I am writing this blog on the train back from Manchester after presenting at Greenbuild Expo 2012 struggling to decide whether or not it was worth the long trip north. This was my first time at this show and I have to say it did make a pleasant alternative to the monster that EcoBuild has become. On the positive side the presentations take place within the exhibition hall, so it is easy to catch those that are of most interest and catch-up on the trade stalls in between.
|Greenbuild Expo at Manchester Central|
Before making my presentation I had just enough time to catch a session by Rachael Mellows of M&S and Ed Dixon of Simons Construction on M&S’s Plan A, Sustainable Learning Store at Cheshire Oaks. They build two of these projects each year and then undertake post occupancy evaluation before incorporating the most successful initiatives into their mainstream development programme. What is surprising is that as a repeat client there is still this separation between learning and development. I think it would be cheaper and easier to redesign their standard store model in such a way that it is economically sustainable and able to be rolled out everywhere.
I concluded by making a challenge to the traditional, three ring, Venn diagram that places sustainability in the region where the rings intercept; arguing instead that social sustainability should be at the centre of a target diagram, constrained by economics and with environmental design that meets the needs of both users and the budget with the least impact on the planet.
|Renault Twizy Electric Quadracycle|