June 2022 From the 20th to 24th June, UKRI are hosting the EPSRC engineering net zero week in Glasgow. I will be discussing ongoing research projects at a couple of the events at the Advanced Research Centre if you would like to come and say hello.
On the 7th June I discussed the Part Z initiative with Will Arnold (IStructE) and Louisa Bowles (Hawkins\Brown) at FOOTPRINT+ - a new annual UK property event in Brighton focused on delivering a net zero future.
May 2022 On the 26th May the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee published their report Building to net zero: costing carbon in construction with results from their recent inquiry on the sustainability of the built environment. See this twitter thread for some initial highlights and reactions. I contributed oral and written evidence to the enquiry and was delighted to see a number of my recommendations supported by the committee.
November 2021 On the 11th November the UKGBC launched their Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK built environment. I have been working with Arup and a range of industry stakeholders on delivery of the roadmap over the past year. You can watch a recording of the launch from the UK Pavillion in the Blue Zone at COP26. There will also be an industry facing launch in London on the 8th December. The roadmap includes a Pathway to Net Zero for the UK Built Environment, a Technical Report, a Summary for Policy-Makers and a set of Stakeholder Action Plans.
On the 3rd November I presented on embodied carbon at the Deconstructing Carbon COP26 fringe event hosted by ACAN and the ASBP. Slides from my presentation can be downloaded here. The other speakers included Kat Scott (dRMM), Ann-Marie Fallon (Architype) and Andrew Waugh (Waugh Thistleton). A recording of the whole event is available on Youtube.
October 2021 On the 20th October I gave oral evidence to the ongoing Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on the sustainability of the built environment. You can watch a recording of the session here and I have compiled a thread of relevant footnotes and links to documents we discussed over on Twitter The enquiry will be taking further evidence until Spring 2022.
On the 6th October the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) launched a new report on the role of energy demand reduction in achieving net-zero in the UK. The report microsite includes additional sectoral reports, briefings, explainers and blogs. You can also watch a recording of the launch event featuring Chris Stark (CCC), Caterina Brandmayr (Green Alliance), Rebecca Willis (Lancaster University) and the report authors.
On the 5th October I took part in a panel discussion launching the Institution of Civil Engineers 2021 State of the Nation report. The report focusses on six key actions that all civil engineers can take to act on climate change. The launch featured contributions from project steering group members including Bridget Rosewell (NIC), Shamit Gaiger (AECOM), Kaye Pollard (Mott MacDonald) and myself. A recording should be available shortly.
September 2021 On the 29th September I presented on the regulation of embodied carbon at the Institution of Structural Engineers 2021 Climate Emergency Conference. You can watch a recording of the session or download slides from the event.
After 10 years at the University of Leeds on the 20th September I started my new Chancellors Fellowship at the University of Strathclyde. My new email address is email@example.com - please use this for all correspondance. I no longer have access to my old Leeds email and will not receive any correspondance sent there.
July 2021 In July I was part of the author team that launched the Part Z proposed amendment to building regulations. The Part Z amendment and associated draft approved document provide a proof of concept regulation for embodied carbon in buildings. The campaign has already received a large number of endorsements from Grosvenor, Stanhope, Landsec, Willmott Dixon, BAM, Laing O’Rourke, Arup, WSP, Cundall, RIBA, CIBSE, and many others. You can find out more at the Part Z website, or read coverage in Building, Dezeen, RIBA J, or Building Design.
May 2021 I submitted written evidence to the ongoing Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on the sustainability of the built environment. You can read my submission and other submissions here. The inquiry will continue taking oral evidence in the autumn.
January 2021 In January 2021 I published a paper with colleagues Jonathan Norman, Alice Garvey, and Sam Betts-Davies in open access journal Sustainability. The paper assessed progress amongst early adopters of the Science Based Targets Initiative and can be downloaded for free here. The paper was prepared in summer 2020 and published in January 2021, a week after the initiative published their own progress report. Our study was entirely independent and assessed a smaller sample in greater detail. See my twitter thread for a summary of the key findings and differences between the reports.
December 2020 On the 11th of December 2020 UKGBC launched their project to develop a Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK built environment, scheduled for launch at COP26. I joined the event panel alongside Charlie Foster from NatWest, Tom Spurrier from Hoare Lea, Will Hall from BEIS, Martina Otto from UNEP, Stephen Richardson from WorldGBC, and John Alker from UKGBC. More information on the project can be found here alongside slides from the event.
November 2020 In November I gave a presentation on capital carbon in transportation infrastructure to the Department for Transport Scientific Advisory Council. Slides can be downloaded here.
October 2020 In October I gave the 2020 Unwin Lecture alongside Tim Chapman (Arup) and Maria Manidaki (Mott MacDonald). The lecture presented results from an update of the 2013 Infrastructure Carbon Review datasets prepared as part of the ongoing ICE Carbon Project. Slides can be downloaded here. A recording of the event can be viewed here.
In October I presented an overview of our ongoing DecarboN8 funded project at a Department for Transport decarbonisation symposium. The project is developing an open source resource to facilitate capital carbon estimation of future scenarios and pipelines for transportation infrastructure. More information can be found in the slides.
March 2020 In March I prepared a report on embodied carbon for Zero Waste Scotland. The report sets out the status quo and a suggested roadmap. It was prepared in conjunction with JH Sustainability Ltd and the Resource Efficient Built Environment Lab at Edinburgh Napier University. It can be downloaded here.
November 2019 On the 27th November I presented at the annual Carbon Crunch event organised by Mott MacDonald at the Institution of Civil Engineers. You can download slides and a podcast featuring speakers from the event is available here. My talk called for a net zero roadmap for the UK construction industry.
On the 21st November I took part in a panel discussion at the Building Zero Carbon Britain conference. The discussion included representatives from AECOM, the Green Alliance, the Green Party, the Energy Systems Catapult, Sustainability West Midlands and Building With Nature. A recording should be available soon.
On the 19th November I presented a webinar as part of a series hosted by the Swedish Mistra Carbon Exit programme. The webinar series focussed on transforming the built environment and construction sector towards zero carbon emissions. My colleague John Barrett and myself presented an overview of UK experiences in decarbonising the built environment and discussed a number of common challenges facing Sweden and the UK. Slides from the webinar can be downloaded here.
October 2019 In October I was awarded the 2019 Richard Trevithick Fund Prize by the Institution of Civil Engineers with my co-authors John Barrett and Peter Taylor. This was for our scenario analysis of embodied carbon in the UK construction industry. All the papers from the ICE publishing awards are available for free on their website.
May 2019 On the 24th May I presented at a workshop on greening construction supply chains at the Swedish EPA in Stockholm. The event was organised by Mistra Carbon Exit and Climate Strategies. My presentation focused upon policy options for low carbon construction and the slides can be downloaded here.
January 2019 On the 29th January I presented at the ISOBIO project closing event in Brussels as part of a session on embodied carbon policy in European construction. My presentation focused upon recent developments in the UK and the slides can be downloaded here. All other presentations from the day are available from the event website.
January 2019 I recently co-authored a new article in the Journal of Industrial Ecology. The article considers the role that strategies to improve material productivity could play in meeting the UKs 4th and 5th carbon budgets.
October 2018 At the end of October I attended the ICE Global Engineering Congress in London. On the 24th I chaired and presented in a session on carbon reduction in the built environment, also featuring speakers from HS2 and Landsec. You can watch a recording of the session or download slides from my presentation. On the 25th I moderated another session focussing on climate action, featuring talks by Keith Clarke and Diana Guzman-Barraza.
On the 11th October I presented at the Community Housing Cymru One Big Housing Conference in Wales. My presentation focussed on the need for low carbon housing and the slides can be downloaded here.
September 2018 I recently co-authored a report for DEFRA exploring the link between resource use and carbon emissions. This involved calculating the UK’s material and carbon footprints and developing new carbon-based metrics of resource efficiency. These metrics were used to explore the extent of decoupling of raw material consumption from economic activity and decomposed to enable comparisons across sectors of the economy. A short summary of the work can be found in this CIEMAP Briefing Note. The full report is available from the DEFRA science & research projects site.
June 2018 On the 14th June I presented at the Woodbuild Wales conference in Cardiff. My presentation focussed on the role of timber construction in meeting carbon targets and the slides can be downloaded here. I also recently co-authored a new article in Climate Policy. The paper explores decision making under uncertainty in climate change mitigation through a case study from the construction sector.
I also recently authored a new CIEMAP Briefing Note - Reducing carbon in construction: a whole life approach. The note explains why the UK should adopt a whole life approach to reducing carbon in construction and includes recommendations for supporting local and national policies. It is one of a series of 10 Briefing Notes summarising the outputs of the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products.
April 2018 On the 19th April I presented at a UKGBC event on aligning carbon targets in the construction industry. My slides can be downloaded here. The event was sponspored by CIE-MAP, Edinburgh Napier University and Landsec, and featured 13 speakers across a range of topics related to carbon reduction. A full write up of the event should be available shortly.
Earlier this year I had a new journal article published as part of a special issue of Energy and Buildings focussed on embodied carbon and energy. The article provides a brief review of current carbon reduction commitments from the UK construction industry and discusses the challenges associated with developing a common sectoral decarbonisation trajectory. I have also co-authored a chapter in a new book on Embodied Carbon in Buildings, focussed on applying circular economic principles to reduce embodied carbon.
March 2018 I presented at Ecobuild as part of a panel session discussing a recent UKGBC project to assess the sustainability of the UK built environment. The session was chaired by Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of UKGBC. Other speakers include Adrian Gault (CCC), Bill Dunster (ZEDfactory), Louise Clarke (Berkeley Group) and Stephanie Wray (President of CIEEM). The slides I presented can be downloaded here.
June 2017. On 21st June I chaired a session on Innovative Materials and How To Use Them as part of the CIOB Annual Conference. On the 28th June I assisted the UK-GBC in running an Embodied Carbon Masterclass for construction clients. I also had two new publications accepted - on the circular economy and embodied carbon in construction.
March 2017. In March I presented at Ecobuild as part of a session on Carbon emissions in the built environment: Current status of emissions and activities. My talk included an update on current emissions, future targets and mitigation options. Slides can be downloaded here.
February 2017. In February I presented at the Healthy Buildings Expo at UCL. My talk focussed on the importance of low carbon, resource efficient building products in maintaining a healthy planet. Slides are available here or from the ASBP event site.
November 2016. In November I presented at the annual Carbon Crunch event at the ICE and a CIRIA event on innovative paths to low carbon infrastructure. Slides for both talks can be downloaded in the presentations section below.
In November I also gave a joint presentation with Tim Chapman from Arup at a Construction Climate Challenge seminar in Birmingham. You can now watch a recording of the presentation and download slides here. Recordings of all presentations from the day are available from the CCC website.
September 2016. In September I presented at a joint ASBP and ISOBIO event in Bath. My talk focussed upon embodied carbon and strategies for reduction in the construction industry. The slides can be downloaded here.
My other Autumn presentation was at the Zero Carbon Buildings Today and in the Future 2016 conference in Birmingham on the 9th September. My talk was entitled Building on the Paris Agreement: making the case for embodied carbon intensity targets in construction and the slides can be downloaded here. A related paper is available as part of the conference proceedings.
I also published a new journal article exploring scenarios for embodied carbon in the UK construction industry. It is the first application of the novel UK Buildings and Infrastructure Embodied Carbon model I have been developing. It is available open access from the ICE virtual library ahead of print.
I am a Chancellor's Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. I am also the department's Deputy Director of Knowledge Exchange for policy engagement. Prior to September 2021 I spent a decade at the University of Leeds. During that time I was a Research Fellow in Industrial Climate Policy at the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions and a Research Fellow in Energy, Materials and Climate Policy at the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products. Prior to which I completed a PhD on embodied carbon mitigation in the UK construction industry.
My research focusses on climate change mitigation in industrial supply chains, with a particular emphasis on the UK construction industry. This includes work on the policy and practices required to deliver net zero carbon buildings and infrastructure and a more circular economy. I have published widely on these topics (see publications). I have given invited talks, contributed to guidance documents, served on steering groups and acted as a technical reviewer for groups such as the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Science Based Targets Initiative and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). I have also undertaken work for the Department for Transport, Green Construction Board, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and the Scottish Government. In addition to my academic work I undertake a small number of consultancy projects each year - past clients include Zero Waste Scotland, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB). Please get in touch if you'd like more information about my work or would like to collaborate on a future project.