PSBJ (Public Sector Build Journal) is the industry’s leading monthly title for architects, contractors, LAs and heads of sites at schools, hospitals and leisure centres, looking to make informed decisions when specifying building products.
Welcome to the December issue of PSBJ…
Whilst the welcome pages within our December issue from years past might have ‘cheers’d to the season of goodwill, in light of events of the past 12 months, you would be forgiven for not feeling quite so festive. With a notable absence of ‘The Queen’s Speech’ combined with takeaway messages from the recent COP27 in which UN Secretary General António Guterres declared that the planet was “on a highway to climate hell” and anticipation of further protest disruption, ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ may not have quite the same ring to it this year.
Nevertheless, we must remain positive and credit the achievements of the year, specifically the built environment for embarking upon its journey with a collaborative approach to lower the embodied and operational carbon of new buildings and retrofit projects. Being at the editorial helm of this publication for some time, I can confirm that the conversations surrounding climate change are louder than ever. Amendments to Building Regulations, including the proposed Part Z limiting the carbon intensity of buildings, are making considerable headway, or are, at least, getting people to start seriously thinking about the implications of construction, whether they be in the context of social housing, schools, hospitals or recreation and community hubs.
Although it’s unlikely we’ll see immediate action and change from COP27, the UK has plenty to be getting on with in the meantime. Buildings are already reaching completion that are meeting or exceeding targets, which is encouraging to see. In this month’s issue, we reveal one such project that is at the cutting edge of sustainable design. Glebe Farm School is Milton Keynes’ first fossil-free school. Striving for minimal impact on the environment, the building is gas free, utilising air-source heat pumps for heating, whilst hundreds of solar panels generate power to the building. Gas Bunsen burners have also been replaced by electric versions. To read more about this inspiring build and its energy-efficient construction process, turn to page 08.
Elsewhere in this edition, REHAU reflects on navigating the changes of the Future Homes Standard, Carlisle Construction Materials urges the public sector to lead by example with a circular approach to sustainability and Zeroignition explores the subject of safeguarding timber from toxic fire retardants.
From all the team here at Public Sector Build Journal, we’d like to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.