Rushlight Built Environment Briefing

Sustainable Innovations for the Urban Built Environment

Thursday 3 May 2018

5.30pm – 9.00pm

Hosted by  

S&W logo 2015_marsala grey_RGB

 25 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6AY


The energy sector has undergone the largest transformation with regard to an improvement in its environmental footprint.  Transport is now undergoing a comparatively rapid transformation as cars, vans and rail become electric and biofuels make an impression in shipping and aviation.  There is substantial pressure to address food waste and eradicate plastic packaging, which have been demonised due to their drastic environmental footprints.  The built environment now faces unprecedented challenges across energy security, carbon reduction, resource efficiency and waste reduction.   47% of all UK CO2 emissions are linked to the construction and operation of the built environment. Of this, 27% comes from housing, 18% from non-domestic buildings, and 2% from the construction process itself.

However, these figures do not account for embodied carbon which in the case of certain building materials such as cement, bricks, steel and other metals and glass is significant.  Often overlooked, the embodied carbon emitted in producing materials can have a significant impact on the whole lifecycle emissions of buildings’ construction, maintenance and eventual refurbishment or destruction. Recent analysis has shown that the embodied energy share of conventional buildings was between 6-20%. However, in low-energy buildings this share increased to 26-57%, and in nearly Zero Energy Buildings this could be up to 100%.  Generally, embodied carbon is most concentrated at the manufacturing stage, particularly the buildings’ fabric, foundations, superstructure and envelope. However, while initial design and construction materials are important, the carbon costs of refurbishment deserve serious attention. Every new building becomes a refurbishment case within just a few months of completion and reducing the carbon embodied in materials which may be replaced with successive refurbishments can provide opportunity to reduce the total lifecycle carbon of the building. These benefits apply to old buildings as well, vastly increasing the potential impact.

The benefits of sustainable innovations go well beyond environmental advantages too.  There are significant economic and social benefits to be considered when, according to a London Assembly Report recently, water bills can be reduced by 30%, gas bills can be reduced by 80%, starting prices for homes can be reduced by £400,000 to £800,000 and units can be built in 10 weeks rather than 40 weeks.

In November last year, the Government as part of its Industrial Strategy White Paper struck an agreement with the construction industry which aims to halve emissions in the built environment over the next eight years.  The flagship deal will see the Government invest £170m over three years, with £250m coming from industry, to commercialise technologies capable of building energy-efficient, cost-effective housing and infrastructure.  The deal aims to reduce the cost of construction by one-third while halving greenhouse gas emissions in the industry by 2025.

The sector has, in spite of the removal of targets and regulations in the past, nevertheless been evolving and improving its sustainability credentials.  Offsite construction is a real option in some cases, reducing waste and improving efficiencies significantly; passivhaus continues to gain traction; aggregates have entered the circular economy; innovations involving natural air conditioning, natural light, thermal insulation, paints, solar energy, energy efficiency, biomaterials and remanufactured products continue to evolve.

This briefing will aim to highlight what these technologies and innovations are likely to be, what is evolving in this space and how these targets are going to be achieved.  It will be an ideal event for all built environment professionals, sustainability consultants, construction companies, built environment technology developers, property developers, investors and financiers, cleantech innovators, analysts, intermediaries and advisers.


5.30pm Registration

6.00pm Welcome: Andrew Bond, Smith & Williamson

6.10pm Introduction: Clive Hall, Rushlight Events

6.15pm The facts and state of play in the built environment –

6.40pm The built environment sustainable innovations –

7.10pm Panel discussion and Q&A, augmented by

Property developer

Housing Association

Market participant

Investor/ financier

8.00pm Networking and drinks

9.00pm Close


Who should attend?

Architects, architectural technologists, sustainability professionals, surveyors, interior designers, property investment and fund managers, estates and facilities managers, property developers, builders, investors, analysts, corporate financial advisors, financiers, advisers and other followers of the market.


Each delegate place costs £40 + VAT and the number of places are limited.

To register click HERE