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Circular economy and performance gap - hottest topics at Ecobuild 2014

Charlotte Cassedanne 11 Mar 2014

Three busy but great days at Ecobuild 2014, the world's leading event for sustainable design, construction, energy and the built environment – a chance to share knowledge, get to the root of sustainable building issues and generate solutions through debate. Throughout the event, BAM was more present than ever before, with a total of five speaking slots, as well as recognition of two high achievers in sustainability and a sustainability project award.


Our Director of Sustainability Nitesh Magdani started off with a talk about the benefits of achieving zero carbon non-domestic buildings, following our sponsorship and contribution to ‘Building Zero Carbon – the case for action’ recently released by UKGBC along with a letter to government calling for action . Meanwhile, on the other side of the Excel, our Facilities Management Strategic Director Reid Cunningham explained how our BIM for FM solution can bridge the performance gap by including O&M information in the 3D model and making it accessible to FM engineers before and whilst they are on site.

Nitesh Magdani on the panel at the Water, Waste and Materials Arena


There was also a new section of Ecobuild this year – the Resource event, which focused on the circular economy. This was a great addition to Ecobuild, with talks demonstrating thought leadership and excitement about the prospect of moving towards a Circular Economy to save billions of pounds for the industry over the coming years. As the only contractor to have joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundations’ Circular Economy 100 programme, Nitesh was delighted to share our experience of it in practice and discuss the industry potential and issues around the circular economy with a panel of experts. The circular economy theme came up again from a resource efficiency point of view – BAM’s Head of Environmental Management Charlie Law compared the linear construction model to the circular model to show how waste could be avoided from the design stages of a project. Choosing the right materials for intended use was also discussed as too often products are not used to their full potential over their intended life. Instead, we showed how we delivered the Brummen Town Hall project in the Netherlands with design for performance as the driving KPI, achieved by partnering with our supply chain and the end users to increase comfort and reduce waste in our buildings over their life.

Brummen Town Hall, Netherlands


In other Ecobuild news, Jesse Putzel, our Senior Sustainability Manager, was on the cover of Building magazine for their Rising Star of 2014 feature, and Carolina Passos-Anishetty, our Lead Sustainability Consultant for Google, was shortlisted for the UKGBC’s Rising Sustainability Star of 2014. To top it off, 1 Angel Square, the Co-operative headquarters we built in Manchester, won the ‘Your BREEAM Award’ at the annual BREEAM Awards held at the show. Over 5000 public voters decided that the BREEAM Outstanding building was their favourite from a shortlist published online by Building4Change.


Marisa Vega, Alison Guscott, Jesse Putzel, Charlotte Cassedanne at Ecobuild 2014


When we weren’t giving talks, or listening to others, we popped by the CRASH photo booth. As a patron of CRASH, we actively support the construction industry’s charity for homeless people.

A stimulating few days, full of new ideas to make buildings and their performance more efficient, more sustainable and more cost effective, helping us move towards a circular economy.



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