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Health and Wellbeing in Buildings: A Real Appetite for Change

CliveShrubsole18 November 2016

The Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Non-Domestic Buildings half day conference at UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture, has to go down as one of the most successful and timely conferences yet.

The conference was jointly hosted by UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE), CIBSE Home Counties SE and the CIBSE Natural Ventilation Group, and organised by IEDE’s Marcella Ucci, Vivian Dorizas and Rachel Kempsell, Richard Davies of (ARUP)-CIBSE HCSE and Colin Ashford of -CIBSE HCSE and CIBSE NVG – who was crucial in suggesting the conference and establishing the initial contact between  CIBSE and UCL many years ago.

Tickets sold out very quickly and the venue was packed on the day. There was a vibrant and energetic atmosphere with both speakers and attendees enthusiastically taking part.

Along with two international speakers there were presentations  from UK based speakers representing  a variety of perspectives. It was clear from the scope and depth of subjects covered by the speakers, that the emerging emphasis on health, wellbeing and productivity in buildings has wide-ranging implications and has gained real traction with industry. The conference featured cutting-edge research, scientific evidence and case studies on health, wellbeing and productivity in relation to buildings in order to encourage stakeholders such as designers, consultants and environmental engineers to contribute to the design and management of healthier indoor environments, including supporting of clients. In addition, presentations included practical ideas on how to create healthy, comfortable and productive indoor environments with regards to indoor environmental quality (IAQ).

Videos of the individual speaker’s presentations are currently being uploaded to the UCL IEDE YouTube channel and will be available imminently

In her presentation, Marcella Ucci, Senior Lecturer at the UCL IEDE and course director of the new MSc on Health Wellbeing and Sustainability in Buildings of the Bartlett UCL, underpinned the need of new approaches to cover the performance gap and introduced the new UCL MSc on Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings of UCL* which fully covers the subject area. Marcella also raised the need for new models to investigate health & wellbeing outcomes and to build a business case study.

The real appetite for the subject was seen not only from the enthusiastic interchanges and questions to the speakers from the floor, but more by the fact that even after the networking event at the end of the conference, no-one had any desire to leave the building and had to be encouraged to leave, suggesting further such events are urgently needed.

*For more information about the New MSc, please email the Course Director,  Dr Marcella Ucci.
For administrative information, please contact Leila Tufekci.

Innovative solutions to the problems of airborne pollution in cities

CliveShrubsole17 July 2015

air pollution, cityParticulate matter (PM) is an airborne pollutant, the smaller fractions of which penetrate the deep lung and can pass into the blood stream. It has a severe impacts on health along with oxides of nitrogen (NOx), as a report on London’s air pollution published this week have yet again confirmed:

‘Air pollution in London caused early deaths of 9,500 people in a single year’.

The EU are looking for technical solutions to help reduce the concentrations of pollutants in the ambient air. In this case Particulate matter (PM), which I have a specific interest in. The Horizon Prize on materials for clean air will be awarded to the most affordable, sustainable and innovative design-driven material solution that can reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas.

So, anything that helps to reduce people’s exposure has to be investigated, with the caveat that ‘dealing with the pollution at source is the first priority. With that in mind the recent publication of Sustainia’s document detailing the  ‘100 most sustainable innovations of 2015‘ also deserves serious consideration. Innovations covers a number of sectors including buildings, cities, food and health. (more…)