can continue day and night. If each floor of the Vertical Farm is three metres in height with three layers of 600 mm tall crops, it will be equivalent to six hectares of outdoor land. Which means, a thirty-five storey Vertical Farm, with a two hectare footprint, is equivalent to two hundred hectares of outdoor land. Annual crop yields would increase three to four times: this could mean green beans every six weeks and lettuce every eight days. As urban areas grow, particularly in developing nations, this model prevents extensive environmental degradation, can keep up with demand and is unhindered by natural disasters or drought.

... the Centre for Sustainability and the Global Environment has revealed that forty per cent of the earth’s land is now claimed by farming.



Vertical Farm Q and A Hsuhan Chiang: How does the Vertical Farm produce drinking water?

Dickson Despommier: The most important aspect of the Vertical Farm is turning black water into drinking water. One method is to use a pyrogenesis machine which begins by removing the sludge from black water, drying the sludge, then using very high temperatures to render the leftover organic material back into their elements. The machine itself uses fifty per cent of the energy it generates and the rest of the energy available can be used to fuel the energy needs of the Vertical Farm or elsewhere. The machine is commercially available and is actually very practical to use. After the pyrogenesis process, you are left with grey water. Grey water can be transformed into an industrial usable form by using a combination of technologies. One of the technologies attempts to employ the filtering actions of molluscs (Zebra Muscles) as a remover of bacterial particulates. Another method is to utilise UVB radiation to treat viral particles, then water would be further polished by filtering it through charcoal, sand and gravel. This is the process to turn grey water into industrial usable water, which is water you wouldn’t drink but is still safe and this water can certainly be used to water the plants inside the Vertical Farm. Drinking water is then recovered by collecting the moisture plants transpire into the local atmosphere. Rob Deutscher: How do you capture that water from the plants? DD: Through a simple process of dehumidification, where water is collected by attracting moisture particles onto cold surfaces. Inside the Vertical Farm, heat exchangers installed on the ceilings would act as dehumidifiers. A super saturated salt solution (which remains liquid when cooled below freezing) is pumped through the heat exchanger allowing the rising moisture to condense on the cold pipe, forming droplets for collection.

An Australian context In countries like Australia, where there is deficient water and soil degradation, there is a lack of confidence in sustaining farming practices for the future despite innovations in more efficient farming techniques. Farm subsidies, a heavy reliance on irrigation practices, adverse weather conditions and transportation costs are key risks to future sustainability. Although food can be easily imported from countries with more sympathetic climates, transport costs could easily prove prohibitive with even a small and sustained rise in the cost of fuel. The Australian Coalition Government has offered attractive incentives for people to move off their farms. So where will fresh food come from in the future?

... a city block of corn ... could probably generate thousands of litres of water per week through transevaporation. HC: How much water can you generate from these plants?

HC: How would Vertical Farm products be competitive in the market?

DD: It varies with the size of the leaf, species and maturity of the plant. If you had a city block of corn for instance, with three or four layers of the crop in each room, you could probably generate thousands of litres of water per week through trans-evaporation.

DD: They would be very competitive because the Farms produce perfect crops every time whereas in conventional farming there can be poor farm crops due to unstable weather patterns, plant diseases, insect attacks, storage problems and shipping problems. There is a lot of pressure for traditional farmers to survive. Additionally, the current price of products we buy at the grocery store has cost of transportation factored into it. Once you eliminate transportation cost, there is the potential to lower prices and be very competitive within the market. There would probably still need to be a fair trade agreement which levels the playing field between Vertical Farms and conventional farming.

RD: How much light would be needed for the plants to grow? DD: Firstly, Vertical Farm buildings would be designed to capture as much sunlight as possible to minimise the use of energy from lighting, but LED light bulbs can also be used and emit appropriate wavelengths for specific plants. There is a secret to the Vertical Farm’s success; its energy consumption does not just rely on the energy produced from the integration of renewable energy systems such as wind, tidal and solar but energy can also be recovered from the plants themselves. Corn for example, has very low percentage of edible parts and it has a high percentage of waste. This can be freeze-dried and tampered into a powdered form creating tight pellets to burn. It is the burnable energy that is locked up in the plants and from local food waste which can be utilised to support the Vertical Farm’s energy needs.

Even though the Vertical Farm idea still needs development before the technology reaches the point of market confidence, there are a number of issues raised by the concept which inspire further thought. The efficiencies in land use and yield ratios alone encourage further investigation. The ‘close the loop’ possibilities of the Vertical Farm offer the most positive way forward. The concept also offers quantifiable social benefits in terms of employment, upskilling and quality fresh produce which could be grown on the city’s doorstep and fuelled by the bi-products of urbanisation.

A number of possibilities potentially stand out for a city such as Melbourne. First, the inner city has a series of high density social housing projects in Richmond, Collingwood and Carlton which have been much maligned over the years for a range of reasons. As the price of land has risen exponentially and the necessity to practice dense living grows, it doesn’t stretch the imagination to envisage a Vertical Farm amongst the high-rise housing. A Vertical Farm, apart from its environmental advantages, would offer employment opportunities to the residents of the housing, a source of quality healthy food as well as a very positive signifier to cultural change on the estates. The environmental possibilities mean a constant supply of water for the residents and for irrigation of the park setting in which most of these estates are situated, all fuelled by the waste products of the residents themselves and the surrounding urban areas. The social benefits also extend to the educational advantages, particularly in the area of health, diet and the environment. What begins to emerge from this scenario are the benefits of broader thinking for Vertical Farms and the potential to fund such projects through ‘cross government means’. Clearly the idea has benefits beyond the simple construction of a building. Malaysian architect, Ken Yeang, has long been a promoter of greener buildings and developing a ‘Vertical theory of urban design’ (2006). Using his ideas, play and community meeting spaces could be vertically integrated into the Vertical Farm structure as a way of interpreting the same matrix of land uses and space we are familiar with in the horizontal public realm. These spaces could be logically located in the tower and more strongly related to groups of residents who would normally need to descend to the ground floor to find such amenities.

Authors’ impression of a Vertical Farm

A second possibility surrounds the difficulty at state and local government levels in selling the Melbourne 2030 planning blueprint for Melbourne. The Vertical Farm could be a great catalyst and ‘banner’ project for a range of the nominated Activity Centres 1 particularly those located in suburban areas. By using the Vertical Farm in this way, state and local government could be investing in projects with regional partners that would demonstrate support for environmentally driven outcomes. This investment may initially and importantly be through the provision of land. Partners such as the large supermarket chains or fresh food suppliers are an obvious group to target with their reliance on the delivery of fresh products and transport logistics to meet local expectations and needs. One can imagine a series of these structures dotted across the suburban landscape as modern silos, providing a very local dimension to closing the loop and providing fresh food close to the end users. A further opportunity exists for upgrading Grade B and C office buildings within the CBD. This is where the ‘Vertical theory of urban design’ is potentially best demonstrated. Not only could the rooftops of these buildings be used to greater effect environmentally, but the floor spaces could be a series of integrated mixed uses that are part office, part farm, part public space. This could provide for some interesting social integration. Atelier SoA from France have put forward a Living Tower project as a clear demonstration of this thinking. Generation X and Y have indicated a willingness to seek employment with companies who have demonstrable green credentials. Imagine working in an office and looking out over a field of carrots, or having a meeting in the ‘lettuce room’. Imagine the future possibilities—the marriage of farm and tall building could become the building typology of the near future.

The Living Skyscraper by Kurasek. Reproduced with permission from The Vertical Farm Project.


... the floor spaces could be a series of integrated mixed uses that are part office, part farm, part public space. This could provide for some interesting social integration.

155 An Asian context In Hong Kong, with its limited land availability, a sustainable and environmentally responsible Vertical Fish Farm concept has evolved supported by government incentives. With world supplies of natural fish stocks depleting, caused by the destruction of natural habitats, pollution of waters close to land and illegal fishing, Hong Kong, a major market for live fish, has encouraged the development of a hi-tech aquaculture industry that will make Hong Kong a world leader in the live fish export market. An Australian firm, Marine Culture Technology (MCT), is currently developing a Recirculating Aquaculture Fish Farm project in a fourteen-storey high building in Chai Wan which is planned to supply the local market with two tonnes of live fish per month. This system consists of solar powered recycling water pumps and 1500 litre tanks, replicating the optimum conditions of the natural habitat for the fish. The facility has the added advantage of producing disease-free and heavy metal-free salt water fish including the highly sought after live reef Grouper, all within a self-contained environment with no discharge of waste into the environment. The water used is 100% recyclable. In Dr Despommier’s model, fish farming has been considered as a part of the mix of products which can be produced in the Vertical Building model. In fact, a mix of vegetable production and fish farming could be seen as advantageous with worms from the composting process and lettuces able to be used as food substrates for the fish, adding further support for closed loop systems. The urban advantages in Hong Kong are the controlled and reduced transport costs to the local market, high value use of land, the supply of which is at a premium, and freer access to sources of employees and employment. However, the employment issue would need to be balanced against the traditional fishing industry, because as Hong Kong moves towards a more service-based economy, traditional industries such as fishing will most probably undergo significant change. Hong Kong is already a ‘Vertical City’ with many factories stacked in multi-storey constructions and some of the highest residential buildings in the world, therefore the Vertical Farm model would not be a ‘foreign’ built form in this cityscape. The implementation of a Vertical Farm model in a variety of cities and cultures will bring urban settings one step closer to self-sustainability, an enclosed energy feedback system of recycled outputs and real opportunities for the reduction of an ecological footprint.


By deďŹ nition, sustainability implies the notion of indeďŹ nite regeneration. Sustainability is respect: respect of any form of life, humans, other species, nature and the environment we all inhabit. Raphaelle Marmier London


There is a famous metaphor I ponder often: How much food would you take if you were at the front of a buffet queue with a few billion people behind you waiting to also serve themselves? How much is enough for you so that the last person in that queue also has enough? Sustainability means knowing how much you need and living in a way so that no one else misses out because of your choices. Juliette Anich Melbourne



Wanchai 2010: Towards sustainable urban transformation James Acuna

160 Urban environmental degradation Within the last few years Hong Kong has been following the general consciousness shared by most world-class cities in its attitudes towards generating an overall sustainable urban environment. Google search ‘sustainable Hong Kong’ and chances are several websites from either privatesector organisations, like the HKSDF (Hong Kong Sustainable Development Forum) to public-interest groups like Hong Kong People’s Council for Sustainable Development will appear. Most issues raised within each group are similar and everyone is trying to find the right solutions towards a more holistic and cooperative urban development. For example, air pollution and how to alleviate it has been by far the most important topic of concern. Besides the obvious health issues, the visual impact of pollution is particularly striking especially for tourists who strain their eyes daily for a view of the Hong Kong skyline, usually obscured by a thick cloud of urban fog. While many contributors to this urban fog are seemingly out of our control, like factory emissions from China, the most pressing problem for most city dwellers is the accumulation of pollutants emitted by vehicles that are trapped in areas around Hong Kong where high density pedestrian zones exist. Another major cause of urban environmental degradation is the Hong Kong attitude towards waste, most specifically building waste disposal. While a few builders are gradually working towards a more efficient zero-waste construction approach, there is still the issue of waste accumulated through demolition, and the choice of materials and methods of construction which could minimise further building waste disposal in the future. In an ever evolving city like Hong Kong, the issue of building material as waste and its life cycles is very important in gauging the greenness of a new development method. According to Angela Tam (2006), author of Sustainable building in Hong Kong: The past, present and future, 99% of all building materials are reusable and/or recyclable. The most common materials that can be recycled are aluminium air ducts, steel and lighting boxes. Other materials such as concrete, bricks and other aggregates can be used for paving or creating decorative walls. A better approach of reuse and recycle would be no demolition at all but a program retrofit—especially appropriate for older cities like Hong Kong with plenty of architectural history. Transformations could be small-scale, like the preservation of old Chinese buildings, or have a larger impact, like the new headquarters of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) which was born out of an old air-cargo terminal in Kowloon Bay. If new buildings have to be constructed—the Chater House in Central is a great example—then it would be best to make use of the latest in prefabricated technology to construct facades and internal architectural features offsite with a great degree of precision, in order to minimise waste in construction as well as its own reappropriation or reuse.

161 Sustainable urban environments can develop So does Hong Kong have a greener future ahead? Fortunately with the possibility of two environmental assessment schemes to help rate the greening of new construction, with HK-BEAM (Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method) and the CEPAS (the Comprehensive Environmental Performance Assessment Scheme), theory will move aggressively forward into common practice. Besides working towards greener building methods, green developments can occur within already existing neighbourhoods. There is a possibility for more holistic sustainable developments to be made off current Urban Renewal Authority projects, with the most controversial of them being the re-development of Lee Tung Street in Wanchai. Existing post-war buildings on that street may not meet the criteria for preservation but in order to reduce construction waste and to reinforce architectural heritage In the upper Wanchai area, transforming Lee Tung Street into a modern tourist and community attraction may be the key to spur sustainable development within a larger existing context. Historically, Wanchai has always been a very integral business hub for Hong Kong and today is a major link between Causeway Bay and government, non-government and private business institutions. The Urban Renewal Authority aims to upgrade the areas around key business centres with new towers, new residences and a new indoor air-conditioned food market which will eventually transform the Wanchai of history into something perhaps generic and ordinary. A holistic sustainable urban development would take into account the three pillars of sustainability—the environmental, the social, and the economic—as a driving precedence for a new development concept. Lee Tung Street is a perfect canvas for a future case study for sustainability for this neighbourhood is not quite as innovative or revolutionary as it is just plain common sense.

Besides the obvious health issues, the visual impact of pollution is particularly striking especially for tourists who strain their eyes daily for a view of the Hong Kong skyline, usually obscured by a thick cloud of urban fog.



Ghost Town: An art installation captures the residents who once lived in a street evacuated for total redevelopment in the heart of Wanchai.

The environmental, the social and the economic To alleviate further micro-climatic pollution of the area, the street should be pedestrian orientated and vehicle free. Presently, there are plenty of streets around north Wanchai that are vehicle free. This is nothing new. If it were to be implemented, one of the major blows to social and community culture would be the demolition of open-air food markets in and around Cross Street due to the emergence of a new-indoor Wanchai Market within the same area. An existing open air street market also exists on Gresson Street towards Admiralty. Street markets actually alleviate traffic pollution there and invigorate social and communal interaction among residents of the area and their visitors. The reduction of vehicular traffic (which contributes to the reduction of vehicular noise and emissions) and the solidification of a sustainable market community, are major systems within an ideal sustainable urban environment. If the city builds and plans for vehicles, then the area will only be inviting more vehicles. If the city builds and plans for more pedestrians, then more pedestrians will make use of these environments.

As for economic sustainability, the incorporation of local and community orientated businesses should be considered when renting out spaces. It’s about time more art-based and local designer oriented trades, like furniture and fashion, get focus and frontage here in Hong Kong as they do in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. With Queen’s Road East as an interior design sourcing street and Start Street as a gallery destination, Lee Tung Street as a commercial, art-based, open-air market destination may be a way to generate a new kind of economy that is produced and sold in a self-sustaining way for that specific area. If one were to look at the self-sustaining 798 Artist’s Compound in Beijing, generating a micro-economy rooted in art not only benefits community and tourism, but overall urban culture as well. This is not a program borne out of number crunching but a basic environmental, social and economic need with plenty of long-term rewards for Wanchai and the future of urban sustainable development as a whole. Now that we have the ideas and the education at our hands, all we need is the essential willpower of the city of Hong Kong to help make these changes a reality.

In order to reduce the impact of building waste, planners, designers, engineers and developers must be serious about the conservation of most existing building structures and architectures on the site. There have been many successful re-appropriation projects in Europe and even mainland China of existing structures such as residential/business lofts, studios, restaurants and shopping areas, and Lee Tung Street has the advantage and the opportunity for that kind of enlightened development. Additionally, old building parts can be reused and retrofitted into the project in many other ways. Products and materials used can either be recycled from site or be fitted with one of the thousands of newly recycled building products currently available on the market.

Editor’s note: As we go to print, development and design for the future of Lee Tung Street is moving forward. Renderings of the project propose a completely pedestrian-oriented street with a 3–5 storey shopfront; the taller buildings set back and hidden away from the commercially-activated pedestrian zone. The new Wanchai Market is located in the podium of a new luxury residential building. A handful of other architecturally historic buildings in Wanchai have or will be turned into commercial or residential spaces without having to resort to demolition. The outlook is positive for preservation in Hong Kong.



Contributors 01 Mark Kelly

07 Jason Gerrard

11 Susan Stewart

15 Ian Hau

Mark has more than twenty years of experience as an architect and designer including time spent in Australia and the United Kingdom. He has a broad range of design skills specifically in commercial, leisure, residential and specialist buildings. Mark has developed a special expertise in highly serviced medical research and laboratory facilities and the masterplanning and design of such facilities. As the Global Director of Sustainability, Mark leads our Global Green Team of leaders in all our regions.

Jason is a director and co-founder of Gerrard Bown, a Melbourne-based sustainability strategy consultancy. He has extensive experience in corporate strategy, management, sustainability and policy development across a number of sectors including finance, media, government, IT, consumer goods and manufacturing. Jason holds a Masters of Science in Resource Management and Environmental Sustainability from the University of British Columbia (Canada). He also holds a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce, both from Monash University.

Susan originally joined Woods Bagot as a workplace change and communications consultant but was shortly after recruited to help the firm develop and implement a range of cultural change projects as the Strategic Development and Change Manager. Susan has over ten years experience in communications and marketing, and more recently in change management and strategy. She holds a Master of Arts (Communication Management) and a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations from the University of South Australia; along with an undergraduate honours degree from the University of Melbourne.

Ian is Woods Bagot’s Asia Regional Practice Leader for Urban Design. Ian has twelve years experience in urban design and architectural projects in Asia, the Middle East and Australia. During this time he has developed a particular focus in environmentally responsive large scale mixed use developments for the private and public sectors. Ian has taught architectural design at the University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney and Tsinghua University. Based in Hong Kong, Ian has a keen interest in the development of sustainable and compact cities particularly with the rapid urbanisation in China.

08 Ivan Ross

12 Professor Jiang Yi

16 James Charles Bermejo Acuna

Ivan Ross, Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director of Woods Bagot, provides analytic and strategic support to the Global Board and Executive. Ivan manages all corporate services across the firm and has been instrumental in initiatives such as establishing the firm’s carbon neutral status and the development of our new global information management and collaboration systems. Ivan was previously COO/CFO of listed internet recruitment company, SEEK Limited and prior to that was a project leader at Boston Consulting Group in New York and Melbourne. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania), a commerce degree from the University of Melbourne, is a qualified chartered accountant and is Green Star accredited.

Professor Jiang Yi currently serves as Vice Dean of the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University and is the Head of the Department of Building Science and Technology. Jiang Yi has played a significant role internationally in the field of building energy efficiency, especially in China, and is Deputy Head of the Chinese HVAC Association, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association of Refrigeration, and a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). In addition, Jiang Yi serves on the editorial board of three journals, including the International Journal of CISBE, International Journal of Ventilation and Chinese Journal of HV&AC.

James Acuna’s sustainability and preservation interests stem from theoretical research on the formulation of both slum organisation and high end mixed use retail developments in Manila. This research is concurrent with his studies at Cornell and Columbia Universities in New York rooted both in tradition and experimental design. James is currently a design leader working within the lifestyle sector at Woods Bagot Hong Kong, designing retail projects for the Asian region.

09 Nina James

Hsuhan is a member of the Woods Bagot Consulting Team. His major focus is workplace design strategy, investigating the characteristics of design that affect business operations, including floorplate attributes, daylight penetration, building types and location. Hsuhan’s skills span other areas of the business and he was integral to the compilation of one of Woods Bagot’s education publications, Creating new generation learning environments on the university campus. Hsuhan has a keen interest in the concept of vertical farming and the multiple roles our buildings can play in recycling inner city waste whilst simultaneously producing fresh food, water and energy for surrounding areas.

02 Megan Antcliff Megan is an associate at Woods Bagot. Over the past five years she has largely focused on strategic planning, site masterplanning (including City Central) and campus design for tertiary and vocational education and research organisations, often managing extensive consultation processes and diverse stakeholder groups. 03 Sean Coward Sean is a member of the Consulting Team at Woods Bagot. Having been awarded a PhD in Psychology for his research into task execution under pressure, Sean is highly equipped to identify the attentional and motivational factors that can inhibit staff performance and satisfaction in the workplace. 04 Jason Marriott Jason Marriott, Principal at Woods Bagot leads the Beijing team with more than twelve years of professional industry experience. Jason has a solid understanding of the Chinese design process and market design drivers. After leading the design team that won the 2008 Beijing Olympic Village, Jason became the chief foreign design architect for the Olympic Village, where he obtained a unique understanding of very large scale mixed use developments, the Beijing residential market and the Beijing development process period. 05 Earle Arney Earle is a director and global board member of Woods Bagot and is co-editor and contributor to Woods Bagot’s research publication Public #3: WorkLife. Earle is the design director for the Bank of New Zealand project in Auckland which is an association between Woods Bagot and Warren and Mahoney Architects. The BNZ building has achieved a design rating of Five Star Green Star. 06 Chris Mobbs Chris is a senior consultant for the Workplace Consulting Team at Woods Bagot. He has more than fifteen years experience delivering organisational change and in particular helping clients understand, deliver and transition into workplaces that deliver real business benefit.

Nina joined Woods Bagot in 2001 as a graduate landscape architect. In her seven years with Woods Bagot, she has developed a strong passion for the environment and has continually looked for opportunities to lead Woods Bagot towards an environmentally positive philosophy. Nina established the Green Team globally and has since been able to train with the Honourable Al Gore, as an ambassador for ‘The Climate Project’. Nina now works with our Project Management Services Team, as an environmental consultant, specialising in sustainable landscapes, and has joined the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Environmental Committee.
















13 Hsuhan Chiang

14 Rob Deutscher 10 Dan Bulmer Dan is a prominent urban designer and project leader at Woods Bagot having worked in the Middle East, the UK and Australia. He holds Royal Chartered status and has focused his knowledge and experience in sustainable masterplanning and regeneration. Dan has worked on some of the largest development projects in the UK during his time with EDAW, and also gained significant experience from initiatives in the north of England. Dan received his Masters from the University of Manchester in 2002, and was granted the RTPI Prize for best graduate when he completed his Diploma of Urban Design at the University of West of England.

Rob is a qualified architect and urban designer of Woods Bagot with over twenty years of experience working within Australia, Asia and the UAE. Rob currently teaches one of Melbourne University’s fifth year design studios and recently chaired the forum discussion, ‘Talk about Melbourne’, which brought together expert thinking about the future of Melbourne. Rob’s research work includes a paper titled ‘Traditionally horizontal versus globally vertical’ which explores how traditional societies can reorganise in the face of global competition.




References Global issue. Personal impact. References Hawken, P., Lovins, A. & Lovins, L.H. (2000). Natural capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution. Snowmass, US: Rocky Mountain Institute. Otto, B. (2006). The essentials of sustainability and sustainable design. Retrieved May 13, 2008, from Business-Essentials/Sustainability/ Otto, B. (2008). The future for sustainability. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from en/About-Design/Business-Essentials/Sustainability/ The-future-for-sustainability/

Sense and sustainability Notes 1 SecondLife: An internet-based virtual world References Spilker, J., & Sheahan, P. (2007). Y bother. Public #3: WorkLife. Melbourne: Woods Bagot Research Press.

Sustainability: Strategy or spin This article first appeared in The Age, April 26, 2007.

City Central: A sustainable high peformance workplace Notes 1 A detailed description of the history and major design features of this development can be found in Public #3: WorkLife. 2 In the graphs that follow, each bar representing an average value contains ‘whiskers’ indicating the standard error of the mean. The upper and lower limits of these whiskers define the range within which the true population average is likely to fall. 3 Effect size was calculated in this instance by contrasting the average agreement score with zero (i.e. a neutral response indicating neither agreement nor disagreement). References Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Judge, T. A., Thoresen, C. J., Bono, J. E., & Patton, G. K. (2001). The job satisfaction-job performance relationship: A qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 376-407. Mendler, S. F., & Odell, W. (2000). The HOK guidebook to sustainable design. NY: John Wiley and Sons. Mitchell, T. R. (1982). Motivation: New directions for theory, research, and practice. Academy of Management Review, 7, 80-88. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. NY: Wiley. Image credits Ross Williams

A holistic approach to sustainable development: The UK regeneration experience References Batty, D. (2002, January 15). Social exclusion: The issue explained. The Guardian. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from socialexclusion1 Brosnan, A. (2004, February 23). You’ll never walk alone as London becomes foot friendly. Retrieved April 28, 2008, from newscentre/archive/4382.aspx

The future of sustainability References Snushall, P., Cronin, S., Spencer, J. & Cameron, S. (2005, December). Green property: Does it pay? Report for the United Nations Sustainability Project. Merrill Lynch.

Image credits Building lights: Mark Marin Obsolete building: Hannah Gonzalez

Mackey, R. (2007, August 30). Answers from Lu Zhi. The New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from

Red to green

Martinot, E. (2007, June). New report: China’s renewable energy markets and industry - trends and global context. JPMorgan’s Hands-On China Series. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from

Ewing, R. (2003). Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity and morbidity. American Journal of Health Promotion, 18[1]: 47-57.

References Baichwal, J. (Director). (2006). Manufactured landscapes [Motion Picture]. Canada: Foundry Films.

Jacobs, J. (1961). The death and life of great American cities. New York: Random House.

Block, S. (2007, July 03). Green days. That’s Shanghai. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.thatssh. com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1 318&Itemid=37

Legacy. (n.d.). London 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from legacy/ Livingstone, K. (2004). Making London a walkable city: The walking plan for London. Retrieved April 12, 2008, from Newman, O. (1972). Defensible space, crime prevention through urban design. New York: Macmillan.

Brigden, K., Labunska, I., Santillo, D., & Allsopp, L. (2005, August). Recycling of electronic wastes in China and India: workplace and environmental contamination. Greenpeace China. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from recycling-of-electronic-wastes Feller, G. (2006, July 15). China’s wind power. Eco World. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.

North, D. & Syrett, S. (2006). The dynamics of local economies and deprived neighbourhoods. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from documents/communities/pdf/150913.pdf

Green taxation needed in China. (2007, July 3). Retrieved March 14, 2008 from http://www.ccchina.

United Nations. (2005). 2005 World Summit Outcome. Retrieved February 15, 2008, from http://unpan1. UNPAN021752.pdf

Hodum, R. (2007, June 5). Kunming heats up as China’s “solar city.” Worldwatch Institute: Vision for a sustainable world. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from

University of Oxford. (2007). At least half the UK’s population will be overweight by 2032. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from releases_for_journalists/overweight_by_2032.html

Hu urges “common but differentiated responsibilities” (2007, June 8). Retrieved March 14, 2008, from content_889664.htm

Image credits Olympics: London 2012 official site Poundbury: Marilyn Jane

Kahn, J. & Yardley, J. (2007, August 26). As China roars, pollution reaches deadly extremes. The New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http:// html?ref=world

Sustainability: Who cares? A property industry survey References American Institute of Architects. (2008). Architects and climate change. Retrieved July 1, 2008, from architectsandclimatechange.pdf Clements-Croome, D. (2003). Environmental quality and the productive workplace. Retrieved July 15, 2008 from Downloads/ENVIRONMENTAL%20QUALITY%20 AND%20THE%20PRODUCTIVE%20WORKPLACE.pdf OECD. (2008). Transport and energy: The challenge of climate change. Retrieved July 01, 2008, from http:// ResearchFindings2008.pdf World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (2007). Energy efficiency in buildings: Summary report. Retrieved June 25, 2008 from DocRoot/kPUZwapTJKNBF9UJaG7D/EEB_Facts_ Trends.pdf

Loy, D. (2007, September). Energy-policy framework conditions for electricity markets and renewable energies. German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from en-windenergy-china-study-2007.pdf

Langer, K. & Watson, R. (2004, November/ December). The greening of China’s building industry. The China Business Review. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from langer.html Li, P.P., Chen, L.Y., & Cai, J. (2007). Wind power. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from hig/re/07/wind.pdf Li, W. (2004, December 1). China jumps into e-waste initiative. Business Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from Local Government Association. (2008). Beijing works on smog solution. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from

Over 1 million automobiles to be banned during Olympics. (2007, April 19). Xinhua. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from php?s=surnamed&paged=2

Enkvist, P., Nauclér, T., & Rosander, J. (2007). A cost curve for green house gas reduction. The McKinsey Quarterly. No. 1, 35–45. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from greenhouse_gas_reduction_1911 Heschong Mahone Group, Inc. (2003, October). Windows and offices: A study of office worker performance and the indoor environment. California. Madew, R. (2006). The dollars and sense of green buildings. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from http://www. and%20Sence.pdf McKinsey&Company. (2008, February). How companies think about climate change: A McKinsey global survey. The McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from How_companies_think_about_climate_change_A_ McKinsey_Global_Survey_2099

Qu, X. (2007, August 10). 2 yuan´s subway price begins. China Central TV. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from bizchina/20071008/102315.shtml

Image credits City Central: Trevor Mein

Sunlit uplands (2007, May 31). The Economist. Retrieved, March 16, 2008, from http://www. id=9217928

Attitude to action

Suntech. (2006, December). History and milestones. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from The World Bank (n.d.). cited in Wang, W. (2006). Sustainable building development in China. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from documentation/D2-42-Wang.pdf World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (2007, May 1). Greening China’s buildings: the EEB China forum. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http:// DocDet&ObjectId=MjQ0NTA Xiaohua, S. (2007, June 11). China has a ‘differentiated responsibility’ to climate change. China Daily. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from NewsInfo.asp?NewsId=8070

The colour of money: The business case for sustainable design References Bonini, S.M., Hintz, G., & Mendonca, L. (2008, December). Addressing consumer concerns about climate change. The McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from http://www.mckinseyquarterly. com/Addressing_consumer_concerns_about_climate_ change_2115 Davis Langdon. (2007). The cost & benefit of achieving green buildings. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from http:// Energy Information Administration. (2007). International Energy Outlook. Retrieved December 5, 2007, from

MCCD: Brookfield Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd

References Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 50, 179–211. Armitage, C.J. & Christian, J. (2003). From attitudes to behaviour: Basic and applied research on the theory of planned behaviour. Current Psychology: Developmental, Learning, Personality, Social, 22(3), 187–195. Broadhead-Fearn, D. & White, K. (2006). The role of self-efficacy in predicting rule-following behaviors in shelters for homeless youth: A test of the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Social Psychology, 146(3), 307–325. Cavill, N. & Bauman, A. (2004). Changing the way people think about health-enhancing physical activity: Do mass media campaigns have a role? Journal of Sports Sciences, 22, 771–790. Cooke, R. & Sheeran, P. (2004). Moderation of cognition–intention and cognition–behaviour relations: A meta-analysis of properties of variables from the theory of planned behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 159–186. Earth Hour (2008). Retrieved April 14, 2008, from Fife-Schaw. C., Sheeran, P. & Norman, P. (2007). Stimulating behaviour change interventions based on the theory of planned behaviour: Impacts on intention and action. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46(1), 43–68. Holland, R.W., Verplanken, B. & Van Knippenberg, A. (2002). On the nature of attitude–behavior relations: The strong guide, the weak follow. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 869–876. Hjelmar, U. (2005). The concept of commitment as a basis for social marketing efforts: Conversion model as a case. Social Marketing Quarterly, 11(2), 58–63.

Hutton, R.B. & Ahtola, O.T. (1991). Consumer response to a five-year campaign to combat air pollution, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 10 (1), 242–256. Kelsey Group (2008). Future of interactive advertising. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from http://www.kelseygroup. com/news/2008/alwayson_080317.htm Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Lewis, K. (2008). Remarks to the North Carolina emerging issues forum, ‘North Carolina’s energy futures: Realizing a state of opportunity?’ Retrieved August 1, 2008, from, http://newsroom.bankofamerica. com/index.php?s=speeches&item=189 Matsudo, V., Guedes, J., Matsudo, S., Andrade, D., Araujo, T., Oliveira, L., Andrade, E. & Ribeiro, M. (2005). POLICY intervention: The experience of Agita São Paulo in using “mobile management” of the ecological model to promote physical activity. Retrieved November 20, 2007, from publications/pah_agita_SP_experience_HEPA2005.pdf Menne, B., Apfel, F., Kovats, S., & Racioppi, F. (Eds.). (2008) Protecting health in Europe from climate change. Retrieved August 1, 2008, from http://www. Simmons, A. (2006). The story factor: Inspiration, influence and persuasion through the art of story telling. (Revised edition). New York: Basic Books. Weenig, M. (2002). A social network approach to behaviour change. In G. Bartels & W. Nelissen (Eds.), Marketing for sustainability: Towards transactional policy-making. pp. (373–382). Amsterdam: IOS Press. Image credits Plant-a-tree Day: Simon Tothill

S.E.E. breeze: The impact of indoor air quality on education Notes 1 Schools in the US have a more immediate economic concern, with a significant proportion of government funding allocated according to student attendance. Some authors (e.g. Mendell & Heath, 2005) have pointed out that improved facilities are capable of reducing the rate of absenteeism, thus attracting funds which can then be used to further upgrade services and facilities. 2 A significant portion of this literature comes from a large-scale research programme carried out by The International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy (ICIEE), who have since received funding to extend their research to IAQ in schools. 3 Contrary to popular opinion, ventilation has little to do with increasing oxygen levels. Oxygen is consumed at the rate of 0.36 L/minute per person for seated occupants (ASHRAE, 2001); significantly less than even the most impoverished ventilation rate. The dilution of CO2—which is produced much more quickly than oxygen is consumed—is of comparably greater concern.



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ASHRAE (2001). Standard 62, Ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

Seppänen, O., & Fisk, W. J. (2004). Summary of human responses to ventilation. Indoor Air, 14, 102–118.

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Harmonious with nature: The Chinese approach to building energy reduction References Desvaux, G. & Ramsay, A.J. (2006). Shaping China’s home-improvement market: An interview with B&Q’s CEO for Asia. The McKinsey Quarterly. 2006 Special Edition. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http:// for_Asia_1793_abstract Engelund Thomsen, K., Wittchen, K.B., Jensen, O.M., Aggerholm, S., & the Danish Building Research Institute. (2007, June). WP3: Building stock knowledge. Applying the EPBD to improve the energy performance requirements to existing buildings—ENPER-EXIST. Intelligent Energy Europe. Energy Information Administration. (2007). Table CE1-9c: Total energy consumption in US households by northeast census region. 2001 Residential energy consumption survey: Household energy consumption and expenditures. Retrieved November 24, 2007, from Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G.J. (2005). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill. International Energy Outlook. (2006). Retrieved November 22, 2007, from EIA_IntlEnergyOutlook(2006).pdf Ji, X.L., Lou, W.Z., Dai, Z.Z., Wang, B.G., & Liu, S.Y. (2006). Predicting thermal comfort in Shanghai’s non-air-conditioned buildings. Building research & information, 34 (5), 507–514.

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Vertical farming Notes 1 The role of an Activity Centre is to increase housing choice, reduce urban sprawl, make more efficient use of existing infrastructure and create a more sustainable urban form. As such they need to meet a range of integrated performance criteria that reflects Melbourne’s 2030 visions, principles and key directions (Metropolitan Activity Centres, 2005). References Metropolitan Activity Centres (2005, June). Performance measures. Owen, J. (2005). Farming claims almost half earth’s land, new maps show. Retrieved September 25, 2007, from news/2005/12/1209_051209_crops_map.html Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, United Nations. (2006). World population prospects: The 2006 revision. Retrieved October 18, 2007, from Yeang, K. (2006). A vertical theory of urban design. In M. Moor and J. Rowland (Eds.). Urban design futures. Abingdon: Routledge.

Wanchai 2010: Towards sustainable urban transformation References Tam, A. (2006), Sustainable building in Hong Kong: The past, present and future. Insitu Publishing: Hong Kong. Image credits Hong Kong fog: Damian Miranda Ghost town: James Acuna Building images: Illuminant Partners

Other photo credits Houseboat, p. 112, Mauro Resnitzky Tile sign, p. 113, Pascalle Male Abandoned bike, p. 124, Mauro Resnitzky Wind power, p. 125, Anna Hickman Grafitti, p. 136, Michael Castledine Taxis, p. 137, Mark Marin Tram, p. 146, Pascalle Male Kettle and pancakes, p. 147, Mauro Resnitzky No fishing sign, p. 156, Candice Tirao Baskets, p. 157, Hannah Gonzalez Copyright © Woods Bagot Pty Ltd ABN 41 007 762 174 All Rights Reserved. No material may be reproduced without prior permission. While we have tried to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the Publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance in information in this publication. Any opinions in this publication are solely those of the named author of the article in which they appear. Unless named as author, the Publisher, Editorial Panel, other contributors and Woods Bagot do not endorse any such views and disclaim all liability arising from their publication. Published by Woods Bagot Research Press Podium Level 1, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank Melbourne VIC 3000 Printed in Adelaide, Australia 2008 ISBN 978-0-9805582-1-0 Paper Stock: Sovereign Offset Editorial team: Mark Kelly Nicola Brew Creative direction and design: Cornwell Creative direction: Steven Cornwell Project management: Anna Johnston

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Public #5: A Human Thing  
Public #5: A Human Thing  

Public #5: A Human Thing is a commentary on social, ecological and economic sustainability. For the first time in human history more than ha...