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University of Bristol inaugurates new green building

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The University of Bristol’s new 13,500 sq m Life Science building has received an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating for its energy efficiency characteristics, also receiving praise for vertical garden hosting plants and wildlife shelters.

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The iconic building was unveiled by naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, who said, “This great building will give you and its graduates pleasure for the rest of your lives. It will play an important role in tackling the great problems and difficulties that the world is going to face in your generation.”

The £56.5 million construction has been realised thanks to the work of 28 architects from 10 countries and received an ‘excellent’ Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) rating, because of its sustainable design and energy efficiency.

The building features a system that re-uses the heat it generates and collects rainwater from the roof to flush toilets, while its lighting is designed to not pollute the night sky.

In addition, the exterior of the building presents a vertical garden standing over 20 metres above street level, which hosts 11 different species of plant, boxes for birds and bats, and creates the pattern of a microscope image of algal cells.

Prof Gary Foster from the School of Biological Sciences, said, “This investment in Life Sciences is a major move by the University of Bristol in this field, showing strength and ambition, with Bristol being an exciting and ideal place to carry out research over the coming years.

“The new building also provides outstanding laboratories for science teaching and will enhance the undergraduate experience by facilitating research-led study and staff-student interaction, making Bristol University the first choice for research and teaching in this area.”

The outside space has also been redesigned, with newly planted trees, shrubs and grasses.

Photo: University of Bristol via Facebook

Further reading:

Climate change art project in Bristol shows extent of rising sea levels

Sustainable cities will ‘save lives’ and improve economies, says Bloomberg

Abandoned Lincoln asylum could become global science centre

Sustainable building means more attractive and comfortable homes

Green office experiment shows advantages of energy efficient buildings

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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