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New Year’s resolutions – not mine

Are you planning any resolutions for this year? I am, but I am not about to share them here. Instead I am going to present the resolutions that engineering practice Max Fordham believes we should all make – and follow.

Are you planning any resolutions for this year? I am, but I am not about to share them here. Instead I am going to present the resolutions that engineering practice Max Fordham believes we should all make – and follow.

They are:

1. Infrastructure-scale solutions to climate change

Governments will be forced to tackle the problems caused by climate change by introducing infrastructure-scale solutions. Hopefully these will give way to exciting examples of urban design, such as the $335 million scheme to upgrade Lower Manhattan’s storm defences.

2. A “Trip Advisor” for buildings

The development of a ‘Trip Advisor’ for buildings and building comfort. Users will be able to rate office, retail and hospitality buildings on a number of criteria such as temperature, daylight, acoustics and ventilation that will then be fed back into the building management systems for efficiency based on big data. Enabling consumer pressure to drive improved performance.

3. More plants on buildings

The increased use of living roofs on commercial and domestic buildings, and an increased awareness of the role buildings can play in maintaining biodiversity.

4. Global harm tax on fossil fuels

The introduction of a global harm tax on both the extraction and use of fossil fuels which makes visible the damage caused by these sources of energy and also encourages the development of alternative forms of energy production.

5. Population control

The need for action on global population growth will be addressed by ensuring universal access to contraception. This will provide positive impacts in terms of both economic growth and public health.

6. Wider awareness of carbon impact of construction

In design and client teams, we’ll see a wider appreciation and understanding of embodied energy and the total carbon impact of the construction process.

7. In-building energy storage

The development of In-building energy storage systems or daily heat stores to spread the peak energy demand of a building over a day.

8. Energy Performance Contracts become the norm

Energy Performance Contracts become expected for more new builds. Better prediction of actual energy consumption and then having to deliver on this in practise. It will put a much better focus on the way we design and the way we build.

9. Death of “tick box” sustainability

The death of BREEAM and ‘tick-box’ sustainability with a move to a more appropriate choice. We will see an even greater rise in the employment of sustainability matrices such as the one developed by Max Fordham.

10. Greater recognition of the impact buildings have on health

Comfort, health and well-being will become a much larger part of considerations when designing and building non-residential, commercial lettings.

What do you think? They seem both very sensible and highly ambitious to me. It would be great to help bring them about. Happy New Year.

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