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Rising Stars in the Built Environment with Business Savvy Solutions



The record 60 nominees for the annual Rising Star awards – which recognise communication and innovation around the topic of sustainability in the built environment – demonstrates how sustainability is integral to both the professional and personal life of a swathe of built environment talent, according to award founders the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) and PRP.

The 2016 nominees stood out for using their talents and interests to solve issues experienced across the value chain, from mitigating risk for investors to providing shopping centre owners with ways to measure environmental performance.

Award winner Lisa Pasquale, of consultancy Six Cylinder, produced a practical methodology for derisking large-scale retrofit, which is used as the risk management toolkit for the GLA’s RE:NEW programme. Runner up Christina Houlgrave, of Skanska’s environmental team, recognised the need to be able to talk to stakeholders in financial terms so created a model which monetises Skanska’s value to society, leading to the creation of a board level Accounting for Sustainability award.

The theme of understanding business needs as well as feeling a moral inperative ran throughout the shortlist. The roles represented were not limited to sustainability practitioners.

  • Property lawyer Ben Farnell developed a Global Sustainability Index that compares and ranks country’s legal frameworks according to sustainability criteria
  • Architect Mark Siddall is committed to tackling the building performance gap by making data publicly available
  • Ecologist Morgan Taylor, of GreenGage Environmental, has established a 15-year ecological monitory scheme for Lendlease’s Elephant Park development in Southwark, London
  • JLL’s Carol Wakelin, environmental manager at Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough, has gathered the first overall environmental impact of a shopping centre environment through her tenant engagement programme.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “The calibre of the nominees paints a bright future for sustainability in the built environment, driven by passionate individuals who have the communications and business skills needed to tackle issues that it’s all too easy to write off as ‘too difficult’. The UK-GBC is committed to championing future leaders, supporting them to challenge us all so that we don’t become complacent to complex sustainability challenges.”

Andrew Mellor, Partner at PRP, commented: “This year saw the largest number of nominations, and the most diverse in terms of discipline, all of which were of exceptionally high calibre. The shortlist was incredibly strong, but Lisa Pasquale’s work really stood out and she is a worthy winner. It is fantastic to see the good work all of these individuals are doing to drive change in sustainability in the construction industry.”

The award was set up in 2013 by UK-GBC and PRP in memory of Mel Starrs, a prominent built environment practitioner and Associate Director at PRP, who passed away unexpectedly in July 2012.

Lisa Pasquale commented: “I’m extremely honoured to be recognised with the Rising Star award, it came as quite a surprise. I met Mel about 5 years ago, at a talk she gave about the complexity of the policy and guidance landscape in the UK construction industry. I quite respected her willingness to openly challenge the status quo, and her drive to find a better way forward. I hope I can use this opportunity to raise awareness of certain shortfalls in our industry and influence practices to improve performance outcomes for the built environment and construction sectors, and the people they serve.”