As the dust settles after the 2012 Ecobuild event, here are few observations, in brief, from the External Works corner.
1) Landscape Institute sessions
- Launch of Landscape Architecture – A guide for clients; vision – the power to transform places.
- Case studies Q&A with Ian Houlston of LDA Design (Cotswolds AONB), Jon Berry of Tyler Grange (East Float Wirral Waters), and Duncan Ecob of Devereux (Prince Bishops Park, Bishop Auckland).
- The theme of sustainable communities, including consultative planning and design, development of shared spaces, green infrastructure, and the importance of play and healthy lifestyles and behaviour.
- Working with product manufacturers 1: the usefulness of landscape architects and manufacturers cooperating from the earliest stages of projects.
- Working with product manufacturers 2: the value of innovation, and the critical role of manufacturers in communicating, educating and championing new technologies and techniques.
2) Conference session: Michael Sorkin on ‘The City After Now’
- Wrong slides to start with – maybe a bit of performance theatre to set up the idea of disruption.
- Crisis, the Gini coefficient, and the Occupy movement.
- Reflections on ecological footprints, responsibility, modesty, consumption and ‘good lives’.
- Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology): non-profit design group promoting green design in cities.
- Design actions: planning and designing compact cities; limiting scale and boundaries.
- Applying patterns from Fez and Prague, Islamic and Medieval cities: plazas, streets and the chance to have ‘encounters’.
- Venice, and the way that cars are parked outside.
- Planning based on neighbourhoods with walking radiuses of 10 minutes.
- Setting high bars: carbon neutrality in designed cities; 100% green cover (green roofs).
- Increased urban autonomy, based on more agricultural self-sufficiency.
3) Conference session: London 2012: the greenest Olympics ever
- Collaboration between client, consultants and contractors – with Sir John Armitt (ODA), Jim Heverin, Zaha Hadid Architects (Aquatics Centre), Mike Taylor, Hopkins Architects Partnership (Velodrome), and Tom Jones, Populous Architects (Olympic Stadium).
- Critically, clarity and consistency of objectives – including sustainability as a measure of success.
- Innovation, from ground remediation processes to recycled aggregate constituency of concrete in the Velodrome.
- Integrating landscapes: the unifying role of the river; parks, locks and habitats.
- Urban parkland in the south; pastoral parkland in the north.
- Landscape ties masterplan and unique building together.
- Glass, rooflights and building envelopes connect insides and outsides.
4) Seminar: Delivering sustainable concrete on the Olympic Park
- Kirsten Henson, Director, KLH Sustainability.
- A good example of the expertise, subtlety, diplomacy – and passion – involved in materials procurement.
- Materials management and the influence of the ‘balanced scorecard’.
- ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ approach with manufacturers and materials suppliers.
- The complexity of sustainable materials – sometimes recycled aggregate substitution, or PFA cement replacement, or local sourcing is the answer. But not a straightforward template or cure-all.
- Resource: Learning Legacy website.