What does it mean to construct sustainable buildings? Defining sustainability has always been elusive, meaning different things to different individuals and organisations.
Some organisations take a strict, all-or-nothing approach to sustainability while others embrace the issues gradually, allowing change to be integrated into their practices in a phased and manageable way. There is no formula that delivers the 'right' outcome, as aspirations vary, and even seemingly small differences can have a significant impact on the outcome. In response, Sust. is working with a number of organisations to assist those responsible for delivering the aspirations of government, from NGO's to pressure groups and others, with the application of policy and guidance in this area. It is hoped that this will influence future legislation. Typical collaborations include: High Performance buildings - the Sust. project, and the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement and Thirdwave consultants have developed guidance for Higher Education Finance and Estates Directors, which makes both the business case and outlining a process for the delivery of a more sustainable higher education building asset base for the long term. Maggie’s Centre Post Occupancy Evaluation – The overall aim of this study is to provide a detailed POE of a small-scale healthcare building which can in turn inform the future design of buildings of a similar scale similar buildings within the NHS. This study marks the first stage of this work and had three key objectives: 1. To carry out an in-depth qualitative POE of users response to the Dundee Maggie Centre; 2. To carry out a technical POE of the building’s physical performance; 3. To develop a cross-evaluative methodology which integrates the qualitative and quantitative findings in relation to sustainable and quality design guidance, for use in a wider study of small scale healthcare buildings in Scotland. Responsible Transfer of Assets – this project, in collaboration with Thirdwave consultants and Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities is exploring the issues surrounding the disposal of existing buildings and lands within local authority control and seeks to encourage land or building transfer in a manner guided by sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in all cases. A report and associated recommendations to Local Authorities and the Government are imminent.