The theme of this year’s World Green Building Week is #ourheroiszero, highlighting the drive for net zero, sustainable building across the globe. To celebrate, our team members have penned their own blogs to highlight their low carbon heroes.
Rob Miller – Head of Property & Development
Too often building and construction fights against nature; clearing woodland, relocating habitats and reshaping waterflows.
But nature often gets it right when it comes to construction. Find me a more versatile building structure than honeycomb. Show me a stronger fibre than spiders’ silk. Talk about a better use of naturally sourced materials than in the humble birds’ nest.
Like many of my BEC colleagues I’ve been pondering the best of the built environment a lot over the last few weeks as we gear up for World Green Building Week 2017. We have a golden thread of low carbon activity running through all we do and it guides us as we develop and manage property in Cumbria and beyond. Much of my pondering has been focused on what we can learn from the natural environment when it comes to green building across the world. Many species came to mind that I could hold up as my ‘hero of zero’. I finally managed to settle on one though … in honour of WGBW2017… the sustainable heroes who inspire me to drive forward a zero-carbon building world are BEAVERS.
Wonder of wood: They find the best wood to suit their needs when it comes to building their dams and homes, examining the properties of the wood around the area they are in, and chopping down the best trees – the ones that that will stand up to the pressure of the water. Ultimately, the most sustainable use of materials is to build it once!
Helping hand for diversity: A sustainable environment is one which enables diversity to thrive. Beavers know this; as they build they develop ponds with very high ecological value, which helps other species.
Improving the local environment: I’d be remiss to miss out flooding in a conversation about beavers. The dams they build can help prevent flooding further downstream – flood proof building is something the green building industry can really get behind as we ready ourselves to work in a changing – often wetter – climate. Working for a company that was part of the flood relief efforts in the 2015 Cumbria floods keeps this at the front of my mind.
So, as part of World Green Building Week 2017, I’m pledging to learn more from the natural world around me and bring ‘nature’s knowledge’ into our construction efforts. Will you do the same?