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Materials Must Change

About this event

The Big Issues Webinar Series

Following on from the conference programme at Futurebuild 2022, the Edge has curated these sessions highlighting some of the big issues that we are all probably aware of, but tend to put to one side as too difficult to resolve. These sessions interrogate these issues in the light of proposing solutions.

Materials must change

We cannot achieve net-zero construction without net-zero construction materials, but, while materials producers say they have committed to carbon-zero targets, these rely heavily on carbon capture by others rather than committing to investment in new materials technologies. So, the rate of development of suitable materials is moving too slowly, with the government continuing to rely on market forces, while the markets are showing no signs of recognising the problem – let alone fixing it at the scale required. So, the ‘material challenge’ is central to our declared carbon goals, but the tendency is for us to ignore it.

What can drive the change? Are there success stories that we can learn from? How should each of the key players – consultants, contractors, developers – respond and give the investors/funders the confidence to have something in which they can invest that will manage the climate risks of construction?

This session will examine the issues and seek solutions.

Curated by the Edge

Speaker presentations

Chair: Louise Ellison, Chief Commercial Officer, Longevity Partners

Cutting through the greenwash - Will Arnold, Head of Climate Action, the Institution of Structural Engineers

What the developer must do - John Downes, Global Head of Facade Supply Chain, Lendlease

What the consultant must do - Graham Dodd, Director, Materials, Arup

What the finance providers must do - Alison Vipond Sustainability Lead, Ecology Building Society

Questions managed by Mike Cook, Visiting Professor, Imperial College London

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
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    Louise Ellison Chief Commercial Officer @ Longevity Partners

    Louise Ellison was appointed as Longevity Partners’ global Chief Commercial Officer in 2021, where she leads the development of tailored programmes helping clients achieve their current and future ESG and climate goals. Louise is recognised as a leader in the world of sustainable real estate. She has many years’ experience in industry and has served on a range of Boards and Committees including eight years as Chair of the Better Buildings Partnership.

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    Robin Nicholson Fellow @ Cullinan Studio

  • Guest speaker
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    John Downes Global Head of Facade Supply Chain @ Lendlease

    John is the Lendlease Global Head of Façade Supply Chain. His role covers 4 continents in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia (Oceania). His remit covers a varied selection of façade typology across these regions from skyscrapers, large infrastructure projects to large scale urban regeneration in what Lendlease calls ‘Gateway Cities’. He is a member of the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) Sponsors Board and chairs the CWCT subcommittee on Sustainability. He is a fellow of the Society of Façade Engineering (SFE) and has an MSc in Façade Engineering from the University of Bath. John feels very strongly about showing Leadership in Façade Sustainability and wants to play his part in the acceleration of decarbonisation of the Façade Industry.

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    Graham Dodd Director, Materials @ Arup

    A broadly-based engineering designer, specialised in the structural use of glass and façade engineering. Leading a team of materials specialists, he has long experience in the design of innovative glass and cladding systems ranging from art installations to high rise curtain wall. Qualified as a mechanical engineer, with a background in manufacturing industry production engineering and design. Has contributed papers to industry conferences, lectured at universities in UK and abroad and published numerous articles in the trade press and journals such as Structural Engineering International. Experienced in the diagnosis of façade failures and the preparation of expert evidence for litigation, arbitration and mediation.

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    Will Arnold Head of Climate Action @ The Institution of Structural Engineers

    Will is a structural engineer focusing on the decarbonisation of the construction industry, and is passionate about helping his profession to maximise its positive impact on people, places, and the planet.

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    Mike Cook

    Mike was the Chairman from 2011 to 2017. He is currently a consultant and Professor of Creative Design in the Department of Civil Engineering at Imperial College, London. In 2019 he initiated the Engineers’ Declaration of Climate Emergency in the UK and he leads the Institution of Structural Engineer’s Climate Emergency Task Group, setting out the skills required by future generations of engineers. As a fellow of the RAEng he is working across all engineering professional institutions to help define the route to net-zero carbon. In recognition of his contribution to sustainable engineering design over the past 20 years, he has been awarded the IABSE Milne Medal in 2009, Fellowship of the Academy of Engineering in 2010, an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Bath in 2017 and the Gold Medal of the Institution of Structural Engineers in 2020 in recognition of his contribution to sustainable design practice.

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    Alison Vipond Sustainability Lead @ Ecology Building Society

    Alison Vipond leads on Sustainability Policy and Innovation at Ecology Building Society. Ecology is a pioneering mutual with a mission to harness the power of its members to make a positive impact on the environment and society by enabling sustainable building and communities. With a background in environmental research and policy, Alison is passionate about the role of finance to support positive change in society. Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of her role and she is responsible for ensuring Ecology continues to be ambitious and impact-focused as it drives forward on its ecological mission. Current areas of focus include carbon accounting, impact assessment and climate risk, where she is exploring new opportunities for financial services to enable society to mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency.