Thursday, November 14, 2019

Industry Experts Gather in Aberdeen to Discuss Sustainability in Construction

Keynote speaker Sandy Halliday

WITH the continued focus on sustainability within construction, the organisers of a north-east conference are bringing sector experts together to share knowledge, case studies and innovations on the topic.

This focus is in line with recently produced government frameworks to address carbon within the industry: the global ‘Advancing Net Zero Campaign’ has set targets for all buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2050. All new buildings have to meet this standard by 2030.

Build It 2019 takes place on 29th November at P&J Live in Aberdeen, and brings together 16 speakers from across the industry, with presentations ranging from ‘Sustainability in the Planning System’ to ‘The Role of the Circular Economy in Ensuring a Sustainable Future for Construction’.

The conference welcomes keynote speaker Sandy Halliday, principal of Gaia Research, an Edinburgh-based research consultancy developing sustainable solutions for the built environment.

Sandy Halliday worked as a researcher in built environment issues and as a sustainability adviser to private, public and third sector organisations since 1986. In addition to this, Sandy has also written a book entitled ‘Sustainable Construction’, which includes more than 120 case studies, some of which will be discussed at the conference.

When asked about her reasons for supporting Build It 2019, Sandy said: “We are living through a time of alarming prospects for future generations. The construction sector needs major innovation to create solutions that minimise resource consumption, prevent pollution and deliver health and wellbeing. There are already many examples and pointers that can help our transition to a responsible and resilient waste free and clean energy future.”

Turner Townsend, the project management company behind the newly opened P&J Live is giving the aptly-named presentation, ‘P&J Live – Giving Sustainability a Stage’, focusing on the central role that sustainability played within the project both from an energy and lifecycle perspective, but also from an economic perspective. 

Michelle Forth, Chair of the Build It conference committee said “We were delighted that the inaugural Build It conference and exhibition was so well received by the north-east construction sector. It was clear by the feedback that there was demand to make Build It an annual event, which is what the committee were hoping for. We spent some time discussing potential key themes for 2019, however sustainability in construction was the obvious choice. Whether you are working in home building, civil engineering, architecture or HR, sustainability is now something that we all need to take responsibility for. We hope that Build It 2019 provides a platform for companies to showcase how they are tackling this responsibility, for the benefit of the wider industry. ”

Law Society of Scotland-accredited specialist in construction law Jennifer Young, chairman and partner of main event sponsors, full-service law firm Ledingham Chalmers, said “The construction sector’s evolving in terms of the social, economic and environmental impact it has on the societies it serves: it’s being challenged to go above and beyond what’s business as usual.

“So it’s fitting this topic takes top billing at this year’s event, which is an excellent opportunity for the industry here in the north-east to come together and share insights and best practice: a collaborative mindset that will be critical when it comes to capitalising on the many opportunities out there.”

As well as a full day of presentations, Build It 2019 will also welcome more than 20 exhibitors, each showcasing the latest products and services that are available to the construction industry. There will be live demonstrations across the day, with various networking opportunities for exhibitors and delegates.

There are still several opportunities for businesses to take part in Build It 2019. To find out more, or to receive a copy of the full conference programme, contact Isla Stewart on isla.stewart@mearns-gill or visit the Build It 2019 Eventbrite page.

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