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20th – 24th October 2014

The week began in Bristol. There I met Carolyn Hassan of Knowle West Media Centre to discuss their plans for a MakerLab but ended up in a wide ranging discussion about how to bring the human interaction elements into regional development and business-led innovation.

A project wrap up meeting followed as another great project from our Solving Business Problems with Environmental Data competition looking at assessing biodiversity loss in construction development projects and mitigating them, preferably without an offset. The project integrated some diverse sets of data well and had a very engaged user group from the construction sector. I finished the day by heading into London.

Tuesday brought catch ups with Ed Hobson, the design lead at KTN and our new advanced materials Lead Technologist Lien Ngo. I then travelled out to the Olympic site at Stratford where Taylor Wimpey has a new home development. A project we have supported has meant the marketing suite for this is a test of a ‘demountable’ building – i.e. temporary with a planned forward use in mind. To see it you wouldn’t know:


It is based on a steel frame of standard lengths and managed by ES Global a company that started by building rock concert stages and has progressed to sports venues (much of the non-permanent parts of the Olympic park itself, many now in other places like Sochi and Rio) and beyond to other buildings that have a 1 to 5 year life. This circular economy approach to construction was much debated in the meeting with the Association of Sustainable Building Products driving the network needed to make this more standard in the sector.

Wednesday had a great start catching up with Sophie Thomas and Catherine Joce at the Great Recovery #FabLab hub on how the project was progressing and the events we have planned for the upcoming competitions. If you are interested then get on their mailing list and come along to an event.

I then scooted across town to BIS for a Sustainability Team meeting with my lovely colleagues following that with a telecon to plan the imminent Solving Urban Challenges with Data competition workshops and then (after a quick chat on how we do good things with James Taplin) we both met with Vicky Pope of the MetOffice about using their data in our competitions and activities. I finished the day getting an update on the Clean and Cool Mission from Guy Pattison and got very excited about our plans and aims for this Mission – watch this space!

Thursday and Friday I worked from home catching up on emails, sorting our assessors for competitions, transferring my filing system into the Cloud, preparing slides for upcoming competitions and working through finances. I also took phone calls to plan work on the Horizons tool and catch up with Steve Evans at Cambridge University on the Industrial Sustainability Centre for Innovative Manufacturing.

Stat of the week: The Summer 2003 urban heat island event was a 1 in 19 event, by 2050 it will be 1 in 3, by 2080 it will be 1 in 2 – from Arup’s Reducing Urban Heat Risk report

This week’s travel carbon footprint: 55 kg CO2

Mike Pitts