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Sustainable Construction

It's been an interesting week of sustainability and climate change conferences, and as I write this, there are three more to speak at in the next few days. Times are a changing. Wednesday's event on Sustainable Construction was hosted by the Welsh Assembly and proved stimulating and very interesting; the room was pregnant with the need for action and our speakers inspired. Ray Morgan is Chief Exec at Woking Borough Council, and has led the changes that have taken Woking Council's emissions down by 80% through a combination of energy saving and on site CHP. Peter Head from consulting engineers Arup followed, and reconfigured many people's perceptions of Chinese efforts on sustainability with his presentation on Dongtan eco city in Shanghai, where the speed of change and deevelopment is stretching Arup's learning and adapatabilty in all sorts of positive ways. Paul Webber from Arup's Welsh office spoke of the importance of site orientation and natural ventilation, and Peter Candelr talked from a developer's persepctive of the benefits and challenges of creating a BREEAM Excellent office building that's now returning 7.7% on capital invested. Steve Morton spoke about the ways that City of York had used smart finance to leverage savings on energy and space to pay the interest on an assured loan and allow two large eco projects to proceed. Alan Shingler from Sheppard Robson talked of the SixtyK house project and their firm's contribution to the Lighthouse - the UK's first Code Level 6 house, which generates all of the energy or heat, light and cooking from PV cells on the roof. What happens next in North Wales and Merseyside rests in the hands of the delegates, and more importantly, in their hearts. Action here is about courage more than information, as amply shown by the event's organiser Imogen Sherriff who tencaciously put all of the pieces together, persuaded some of teh UK's best commentators to speak and then pressed go. It's not always the loud, 'out front' people who can make the most difference, but those who have a burning ambition for change who won't let go.

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    The benefits of education are paramount and many in number. Research work the abilities of teachers to train the students in the respect of research are very much significant and needed.

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